Harry Chandler

Harry Chandler (May 17, 1864 – September 23, 1944) was an American newspaper publisher and investor who became owner of the largest real estate empire in the U.S.

Chandler visits a group of Japanese men and women. 1930.

As a real estate investor, he was a partner in syndicates that owned and developed much of the San Fernando Valley, as well as the Hollywood Hills (Hollywoodland). The Hollywoodland sign was used to promote the development. Chandler’s other real estate projects included Mulholland Drive, much of Dana Point, the Tejon Ranch (281,000 acres in Southern California), the Vermejo Park Ranch (340,000 acres in New Mexico), and the C&M ranch (832,000 acres in northern Baja, Mexico). At one point these investments made him the largest private landowner in the U.S., while at the same time, he was an officer or director in thirty-five California corporations, including oil, shipping, and banking.

Bailando en Olvera Street. 1941.

As a community builder and large-scale real estate speculator, Chandler was directly involved with: the Los Angeles Coliseum (and bringing the 1932 Summer Olympics to L.A.), the Biltmore Hotel, the Douglas Aircraft Company, the Hollywood Bowl, The Ambassador Hotel, CalTech, AAA of Southern California, KHJ radio station, Trans World Airlines, the San Pedro Harbor, the Los Angeles Athletic Club, the California Club, The Pacific Electric Cars, the Los Angeles Art Association, the Santa Anita Park racetrack, the Los Angeles Steamship Company, the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park, and the restoration of downtown’s Olvera Street and Chinatown.

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