The year was 2007, I had just bought my first home in gentrifying Highland Park, while toiling away into the wee morning hours building Creative Housing Group Inc with my husband. In the next town over, and short drive along Colorado Boulevard, we would soon have our very first resident, a relocating studio HR Executive, who decided after looking at homes, that the newly built Americana at Brand was the place she wanted to be.

So off we went to source furniture to adorn the newly leased top floor 2 bedroom in the elegant Marc building for our first resident, with its multiple balconies overlooking the entire campus. Pat was our beloved “queen bee” of campus for several years, reluctant to leave when her assignment ended.

Perhaps a reverberation of the “Father of Glendale,” Leslie C Brand’s megaphone effort that once put Glendale on the map a century ago, the 2008 arrival of Caruso’s super-regional shopping campus Americana at Brand spurred on a new century of inspiration, revitalization, private investment and development- its trolley, likewise reminiscent of the Red Cars that once traversed the main drag of Brand boulevard.

And just like developer Rick Caruso’s earlier born sister known as “The Grove,” the Americana quickly became its own icon magnet to neighboring cities, offering the same park- like campus and shoppers paradise in the heart of Glendale’s famous Brand Boulevard. Yet unlike the Grove, the Americana’s luxury residences directly atop the dancing fountain and park like grounds, enjoy ultimate proximity to cutting edge shops and restaurants, just an elevator ride away.

Since our first resident Pat, the Americana has maintained its core position, draw and exciting year-round offerings amidst a plethora of new neighboring apartment high rises, whose residents also frequent the campus. Now an exclusive provider, we now offer the best locations on campus, accommodating local families as well as clients from all over the world, who visit most frequently in the summer season, taking their children to theme parks, summer camps, studios and other local attractions!

Let’s explore the neighborhood, including its origins….

Glendale resides on the Eastern edge of the San Fernando Valley and Griffith Park nestled between Pasadena and Burbank and adjacent to hip LA neighborhoods of Eagle Rock and Highland Park and Atwater Village, a stone’s throw to Silverlake or Los Feliz and roughly 8 miles to downtown Los Angeles. Considered a “suburb” in the valley, it offers picturesque views of the surrounding San Gabriel Mountains as well as energized and growing business district.

History of Glendale

Prior to European contact and first recorded plat map in 1887 of the official town of Glendale, the 4,000 square mile area known as the San Gabriel Mountains and Los Angeles Basin were inhabited by the Native American Tongva people, later renamed the Gabrielenos by the Spanish, who arrived and built the Mission San Gabriel Arcangel in 1771 and the Mission San Fernando in 1797, followed by a procession of land grants to gain control throughout Alta California, as outlined by local RE Agent, Greg Colley.

One of the recipients of these land grants, the Verdugo family received 34,403- acres of land located north of Pueblo Los Angeles in 1784 from the first Spanish Governor of California. A private in the first Spanish fort in Alta California who rose to corporal, Jose Maria Verdugo named this land “La Zanja” (meaning trench in English).

 

By 1817, Don Jose Maria was producing vegetables and fruit, including wine grapes on Rancho San Rafael and had amassed 1,900 cattle, 670 horses and 70 mules, before falling ill. In 1831, Don Jose passed at the age of 80, bequeathing his land to son, Julio and daughter, Catalina, who went blind after a smallpox attack in 1863.

Soon after Mexico gained independence from Spain in 1821, it fought with the colonizing Americans over control of the California territory until the end of the Mexican American War in 1848, with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hildalgo, which granted existing property rights of Mexican citizens, including the Verdugo family’s Rancho San Rafael.

Rich in land and crop production, but short in cash, Don Julio and his family’s usual method of bartering in the day fell behind in the changing times with new arrivals who established businesses in the area, requiring payment in cash, along with property taxes.
The new method of currency exchange left the family vulnerable to this new hard money society, ultimately leading to a dissolution and partition of the land. The first recorded land sales by Julio and Catalina began in 1855 and consisted of the area known today as Atwater, followed by transfers and land sales in present day Burbank and La Canada Flintridge.

By 1870, accumulating disputes and confusion over transfers of land and boundaries of ownership between Julio and Catalina, coupled with lawyer fees and covetous 40% annual interest rate loans, led to growing suits. A resulting group of 36 defendants litigating against the Verdugos, many of whom ultimately succeeded in their claims, resulted in the most famous land case in California known as the “Great Partition of 1870.”
A year later, The Great Partition case and stipulation of land titles resulted in the 31 areas of the two ranchos being divided between 28 different persons, the more significant acreage later to pave the way for early shapers and founders of Glendale 15 years later.

Birth of a City

The earliest Anglo-American settlers to Glendale carved up what was the Julio Verdugo cattle rancho in the early 1870’s, where the completion of the transcontinental rail line to Los Angeles in 1876 attracted hordes more Anglo-American fruit farmers, businessmen and hucksters from the East, South and Midwest, triggering a tremendous land rush.

