Guide Tour of Glendale, Los Angeles, California, United States

Glendale is a city in the Verdugo Mountains region of Los Angeles County, California. Glendale is the fourth largest city in Los Angeles County and is surrounded by Southern California’s leading commercial districts. Glendale is known for its central location, reputation for safety, excellent business environment, outstanding schools, state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, and growing restaurant and entertainment options.

Located about 10 miles (16 km) north of downtown Los Angeles, the City of Glendale has obvious advantages in traffic, at the center of four major freeways. Glendale is just minutes away from downtown Los Angeles, Pasadena, Burbank, Hollywood, and Universal City. As one of its core functions, Glendale provides well-maintained streets and a variety of transportation services.

Laid out in 1887, the site was part of Rancho San Rafael, a Spanish land grant established in 1784. By connecting Glendale to Los Angeles in 1904, the Pacific Electric Railroad spurred residential growth. The city’s economy is now dominated by the retail, service, and financial sectors, and it has a small manufacturing component. The film industry is also economically important.

With a growing business district and picturesque views of the surrounding mountains, Glendale and its city centre are worth exploring. This Los Angeles County city has its very own ‘Walk of Fame’. Glendale is perhaps best known for its Brand Boulevard, a famous stretch of road packed with a variety of retailers. Here, there’s The Americana at Brand, a large outdoor shopping complex brought to the city by the same developer as LA’s famous The Grove.

Casa Adobe de San Rafael built for the first sheriff of Los Angeles county, is now a museum. Brand Library, built as a private home named El Miradero by Leslie C. Brand, is another of the city’s many historic buildings. A community college was established in the city in 1927. Brand Boulevard is a bustling mini-mecca of cafés, shops and culture, including the Museum of Neon Art, a visually stimulating collection of some of the most famous LA-based neon signs, including that of an Old Hollywood staple, the Brown Derby Restaurant.

Along the street, there’s a branch of one of greater Los Angeles’s favourite bakeries, Porto’s Bakery & Cafe—which offers delicious Cuban sandwiches and endless mouthwatering pastries (must-try menu items include the cheese rolls and potato balls). As Glendale is home to one of the country’s largest Armenian-American populations there is no shortage of amazing Middle Eastern food here, from fine dining to pop-in bakeries.

Among Glendale’s other attractions is Forest Lawn Memorial Park, a cemetery noted for its elaborate statuary (including reproductions of famous shrines and works of art). Nicknamed Glendale’s ‘Walk of Fame’. Forest Lawn is the final resting place of more Hollywood stars than any other cemetery—including Walt Disney, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, Clark Gable and Sammy Davis Jr. More than a million tourists a year stroll through the lush, rolling 300-acre space.

Deukmejian Wilderness Park, sits at the northern point of the city and offers more than 700 acres of wildflowers and paths—including the pretty easy circular walk on Dunsmore Canyon Trail, which offers sweeping views of the valley below.

The City of Glendale provide easy access for residents, workers, and customers from around the region. Glendale also offers its own bus services, the Beeline, with 13 routes connecting customers to Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the City of Burbank, and the Metrolink Stations in both Burbank and Glendale.

The Bob Hope Airport in Burbank serves the Los Angeles area including Glendale, Pasadena and the San Fernando Valley. It is the only airport in the greater Los Angeles area with a direct rail connection to downtown Los Angeles. The City of Glendale is located about 30 minutes from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). LAX is a commerce leader and designated as a world-class airport for its convenient location, modern facilities, and superior sea/air/land connections.

Glendale is also one of Southern California’s leading office markets featuring a wide range of properties and amenities. The City has over six million square feet of office space and is home to such recognized firms as Walt Disney Imagineering, ServiceTitan, IHOP / Applebee’s, DreamWorks, LegalZoom, and Public Storage.

Glendale prides itself on the quality of services it provides to the community. It is a full-service City, which includes a water and electrical department. The City operates its own power plant capable of serving the electrical needs of the entire city, although the majority of power is currently imported from other areas for cost savings. Water comes primarily from the Metropolitan Water District, along with a small portion from local wells.

