As the Americana at Brand prepares to open its doors to the public just a block west of the Glendale Central Library, it seems fitting to take a look back at the neighborhood where the Americana will reside. This photograph (courtesy of the Special Collections Room of the Glendale Public Library) shows Brand Boulevard looking north, dating from around 1936. Harvard Street, which will act as the eastern entrance into the Americana, crosses Brand Boulevard here behind the Western Auto Supply Co. sign on the left and in front of the Famous Department Store building on the right.
Other notable businesses in this image that operated in the area now covered by the Americana include a Pep Boys Auto Supplies store and the Capital Theatre. The tall building in the top center of the photograph is the Bank of America Building, which would be torn down in 1982 to make room for the Galleria II project.
The Special Collections Room in the Central Library contains thousands of photographs, news clippings, books, maps, and other materials that cover the history of Glendale, neighboring cities, and California in general. The collection is particularly useful for local history and genealogy research projects. Special Collections also houses the Cat Collection, one of the largest collections of feline-related materials in the world.
The Special Collections Room is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m and 1 to 3 p.m., Saturdays from 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and by appointment. Please call (818) 548-2037 for additional information.