At the start of this 1883-1887 fevered buying and selling real estate, a local booster group known as the Glendale Improvement Society formed in 1883, led by Judge Erskine M Ross, B.F. Patterson, H.J. Crow and E.T. Byrum, who began to conceive of the largely agricultural area as a promising townsite on its own or at the very least, bedroom community for Los Angeles and satellite town to nearby thriving Pasadena.

Pooling its land resources, the group platted a 150-acre parcel with usual gridiron plan, with five eastwest streets numbered and the 17 north-south streets named for letters, A-O, also commissioning and giving rise to a grand hotel to accommodate prospective residents visiting town. The 3 story, wood framed and highly ornate grand Queen Anne Revival style Glendale Hotel designed by architects Newsom Brothers in 1886, once stood on parcel bounded by J Street (now known as Jackson Street), 3rd Street (now Wilson Avenue), I Street (Isabel Street) and 4th Street (Broadway), opening during the Southern California land boom of the 1880’s.

The hotel operated for about one year prior to closing in a sea of contractor debt during the burst of the real estate bubble in 1888. The ill-fated hotel subsequently sat vacant for a considerable time through the economic collapse of 1888, followed by the Panic of 1893, which resulted in a paralyzing economic downturn that lasted into the late 1890’s. The community repurposed the hotel in 1901 as the city’s first public high school for about three years prior to being purchased by L.C. Brand, who leased to the young women’s seminary known as St. Hilda’s Hall. By about 1907, the Battle Creek Sanitarium purchased the property and operated as the Glendale Sanitarium before falling to demolition in 1928, 41 years after its completion.

As both commercial and residential dwellings were being built downtown near Glendale Avenue and Third Street (now Wilson Avenue), a growing sense of pride simultaneously attracted Mr. Edgar D. Goode (as some argue, the real “Father of Glendale”) and the Glendale Improvement Association in its petitions to incorporate the town of Glendale in 1906.

The now flourishing Glendale formed its first school district and local newspaper in the early 1900’s, positioning itself as a stop on the Los Angeles railway system. The famous restaurant “Casa Verdugo,” named after the historical family, opened in 1904. Known as a “dry” town, efforts to open saloons in the town were thwarted by conservative and religious roots.

Leslie C. Brand

Missouri born Leslie C. Brand (1859- 1925) formed a real estate company in Moberly Missouri by the age of 20, where shortly after the death of his first wife in 1886, he transitioned his business and experience to fast growing Los Angeles. After opening a real estate title insurance company in 1887, the anticipated real estate boom- turned recession led Brand to sell his interest in the company in 1890, where he began to travel.

In 1891, upon meeting his second wife, Mary Louise Dean, in Galveston Texas and marrying in Monterey, Mexico, the couple returned to Los Angeles to restart the newly formed Title Guarantee and Trust Company in 1885 with partner Henry E. Huntington. Huntington, who owned the Los Angeles Railway and Pacific Electric Railway (also known as the Red Car System) and Brand formed the San Fernando Valley Land and Development Company, purchasing tracts of land west of the still-developing downtown Glendale with the intention of a location for an interurban railroad along the connecting strip of land bordered by the purchased plots.

For a sum of ten thousand dollars, Brand secured the right of way along this narrow strip of land, later known as “Brand Boulevard” for the new railroad, whereby Brand soon became the new Main street. By 1904, the Pacific Electric Glendale Line pioneered by Brand and Huntington, along with Edgar D. Goode, began to transport numbers of people previously not seen to Glendale, as well as up and down along Brand Boulevard.

Beyond Glendale’s downtown area, Brand completed a vast number of real estate transactions, creating much of Glendale’s early infrastructure, amassing over 1,000 acres of land in the city. Brand passed away in 1925, bequeathing his mansion known as “El Miradero” to the City, which now serves as the Brand Library and Art Center.

The absorption of over 60 neighboring communities since incorporation, including West Glendale, the neighboring 3,700 acre Verdugo Canyon District and Tropico to the south, all contributed to Glendale’s growth, soon becoming the fifth largest city by area and third largest by population in Los Angeles, following its incorporation in 1906. Ancillary property and sales tax and increasing utility customers contributed to Glendale’s growth, where once independent neighboring communities now enjoyed the infrastructure, utility and water benefits Glendale offered, with increasing demand for public services.

1920-30’s, America’s Fastest Growing City, Lay of the land

 

(1920s) View showing two men standing in front of an electric locomotive bearing a sign promoting the city of Glendale. The rail car is parked on the tracks and bears a banner that reads “I am on my way to Glendale, California. The Fastest Growing City in America”

Real Estate was thriving during the early 1900’s, where Glendale’s development was heavily promoted, City planning now more structured with help from Brand, public works and telephone service now available. Housing tracts began to replace vineyards and orchard, where Glendale’s own independent post office began its service in 1922. In the “teens and twenties” Brand Boulevard grew into a bustling, modern strip with conveniences, shopping, entertainment, theaters and automobile showrooms, evolving to become the city’s central “main street.”

In the “teens and twenties” Brand Boulevard grew into a bustling, modern strip with conveniences,
shopping, entertainment, theaters and automobile showrooms, evolving to become the city’s central
“main street.”

