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Know Your Historical Whales: The Chandlers Who Made LA

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Los Angeles is too new a city to have much in the way of family dynasties. But we do have the Chandlers. Patriarch Harrison Gray Otis was a Civil War veteran who came to LA and took over a local paper, the LA Times, and over the next century, the family exerted an enormous amount of power of the city and its landscape. A lot of Los Angeles would look very different if it weren't for the Chandlers (unrelated but also important: Raymond Chandler). Here's a brief guide:

Harrison Gray Otis: Otis named himself president of the LA Times in 1886 and used his money, friends, and the paper to become a driving force in the city's development. He successfully campaigned to have the Port of LA built in San Pedro instead of Santa Monica, fought the unions, and invested in land in the Valley before throwing his weight behind the proposed California Aqueduct. He bequeathed his family home on Wilshire near Macarthur Park to the city for use "in the advancement of the arts" and it was, until 1997, the home of the Otis Art Institute. Now it's an elementary school.

Harry Chandler: Chandler picked up where his father-in-law Otis left off. He took over the reins at the Times and became a major booster of LA--he founded the All Year Club that marketed LA as a summer destination, not just a winter one, and sparked a population boom in the 1920s. Its slogan in 1929: "Warning! Come to California for a glorious vacation. Advise anyone not to come seeking employment." Chandler was behind a string of projects that were essential to the city over the years, including the LA Memorial Coliseum, the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics, the Biltmore Hotel, the Hollywood Bowl, The Ambassador Hotel, Caltech, the Santa Anita Park racetrack, and the restoration of downtown's Olvera Street and Chinatown.

Dorothy Chandler: Dorothy once claimed that father-in-law Harry told her "You're more like me than any of my own daughters." But whereas Harry did a little bit of everything, Dorothy focused on the arts: she helped save the Hollywood Bowl from financial ruin, and from that success turned to fundraising for an indoor concert venue which later became the Music Center, including (you guessed it!) the Dorothy Chandler Pavillion.

Norman Chandler: Dorothy's husband inherited the family business from his father, but stuck to the newspaper business instead of running off and building things. Their son Otis took over the Times.
· Whale Week 2013 [Curbed LA]