News Ticker


Creator of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzana Ranch Threatened with Subdivision Plans

Image courtesy Bing Maps.
There are a handful of SFV people that have had a worldwide impact over multiple decades. One of those people is Edgar Rice Burroughs (ERB) who wrote the extremely popular Tarzan series and later developed the community of Tarzana around the ranch he purchased from General Harrison Otis (founder and publisher of LA Times) in 1911. 

Today, remnants of the ranch located at 18500 Tarzana Drive (how appropriate) still exist although its been subdivided over the years including the initial subdivision by Burroughs directly north of his home. Afterwards, the ranch was subdivided again south of the home including the Caballero Country Club, 4990 Mecca Avenue in 2008 which is located west on the grounds of the main home, and the Monte Verde Estates gated community built in 2002 which is located east of the main home. The main home measures 6 Beds/7 Baths on 7,526 sqft built in 1921. 

Today, I received notice (see below), that the current owner, Toros Yeranosian, of the ERB estate is planning to subdivide the existing 163,585 sqft property into four single family home lots. There is no mention of demolishing the ERB estate but something doesnt add up here. The Zillow site states that the property at this address measures a total lot of 3.65 acres or 158,994 sqft which is less square footage than whats stated on the notice. So I dont know if this is a simple error, my calculations are wrong, the ERB estate will be demolished to make way for 4 homes, the ERB estate will remain with 5 total homes, or the subdivision also includes the ERB estate and therefore only 3 new homes will be built?

[Update August 21, 2014]: Some additional research from the site states that the actual main home of ERB was demolished in the 1930s but the Ballroom/Theatre/Garage structure has remained from its original days with a majority of the building has been altered beyond recognition. The trees on the property that run along Tarzana Drive are original from when General Harrison Otis owned it which I imagine will be removed as part of the subdivision. Also the pool east of the home is said to be the first in the SFV. ERB's office is located on Ventura Blvd not too far from here where his ashes are buried under the tree which has remained original since ERB owned it. [End Update].

So many questions and so little time as the hearing for this decision is scheduled on Tuesday August 26, 2014 at 9 AM. So this means its time to contact the folks at the LA Conservancy who can hopefully get some answers and save this property if its going to be demolished. I dont know how such a historic property has not been granted an HCM status by now. 

Going back to the owner, Yeranosian, who has owned many properties in the LA area over the years (and I believe currently lives in the Westchester estates in Woodland Hills) purchased this property for $2,850,000 on April 30, 2004. It appears that Yeranosian  might be in trouble with the property as Zillow states (see below) that its currently in a Pre-Foreclosure Auction status and a notice of sale (foreclosure auction) was issued back on March 6, 2013. So if Yeranosian plans to build 4 houses assuming $1 million cost for each plus the $3 million initial purchase price and then sell for $2 million each bringing the total cost to $7 million with total revenue of $8 million, Yeranosian may be able to profit $1 million and walk away from this mess. This is all speculation so dont quote me.

Image courtesy Zillow
To learn more about ERB and Tarzan, I highly recommend visiting, the official home of Edgar Rice Burroughs which has a wealth of data and information that I spend hours reviewing every time I visit. I also blogged about this property here.

You can view more SFV Architecture and Real Estate here

Share This:

Marty Mcfly

Anything and everything about the San Fernando Valley. This blog will take you back in time when the valley was covered with dirt and orange groves to a leader in the space race to its current status as America's suburb. Come along and join me on this adventure, I guarantee you have been influenced/impacted by the San Fernando Valley in one form or another even if you have never visited or heard of the SFV.

2 comments to ''Creator of Tarzan, Edgar Rice Burrough's Tarzana Ranch Threatened with Subdivision Plans "

  1. Replies
    1. I dont believe anything has happened so far. The last time I drove by the house it looked the same.


  • To add code Use [pre]code here[/pre]
  • To add an Image Use [img]IMAGE-URL-HERE[/img]
  • To add Youtube video just paste a video link like