By 1920, Glendale had grown through nine annexations to over 7,000 acres and from 1920- 1930, ten annexations brought the total area to 12,294 acres. The population continued to soar, rising from 13,756 in 1920 to 62,736 in 1930, giving rise to the self-coined “Fastest Growing City in America.”

By 1923, automobiles traversed busy Brand Boulevard, the train stopping in the center street to pick up and drop off passengers. Seen in the distance, was the 1923 6-story Security-First National Bank of Los Angeles, at the NE corner of Brand and Broadway, founded in 1888 by J.F Sartori and associates, where thru a series of mergers and development, became Security -First National Bank of Los Angeles in 1931.

The Glendale Theater stands on the opposing street. And at the NW corner of Louise and Harvard streets stands the English Gothic Revival style Glendale Presbyterian Church, built in 1923.

In 1924, looking North along Brand Boulevard, once stood Monarch Auto Supply Company- that occupied the SE corner of S. Brand Blvd and E. Harvard Street on the right- hand side, today occupied by BevMo. Also serving the community at the time, Owl Drug Co, D.L. Gregg Hardware, Glendale Music and Sun Drugs. The Alexander Theatre with its original façade is seen in the distance.

Pedestrians now waiting just left of the train tracks for the Pacific Electric street- car #566, which stopped at Broadway to downtown Los Angeles. Electric streetcar tracks run north to south, with pairs of tracks veering right towards Broadway. No street traffic lights exist at the time, both pedestrians and automobiles comingle across the street.

1924 also saw the birth of the new Glendale Hospital and the Glendale Sanitarium and Hospital (now Adventist Health Glendale). In 1926, the Physicians and Surgeons Hospital (now Dignity Health) and Glendale Memorial Hospital opened.

1926, welcomed the McDaniel Motor Company building, designed by architect C. Roderick Spencer, located at 819 Brand Boulevard can be seen- its showroom with large display windows and decorative façade.

1927 saw more residents moving into the Northwest section of the city, as the new high school, Hoover High, was developed, along with the newly established Glendale Junior College District.

One of the most noteworthy developments that put Glendale on the map nationally was establishment of the Grand Central Air terminal, which in 1929, would serve as Southern California’s first transcontinental airport. Once Glendale’s largest employer, the airport would close to the public during WW11, serving as a training ground for plane mechanics and pilots through the Korean War.

By 1927, looking North on Glendale’s Brand Blvd towards the Verdugo mountains, power poles and railroad tracks lined the middle of the street and the overhang of wires canopied the once operated the street cars and streets still devoid of traffic lights, as pedestrians and automobiles cross the streets.

Many businesses may be seen on both sides of the street, the two tallest buildings at the time being the First Security National Bank (NE corner of Brand/Broadway) and Glendale Presbyterian Church at center right (NW corner of Louise and Harvard Streets).

(Ca 1931) downtown Glendale, looking South on Brand Blvd. Security-First National Bank is on the left
(originally the Security Trust and Savings Bank).

By 1931, the city adopted its first STOP/GO semaphore traffic signal. Looking down Brand Boulevard, two of the largest buildings seen were The Lexington Hotel and Hotel California. Glendale News Press occupied the white buildings.

When incorporated in 1906, Glendale consisted of only 1,486 acres. By 1920, the city grew through nine annexations to offer 7,000 acres – and from 1920 to 1930, ten annexations brought the total area to 12,294 acres. The period between 1930- 1950 established many small annexations culminating the 2,160 Whiting Woods and Verdugo Mountains annexations, bringing the city to 15,140 acres or 23.6 square miles.

Two major annexations, New York Avenue (La Crescenta area) and Upper Chevy Chase Canyon, along with several smaller annexations enlarged the City to 29.2 square miles by 1952. Since 1952, twentyseven annexations occurred, the largest of these being the 662.8- acre Inter-Valley Ranch, now known as the George Dukemejian Wilderness Park.

Glendale, 1950’s-1970’s

The 1950s witnessed significant developments including the Golden State Freeway and Glendale Freeways, along with the completion of the annexation of La Crescenta and development for the 180-acre Grand Central Industrial Park in west Glendale.

Peruvian-born architect W.A. Sarmiento designed the beloved Glendale Federal Savings Building, completed in 1959, known as the “tower of Glendale” which today serves as home to Hollywood Production Center. The renowned building located at 401 N Brand Boulevard, at the NW corner of Brand and Lexington, served as an icon of Southern California Modernism and headquarters at the time for Glendale Federal founder and president J.E. Hoeft. Described as “pure 1950’s razzle dazzle” by Los Angeles architectural historian Robert Winter, the vertical, dramatically 45 degree angled red elevator-stair tower fronting the main body rectangular ten story high rise also lifting the buildings first floor, adorning the mezzanine level in sunlight.

In 1962, Architect Maxwell A. Starkman produced a design for an addition that doubled the size of the office building in harmony with Sarmiento’s original design, where a vertical sign on its fire brick red corner tower proudly boasted its name and stature as the city’s tallest building at the time. The corner tower functioned as a fire escape and elevator tower, the main cube structure framed by concrete and glass, with aluminum framed windows, forming a grid of blue and white colors with solar powered louvers to pivot throughout the day.

