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Billie Silvey
An eclectic website about Women, Christianity,
History, Culture and the Arts--
and anything else that comes to mind.
Norman Chandler
Otis Chandler
June  2012
What Makes a Great
Newspaper?
The Chandlers
and Los Angeles
Harry Chandler, inset; City of Los Angeles, 1870 Mural by Jim Doolin, Metropolitan
Transport Authority, Los Angeles.
Harry Chandler was just 17 years old when he came by
train to Los Angeles, the city he was to transform.  He came
to recover from pneumonia, and he did so with hard
physical work in the orchards and fields.  Harry started a
small delivery company, delivering produce and the
Los
Angeles Times
. He so impressed the publisher, Harrison
Gray Otis, that he was hired as general manager of the
newspaper.  He later married Otis' daughter Marion, taking
over the newspaper on his death in 1917.
Harry became a land developer and promoter.  He was
instrumental in developing
Hollywood and the San Fernando
Valley.  He lured the auto industry to the city, where it supplanted
the very efficient Red Cars, a local trolley line.  Part of Chandler's
sign advertising his development remains as a city icon.
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was built by Chandler and
others to bring the 1932 Olympics to Los Angeles.  It became
the only stadium in the world to host two Olympic games.
Children from Olvera Street serenade Harry Chandler at
Christmas.  Chandler helped Christine Sterling develop Olvera
Street to honor the city's Mexican heritage.

But that heritage wasn't always honored, Olvera Street was more
Disneyland than cultural heritage, and race relations remained a
perennial problem.
In 1921, the All-Year Club, a national advertising campaign, was
founded to promote the weather, attractions and beauty of
Southern California. Harry Chandler was its executive chairman.

Ads for Los Angeles appearing in national magazines, together
with colorful labels on the ends of wooden fruit crates, caught my
attention as a young girl in the Panhandle of Texas in the '50s.

The All-Year Club would contribute to population explosion,
overcrowding and uncontrolled urban sprawl.
Chandler brought Firestone Tires to Los Angeles and put together
a syndicate to drill for
oil to keep the cars running.  The growing
number of cars, together with industrial development and other
forms of transportation, would have an impact on the growing city
by enabling its sprawling nature, its distinctive freeway system,
and smog.
KHJ began broadcasting from the Times building in 1922,
becoming the first radio station in Los Angeles.
The historic Los Angeles Times
Building
, located at 1st and
Spring streets in downtown Los
Angeles, opened in 1935.  At the
time, it was the largest building in
the western U.S. designed and
occupied entirely as a daily
newspaper publishing operation.

An earlier building had been
destroyed by dynamite and fire in
the unrest resulting from the
ironworkers' strike of 1910.  
That further hardened Chandler's
anti-union stance.
Harry Chandler
--Building LA
(Publisher, 1917-1944)
Three generations of the Chandler family
grow the
Los Angeles Times and stamp
their very distinctive images on the city.
This issue of the website tells their story, and the story of the city
they influenced.  Articles include this account of pioneer Harry
Chandler, conservative businessman
Norman Chandler, Otis
Chandler, who changed the Times from a conservative mouthpiece
to a world-class newspaper, and a discussion of what makes a great
newspaper.

I hope you find it enlightening and enjoyable.  Write me your
comments and recollections at
b.silvey@sbcglobal.net.