In 1920, the Community Park and Arts Association was founded by the late Frederick Woodward Blanchard, and he served as its President from 1920-1923. This organization later became the Hollywood Bowl Association, of which he served as member of the Board of Directors, until resigning on account of ill health. The project was especially cherished by him, and he devoted himself untiringly to it. During the first five seasons of the Bowl, he was present at every performance but one. The following lines were approved by the Hollywood Bowl Association on September 11, 1926: “Mrs. Artie Mason Carter and F.W. Blanchard deserve praise above all others for the success of the summer symphony concerts, and for popularizing this form of outdoor music in Southern California.”
Soon after his arrival in Southern California, Mr. Blanchard organized the Fitzgerald and Blanchard Music Company in Los Angeles, which soon gained recognition as the leading music firm, a position which it retained during the later years through its progressive and up-to-date policies. Mr. Blanchard erected Blanchard Hall, the first structure west of Chicago devoted primarily to music and art, and it was during his leadership in Blanchard Hall, and his presidency of the Gamut Club, that many celebrities of international repute were brought to Los Angeles. This structure, planned by Mr. Blanchard and erected by the late Harris Newmark, contained 240 studios, and the former acted as its manager for twenty years. Here were taught and trained hundreds of musicians at a period when Los Angeles was gaining its first reputation as a potential art center and the first decade of opera had barely passed. Many a struggling musician was eased of the burden of rent by the generosity of the manager.
For eleven years up to the time of his death, on September 21, 1928, Mr. Blanchard served as president of the Municipal Art Commission, which he organized in 1906, and first served as secretary. He it was who originated the movement for an exhibit in the city hall, and in the beginning secured a small collection of paintings. The plan was to replace these from time to time with others, all of which were to be the work of local artists. His influence in the musical life of the city was large, for he founded the well known Brahms Quintet, and was president of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra Association. He was deeply interested in the development of a civic center worthy of Los Angeles, as well as an advocate of a union railroad station on the Plaza site, as president of the Central Development Association. He took a leading part in planning the new city hall, and devoted much time and study to the inscriptions, being a member of that commission. Mr. Blanchard served as county chairman of the first good roads commission, and was chairman of the group of citizens who planned the first ornamental lighting system on Broadway. Mr. Blanchard served as a member of the City Planning Commission, was chairman of the Police and Firemen’s Relief Fund, chairman of the first Community Chest, and head of the Architectural Board for the new Windsor Square. He was identified with the development of Hollywoodland as a high class residential section, also of Arrowhead and Dana Point. At the time of King Albert’s visit to Los Angeles, Mr. Blanchard was chairman of the reception committee. He was a member of the California, the City, the Gamut (of which he was one of the organizers), the Los Angeles Country (a charter member), the California Yacht, the Catalina Yacht, and the Newport Yacht Clubs.
He was born in West Millbury, Worcester County, Massachusetts, on August 25, 1864, a son of John and Harriett (Putnam) Blanchard, both natives of the Bay state, where the father was for many years a prominent factor in the business life of that community as the owner of a shirt factory in West Millbury. Frederick W. Blanchard supplemented his public schooling by a course in the Boston Latin School, Boston, Massachusetts. At the age of sixteen years, he went abroad and toured the various countries of Europe, and upon his return to the United States went to Denver, Colorado, in 1882. There he obtained employment in a music store, a business for which he had a natural aptitude. In 1883, he opened a store in partnership with a Mr. Clark, under the name of Clark and Blanchard, and continued business under that name until he sold his interests to come to Los Angeles, in 1889.
Mr. Blanchard was twice married. His first wife was Marian Tucker, by whom a son, Dudley Tucker Blanchard, was born. His second wife, whom he married in Los Angeles on June 18, 1902, was Grace Hampton. She was a native of New York, and a daughter of Ellis C. and Minerva (Baker) Hampton, both of whom were born in New York state. The mother passed away when her daughter was but three years of age.
Mr. Blanchard was a progressive, virile, and public spirited citizen, thoroughly in harmony with the spirit of the age in which he lived. His keen business instincts and mature judgment in practical matters yielded individual success fully commensurate with his efforts. He never permitted the accumulation of money to affect his attitude towards those less fortunate, but was always kindly, considerate, and generous to all whom he contacted. His career was fraught with inestimable blessings to the community, and no resident of the city held a more exalted place in public confidence and respect than did he.