1960 brought a new, 2 story structure headquarters located at Wilson Avenue and Isbel Street, for Glendale’s 160-man Police force, who were previously resided at 111 N. Howard Street.

The Glendale section of the Ventura Freeway completed in the 1960’s, where development ensued for the new Interstate 210 freeway through La Crescenta Valley, completed in the 1970’s. More residents were added with an apartment boom, where the cities allowed for ease of travel to other cities to shop, leading to a decline in retail shopping, the stores suffering along Brand Boulevard.

In 1974, the Glendale Fashion Center at Glendale Avenue and California Street featured anchor store, Robinson’s, where Desmonds is seen at center-left.

The Glendale Galleria, designed by architect Jon Jerde and developed by Glendale Associates, opened on October 14th, 1976, beginning with four anchor stores, Buffum’s, The Broadway, Ohrbachs and JC Penney, followed by an expansion Galleria 11, completed in 1983. The addition expanded a wing of the mall, adding another anchor store, Nordstroms, followed by Bloomingdales and Panda Express’s first restaurant.

The Verdugo Mountains were carved into for the new Glendale hillside developments, where in 1966 the new floating municipal services building at Glendale Avenue and East Broadway was completed.

Growth slowed in the 1970’s, prompting city leaders to form the Glendale Redevelopment Agency, completing it’s first project in 1976, the Glendale Galleria.

Additional office construction continued along Brand Boulevard during the 1970’s and 80’s, with new high- rise buildings erected towards the 134 freeway and additional hillside residential development and apartment construction and the success of the Galleria prompted a new adjacent Galleria 11 building.

Much like its early roots, Glendale has remained a pro-growth, alluring, lively cosmopolitan city, with over 40 distinct neighborhoods, a thriving business automotive, retail, office, professional and entertainment industries, complimented by nearly 50 public parks.

A steadfast commitment as one of America’s “safest cities,” Glendale’s easily accessible freeways also make Glendale a convenient place to live and work, complimented further by abundant arts and culture programs, varied architecture, rich history and picturesque scenery.

Brand Boulevard

Just outside of the Americana campus, Brand Boulevard remains a bustling mini- meca of landmarks, cafes, restaurants, retailers, with cultural establishments including the Museum of Neon Art, an electric and light-based arts museum illuminations of future, present- and past, including LA-based retired neon signs, such as the Old Hollywood Brown Derby restaurant.

Just down the street from the Museum of Neon Art is one of LA’s oldest, best known and loved bakeries, Porto’s Bakery & Café, located at 315 N Brand Boulevard, which offers amazing pastries, including guava-and-cheese refugiados, potato croquetas, media noche- as well as and sumptuous Cuban sandwiches.

Home to the country’s largest Armenian-American population, Glendale features an array of authentic Middle Eastern food, from walk in bakeries to from fine dining. Across from Porto’s bakery and adorned with Persian frescoes, scimitars and other unique antiques is Carousel Restaurant, located at 304 N Brand Boulevard, one of the best spots for authentic Armenian-Lebanese fare. Weekends features multi- course family style dining, live music and belly dancing on Friday and Saturday nights.

Known for its Persian-Armenian kebabs and just a few blocks over is another favorite establishment, Raffi’s Place.

Notable architecture along Brand Blvd

Due to the proximity of the Pacific Electric railway line that arrived in 1904, Brand Boulevard emerged as the town’s epicenter and was soon named after local tycoon and civic booster Leslie C Brand, who in the early 1900’s ran full page ads in the Los Angeles newspapers every Sunday, posing the question “Have you been to Glendale?”

Jax Bar & Grill, 339 N Brand Boulevard, serves meat ‘n’ potatoes fare, including baby back ribs and Jack Daniel’s bread pudding, where trumpeter-singer, Jack Sheldon performing on Thursday nights.

With its distinguishing Art Deco and Egyptian elements with landmark marquee tower, registered historic landmark, Alex Theater, designed by Arthur G. Lindley and Charles Selkirk, located at 216 N Brand Boulevard, began as a vaudeville and silent movie house in 1925. After falling into disrepair, the

theater was purchased by the City of Glendale in 1993 and restored to its former glory, now serving as venue for performing arts and film.

Directly across from the Americana’s Eastern edge, located at 234 South Brand Boulevard, boasts the 1929 nine-story landmark Art Deco Brand building known as The Mason building, designed by Arthur Lindley, whose firm Lindley & Selkirk designed the Alex Theater just a few blocks north of the Temple. The building was meticulously revitalized by Caruso in and today serves as Class-A, innovative 50,000 square feet of office and retail space, with five-star amenities. Decades long after the last Mason meetings, the iconic building now serves as the North Los Angeles headquarters to Fortune 300 real estate company, CBRE.

Now open along the building’s South side at 252 South Brand Boulevard, are foodie favorites Shake Shack, Eggslut and Philz Coffee.

