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The Story Behind Brand Library and Arts Center

Los Angeles is filled with charming historic buildings that transport you to a different era just by stepping through the front door. Many historic homes throughout LA have been donated to ensure open spaces and parks are available for future generations. The City of Glendale has been around since the early 1900s and is home to many beautiful parks, but one in particular has a story linked to the modernization of the City.

Glendale’s Brand Library and Art Center was originally the home of Leslie Coombs Brand, often referred to as the father of Glendale, for his role in developing the City in the early 1900s. In 1904, Brand built the mansion and named it El Miradero, a nod to the Spanish reference to a high place overlooking an extensive view. The El Miradero was a 5,000 square foot mansion with a striking Saracenic inspired exterior with minarets and repeating scalloped arches and a contrasting late-Victorian style interior. Brand died in the house in 1925 and donated El Miradero to the city. Mrs. Brand lived in the house until her death in 1945.

The will provided that the property be used exclusively for a public park and library. By 1956 the mansion had been converted into Brand Library. Years later, in response to the need for more arts space, the City Council allocated funds to construct an addition to Brand Library that would include facilities for art exhibitions, lectures and concerts, as well as art and craft studios. The new addition was dedicated in October 1969.

Today, Brand Library thrives as a culture and art center in the City of Glendale. It houses books, art, the beautiful Japanese garden, and the surrounding space is perfect for lounging, grilling and playing sports. The Brand Library and Art Center was recently featured in LA Magazine’s List of 10 Historic Places to Visit on a Sunny Day.


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