Who ever imagined seafood in Glendale, yet just around the corner from the Americana located at 722 N Glendale Avenue has become one of the most trusted sources and finest purveyors of Seafood, Fish King, established in 1948.

The historic Seeley building, located at 1800 S Brand Boulevard, built in 1925, underwent a makeover in the 1940’s for George Seeley and his furniture company- and after remaining untouched for roughly 65

years- completed a six- year, $8 million dollar renovation in 2012, in which today the building serves as a creative compound with 41 live-work loft office units featuring original brick, polished concrete flooring and exposed wood beams. Each unit features a full kitchen, private restroom and access to Valet parking. Located where Atwater Village and Glendale intersect, steps to amazing restaurants, shops and cafes, the pet friendly, historic Art Deco/Industrial building is home to entertainment-related companies and firms serving creative clientele.

Glendale landmarks

Glendale is also famous for its treasured 11 properties listed on the National Register of Historic places, which include the Catalina Verdugo Adobe, Brand Library and Art Center, Glendale Southern Pacific Railroad Depot, Grand Central Air Terminal and previously highlighted Alex Theater.

El Miradero

“Father of Glendale,” businessman, Leslie C. Brand’s palatial Moorish style 1904 castle- like home, El Miradero, located at 1601 W Mountain Street, drew its original inspiration from the East Indian Pavilion built for the 1893 Columbian World Exposition held in Chicago, once visited by Brand.

Upon travelling to India to study the nation’s architecture, in 1902 Brand hired his brother-in-law, Nathaniel Dryden, to build the fantastical East Indian home, borrowing from Spanish traditions, prior to the Brands and their dogs settling in in 1904. Christened “the Castle” by locals, the exotic, 13 room home, with its domes and arches, coined the “the Castle,” christened by locals, quickly became the center of Glendale social life.

Upon falling ill and prior to Brand’s death in 1925, Brand bequeathed 800 acres of Miradero to the city of Glendale- further promising the 50 acres surrounding it to the city upon his wife, Mary Louise’s death, insisting the land be used exclusively for a public library and park, called “Brand Park and Library.”

In 1956, El Miradero became part of the Glendale Public Library system, undergoing several additions and renovations to both its interior and surrounding park, including a gallery, tea pavilion and recital hall in 1969 – as well as famous Doctor’s house.

Located in Brand Park, high in the foothills overlooking the San Fernando Valley, the Brand Library and Arts Center serves an ever-increasing public interest in the arts, boasting a robust art and music collection features 107,000 books and over 26,000 music CD’s, with a variety of online art and music sources- a specialized collection that would have pleased the Brands, who had six pianos at Miradero alone.

Miradero Gate, circa 1910

“Mirador” meaning “the lookout” in Spanish, the Miradero Gate, located at 1601 W Mountain Street marks the entrance to the Brand Park and Library and marks a portal of sorts to another time and place of what once was the personal residence of “Father of Glendale,” Leslie C. Brand. Just beyond the library and dusty hills, lies a small graveyard, where Brand, along with family members including Nathaniel Dryden and several adored dogs, lay in rest.

Doctors House

Originally built in 1888, the Doctor’s House was saved from demolition back in 1979 by a community activist as well as the Glendale Historical Society and was relocated from 921 E Wilson to its present location at 1601 West Mountain Street.

A significant piece of Glendale history, the home was originally owned by four physicians and later, silent-screen actress Nell Shipman, who lived in the home with her family in the early 1900’s, now appropriately resting on Brand Park and Library.

Tours of the home are offered every Sunday by docents of the Glendale Historical Society, where the home is also available for weddings or private parties. While visiting, you might consider a tour of the Japanese Garden, known as “Whispering Pine Tea House and Friendship Garden.” For those up to the challenge, you might consider continuing along the Brand Park hiking trail to the Brand Family Cemetery, marked by a pyramid- or to the radio towers at Tongva Peak.

Grand Central Air Terminal and TWA airplane

Built in 1928 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2017, the Grand Central Air Terminal served as the California’s premier airport during the 1920’s and 1930’s golden age of flight and was first major airport in the Los Angeles and first paved runway West of the Rocky Mountains at the time.

The airport served as the departure point for many famous aviators including Howard Hughes, Laura Engalls and Charles Lindbergh, the latter who made the first solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927, followed by Amelia Earhart, the first woman to make the journey, just five years later on May 20th. Earhart drove a gravel truck at Grand Central to pay for flying lessons and once worked for Transcontinental Air Transport, later known as TWA.

Due to its proximity to Hollywood, the airport was also used extensively for filming, including the likes of Shirley Temple, James Cagney and Ronald Reagan.

The airports trajectory was forever changed during WW11 and the Korean War, where the army used the airport as a defense base. Unable to regain its stature as a commercial airport, largely due to noise complaints from residents, the runway was shortened and most flights moved to LAX, the last plane taking off in 1959. To learn more, check out the documentary When Glendale Ruled the Skies.

Today the site is owned by the Disney Corporation, home to the Walt Disney Imagineering’s Creative Campus and Disney Interactive, restored to its original grandeur, with its original Art Deco control tower and waiting room.

No longer gray space, Disney’s Grand Central Creative Campus in Glendale’s once lackluster industrial corridor, has prompted high demand for additional industrial and creative office space, ultimately creating an enclave of employment in digital entertainment, production and other creative industries in west Glendale.

Red Car

In partnership with Henry Huntington, Glendale businessman Leslie C. Brand brought interurban railroad to the area in 1904 until buses ultimately replaced the Glendale line in 1955. Residents rode the Pacific Electric Red Cars to visit their Library for books and programs, where by the 1950’s, close to 750,000 books and other materials were checked out annually, requiring a full time librarian staff to answer the approximate 70,000 annual phone inquiries.

Glendale Hotel

Built in 1924 and conceived as a hotel- apartment complex located, the Beaux-Arts style building located at 701 E Broadway was designed by architects Arthur G. Lindley and Charles R. Selkirk. Considered a commercial and design failure, the building provides a reminder of unlimited optimism of 1920’s Glendale.

Glendale YMCA

Located at 140 N Louise Street, , founded in 1919 and built in 1926 via community fundraising efforts, the four- story Spanish Colonial Revival Glendale YMCA represents an example of Spanish Colonial architecture, designed with an open-air courtyard in the center with underground swimming pool, with upper rooms intended for housing. Twelve- year old Marion Morrison, better known as actor John Wayne, was one of its first members. While the large Eucalyptus that once guarded the corner by the front entrance in 1938 no longer remain, the YMCA still stands as one of the most successful establishments in Glendale.

Glendale City Hall

Built and constructed in 1940 as a federal WPA project and serving as Glendale’s City Hall since it’s official opening in 1942, the Art Deco and Beaux Arts government building located at 613 E Broadway features simple lines and symmetry to reflect the austerity of its era.

Main Post Office

Constructed during the Great Depression in 1932-34 and rumored to be the last in the region constructed of this style, the Italian Renaissance style post office, located at 313 E Broadway, features marble, tile, bronze and ornamental plaster work.

Civic Auditorium

Built in 1928 and formerly known as the Verdugo Municipal Recreation Center, the Spanish Colonial Revival and Moorish-influenced building at 1401 N Verdugo Road was designed by local architect John A. Grundfor as one of several federal WPA projects of Glendale.

Rockhaven Sanitarium Historic District

Founded in 1923 as an antidote to the prison-like atmospheres of asylums at the time, the collection of Spanish colonial cottages, located at 2713 Honolulu Avenue in La Crescenta-Montrose, once served as a feminist institution for mentally ill women. In 2015, Los Angeles Magazine identified the structure as one of LA’s most endangered species.

Ard Eevin

Ard Eevin, meaning “heavenly view” in Gaelic, the home located at 851 W Mountain Street, designed by Nathaniel Dryden and built for civic leader Dan Campbell, is one of the most architecturally distinctive homes in the US, with elements of Colonial, Craftsman and Victorian styles.

Casa Adobe De San Rafael

Built in 1871 by Tomas Sanchez, the first Sheriff of Los Angeles County, the adobe home located at 1330 Dorothy Drive was restored in 1932 as a federal Works Progress Administration (WPA) project and now serves as a museum, owned and operated by the City of Glendale.

Derby House

Built in 1926, designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright, the home located at 2535 East Chevy Chase Drive was to incorporate Mayan architectural design through use of pre-cast and knitted concrete blocks, however, appears to owe more to Islamic influence rather than to Mayan.

Schaffer House

Built in 1949 and designed by master architect John Lautner, this early Mid-century Modern house located at 527 Whiting Woods Road features pivoting wood-frame glass doors and alternating horizontal bands of glass and redwood siding. The home gained international recognition upon appearing as the home of Colin Firth in A Single Man (2009).

Verdugo Adobe

Nestled in a residential neighborhood, at the base of the Verdugo Hills at 2211 Bonita Drive, is a 1.3 acre park once home to one of the oldest buildings in the City of Glendale, also featuring the remnants of the historic “Oak of Peace” tree. The Catalina Verdugo Adobe structure, built in 1828, now registered as a California Historical Landmark, once housed the daughter and grandson of the original owner of the Rancho San Rafael. Many consider the “Oak of Peace” to be the birthplace of California, where under its canopy, terms of the Treaty of Cahuenga were negotiated, marking an end to the Mexican-American War of 1847.

Southern Pacific Depot

The Spanish Colonial Revival train station built in 1923, located at 400 West Cerritos Avenue, has been in continuous use since its opening and was restored to become the Glendale Transportation Center in 1999, serving Amtrak, Metrolink and Greyhound transit lines.

Parks, open spaces, additional points of interest

In additional to shopping and art- gazing, Glendale offers a plethora of outdoor activity, hiking trails and parks. At the Northern point of the city, stands Deukmejian Wildnerness Park offering more than 700 acres of wildflowers and trails, including the fairly easy loop on Dunsmore Canyon Trail, which offers sweeping views of the valley below.

Hiking Trails include Dunsmore Creek Trail, Le Mesnager Loop Trail, Rim of the Valley Trail, Crescenta View Trail, Vineyard Trail, Mountain Do Trail, Catalina Verdugo Trail, Verdugo Mountains Trail, San Rafael Hills Trail and Deukmejian Wilderness Park Trail. Complete trail maps can be found here.

Verdugo Park

Located at 1621 Cañada Blvd., Glendale, CA 91208, Verdugo Park features a ballfield, basketball court, children’s play area, horseshoe court, picnic areas, skate park and special facilities.

Descanso Gardens

Located at 1418 Descanso Dr, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011, Descanso Gardens is known for its 150-acre botanical collections and horiculture displays.

Forest Lawn, Museum

Founded by Dr. Hubert Eaton and nicknamed Glendale’s “Walk of Fame,” Forest Lawn is a final resting place of more Hollywood stars than any other cemetery, including Walt Disney, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable and Sammy David Jr. More than a million tourists per year stroll thru the pastoral, rolling 300-acre property. The Forest Lawn Museum, which opened in 1952, is located adjacent to the Hall of Crucifixion- Resurrection at Forest Lawn. In concert with its founders creed to remain “a place where artists study and sketch, where school teachers bring happy children to see the things they read of in books,” the museum displays a permanent collection of world-class rotating exhibits with free educational and artistic activities.

Community Services, Transportation, Schools & Demographics

Demographics

As of 2020, Glendale has a population of 204,765, making it the 23rd largest city in California and 116th largest city in the United States, currently growing at a rate of 0.84% annually with a population density of 6,720 people per square mile.

According to the most current ACS data of racial composition, Glendale residents are 73.68% White, 15.48% Asian, 5.41% Other, 3.35% Two or more races, 1.61% Black of African American, 0.36% Native American and 0.11% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander.

The median age in Glendale is 41.8, with 52.96% of its residents being female and 47.04% male. 50.2% of its residents are married.

66.81% of its residents hold either an associates, bachelors or graduate degree or at least partial college education.

32.9% of its residents are homeowners, with an average median household annual income of $62.531.

31.78% of its residents are English speaking only, whereas 68.22% of its residents speak other languages.

Community Services

Catering to the 34,318 seniors of the 165.169 adult population, the City of Glendale offers Elderly Nutrition Program Congregate Meals Program and Home Health Delivered Meals for those 60 and older, apply by calling 211.

Pacific Community Pool offers recreational swimming for families, lap swim for individuals, as well as summer swim lessons, water polo, wading pools and Junior Lifeguard program.

Day camps are active from July 6th– August 14th, 2020.

Palmer Community Garden and Equestrian Facility at Riverwalk offers tennis courts, pickleball and horseback riding.

Schools

The Glendale Unified School District is committed to helping students meet high standards with high-quality learning and teaching amidst a safe and supportive learning environment. A large number of schools in the district outperform the state counterparts by 62% and include the following top-rated public schools, measured by academic performance and equity.

Per Greatschools.org Mountain Avenue Elementary School and Valley View Elementary both score 10/10, with Abraham Lincoln Elementary, Horace Mann Elementary and Monte Vista Elementary scoring 9/10. Rosemont Middle School scores a 9/10, with Anderson W. Clark Magnet High School scoring a 10/10 and Crescenta Valley High School scoring 9/10.

Glendale Community College is one of California’s largest two-year colleges, maintaining a state-wide reputation for excellence, superb faculty and comprehensive range of programs, including study abroad, for a variety of interest and pursuits.

Transportation

With so much to see and do within its city limits, Glendale also offers close- proximity to everything else Los Angeles offers, by either surface streets or highway. Colorado Boulevard connects to hip and artsy Eagle Rock or Highland Park- as well as over the famous Colorado Bridge to Pasadena. A short drive South along the 2 highway leads to Silverlake. A short drive along Los Feliz Blvd leads through to hip Atwater Village, Los Feliz to Hollywood. Major highway access of 210, 2, 134 and 5 freeways, 10 miles to downtown and minutes from Burbank.

Public transportation includes the Beeline, with nine fixed routes serving the cities of Glendale and La Canada Flintridge and the unincorporated areas of La Crescenta and Montrose, also complimenting the regional transit service to greater LA Metro routes.

Public Safety

Glendale consistently ranks in the FBI Crime Statistics as one of the ten safest cities in the country, with the fourth-lowest crime rate of any city with a population of at least 100,000 and ninth lowest nationwide. Glendale made the Safewise list as “50 safest cities to raise a child in 2019.”

Fire Dept

421 Oak Street Glendale CA 91204. 818.548.4814

Police Dept

131 N Isabel Street Glendale CA 91206. 818.548.4840

Now that we’ve taken a 360 around the neighborhood, let’s come to the Americana campus….

On Campus

Without a doubt the Americana at Brand with its 15.5- acre shopping complex with 82 retail stores, 242 luxury rental units, 18-screen multiplex and new summer series level 8 rooftop drive in movie and 2 acre public park, brought an infusion of excitement and development in the City of Glendale along its famous boulevard- far beyond its known for cluster of dealerships to the South.

Dining
A true foodie destination, the Americana offers everything from fast-casual to fine dining, with an array of cuisines to choose from, including a cozy wine bar with Italian tapas to dine al fresco while watching the dancing fountain. Whether simply enjoying a picnic on the green or partaking in world-famous steamed dumplings at Din Thai Fung, there are options for very palate.

Shopping

With over 80 retailers on campus, including stylish boutiques and popular global brands, the Americana is one of L.A.’s favorite shopping destinations, offering the latest fashions, accessories, beauty, home goods and more- as well as accessibility to additional shopping at the Galleria.

 Events

From outdoor concerts to in store style and beauty events, cultural and holiday celebrations or food festivals, the Americana comes alive each week with new events and entertainment, drawing families from neighboring communities to relax on the green, enjoying the water shows and Holiday festivities that include the Easter Bunny house to the famous Christmas tree lighting ceremony and photos with Santa. A sea of lights and falling snow are sure to dazzle and delight.

 Visit

Americana remains a 365- day community gathering, celebration and place to relax for families in neighborhoods nearby, who often bring their children to play on the green, enjoy outdoor concerts or events- as well as to dine or ride the campus trolley.

 Trolley

Step aboard and circle the campus on the red car reminiscent, open style, electric- powered trolley with its distinguished bell, cheery-wood ceilings, floors and seats and beautiful stained- glass windowpanes. Pick up locations are located on Americana Way (near Madewell) and Caruso Avenue (near TUMI). Sure to delight the youngsters as well as adults of all ages, a wheelchair passenger lift is also offered at the rear of the engine.

 Fountain

The Americana’s iconic water fountain roots the campus at its center, drawing onlookers, who gather around in awe and cheer at the dancing fountains. Built by WET design, the same company who built the fountains at the Bellagio in Vegas, enjoy a water spectacular on the hour, set to music legends such as Louis Armstrong, Judy Garland, Andrea Bocelli as well as festive medleys during the Holidays.

 

Kids Club

Favorite entertainers have gone virtual with @AmericanaBrand Kids Club Series, featuring kid-friendly performances on Instagram. Follow along every Tuesday at 10AM in song, dance and play!

Concierge, Valet, Car Wash

Visitors to the campus can self- park in the retail garage located off of Americana Way- or may opt for the white gloved, convenient valet, located along Caruso Ave. Stop by the Americana concierge, located on the lobby directly below the Eiffel tower or have your car washed while you shop.

Amazon Locker!

Residents now enjoy a self-service package delivery service offered by Amazon! Customers can select any Locker location as their delivery address and retrieve their orders at that location by entering a unique pick-up code on the Locker touch screen. The lockers are stationed on the 5th floor of the General Parking structure by The Americana at Brand escalators and easy to use through individual Amazon accounts.

Directory

In closing

Once unhip Glendale transformed itself from low key suburban community to thriving regional destination, now enjoying mentions of its restaurants and amenities in lifestyle press.

Embracing its historical and cultural landmarks, the city recently approved renovations to the Alex Theater, with plans to construct a new pedestrian paseo to connect and integrate the pathway between shopping areas, civic centers, arts and cultural venues- further connecting the Americana campus to its pedestrian friendly surroundings.

In response to thriving retail, the city’s approval of more than 3,000 housing units brought a plethora of luxury apartments in the downtown area- still, none are as unique and contained as the well- oiled park like campus of the Americana, drawing in residents from these newer communities to its amenities. While the Americana welcomes visitors from local and abroad to its park like grounds, there is nothing like being an insider! Come and stay on campus and experience the draw that will bring you back each year! www.creativehousinggroup.com.

Resources

Americana at Brand Homepage

https://glendalehistorical.org/landmarks

https://glendalehistorical.org/museum-tours

https://www.kcet.org/history-society/brand-park-and-the-gates-of-miradero-the-strange-life-of-glendales-first-family

https://waterandpower.org/museum/Early_Views_of_Glendale_2_of_2.html

https://www.visitcalifornia.com/experience/glendale

https://glendalehistorical.org/landmarks

www.brandlibrary.org

https://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/library-arts-culture

https://www.kcet.org/history-society/brand-park-and-the-gates-of-miradero-the-strange-life-of-glendales-first-family

Glendale Ranks High in Safest Cities to Raise a Child

Glendale History

https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/glendale-ca-population/

Museum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_Central_Airport_(California)

http://pcad.lib.washington.edu/building/20546/

https://www.westerncity.com/article/glendales-economic-development-programs-revamp-its-image

https://www.latimes.com/socal/glendale-news-press/community/tn-gnp-0919-historic-seeleys-building-in-south-glendale-enters-a-new-era-after-major-renovation-story.html

http://digitallibrary.usc.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p15799coll65/id/5720

Grand Central Air Terminal Tour

Glendale’s Brand Boulevard

https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=landmarks&find_loc=Glendale%2C+CA

https://www.myglendalecitynews.org/latest-news