Several large companies have offices in Glendale including the U.S. headquarters of International House of Pancakes. The Los Angeles regional office of California’s State Compensation Insurance Fund is in Glendale. Americas United Bank was founded in Glendale in 2006 and is still headquartered there. In August 2013, Avery Dennison Corp., a label maker for major brands, announced plans to move its headquarters from Pasadena to Glendale. Avery employs about 26,000 people. The U.S. headquarters of the Swiss foods multinational Nestlé plans to move out by 2018.

Glendale, along with Burbank, has served as a major production center for the U.S. entertainment industry and the U.S. animation industry in particular for several decades, because the Walt Disney Company outgrew its Burbank studio lot in the early 1960s, and started expanding into the closest business park available, which happened to be Glendale’s Grand Central Business Centre about two miles east. First came the headquarters for Imagineering, followed in the 1980s by other divisions and offices.

Today, Disney’s Grand Central Creative Campus (known as GC3 for short) is home to Consumer Products, Disney Interactive, the Muppets Studio, and Marvel Animation Studios. From 1985 to 1995, Walt Disney Animation Studios (then known as Walt Disney Feature Animation) was headquartered in the Grand Central Business Centre, meaning that most of the films of the Disney Renaissance era were actually developed in Glendale.

In 1994, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen formed DreamWorks SKG, a diversified entertainment company. DreamWorks Animation remains located in the city’s Grand Central Business Centre on land formerly occupied by a helicopter landing base next to the old airfield (and next to KABC-TV). Thus, many American animators who worked on feature films in the 1990s and 2000s have spent large portions of their careers in Glendale working for Disney or DreamWorks.

In 2005, construction began near the Galleria of developer Rick Caruso’s “Americana at Brand”, a 15.5-acre (63,000 m2) outdoor shopping and residential community. Caruso had previously designed and built the Grove at Farmers Market. The new Glendale development was opened to the public on May 2, 2008, and features 75 shops and restaurants, 238 apartments, 100 condominiums, and a Pacific Theatres 18-plex Cinema which seats 3000 people.

Glendale’s economic development programming is designed to promote an “18-Hour City” that is business-friendly and also provides a vibrant environment for people to live, work and be entertained. An 18-hour city generates financial success for the City’s businesses which provides jobs for its residents, and in turn, funds City services for its residents. Economic Development focuses its outreach on interesting operators that appeal to Glendale’s worker population and expand the day in Glendale from breakfast time until late at night.

Grand Central Airport was a municipal airport developed from 1923 which became the largest employer in Glendale for many years, and contributed to the development of aviation in the United States in many important ways. The main terminal building still stands and includes both Art Deco and Spanish-style architectural elements. The facility was the first official terminal for the Los Angeles area, as well as the departure point for the first commercial west-to-east transcontinental flight flown by Charles Lindbergh. During World War II, the Grand Central Air Terminal building was camouflaged to protect it from enemy targeting. It was closed down in 1959, and made way for the Grand Central Business Centre, an industrial park.

Forest Lawn Memorial Park started in Tropico (later annexed to Glendale) in 1906 and is famous for its art collection and the burial of many celebrities, as well as for the 1933 opening of the first funeral home on cemetery grounds anywhere in the United States. The Bob’s Big Boy chain of hamburger restaurants started in Glendale on East Colorado in August 1936, and the Baskin-Robbins “31 Flavors” chain of ice cream parlors started in Adams Square in 1945. The Glendale Public Library on Harvard Street houses its “Special Collections” department which contains original documents and records on much of the history of Glendale. It also contains one of the largest collections of books on cats in the world, over 20,000 volumes. It was donated to the library in the 1950s by the Jewel City Cat Fanciers Club.

The city experienced significant development in the 1970s, with the completion of the Glendale Freeway (Highway 2) and the Ventura Freeway (Highway 134). This included redevelopment of Brand Boulevard, renovation of the 1925 Alex Theatre, and construction of the Glendale Galleria shopping mall which opened in 1976, and was further expanded in 1982.

Brand Library & Art Center
Brand Library & Art Center sponsors many events that are free and open to the public, including art exhibitions, concerts, art and music lectures, dance events, and films.

Museum of Neon Art (MONA),
A museum devoted exclusively to art in electric media. The collection includes electric and kinetic fine art and outstanding examples of historic neon signs. The museum also arranges neon cruises (neon-themed tours around the Los Angeles area) and neon classes.

Craft Beer Brewery Attraction
Craft breweries are expanding in Southern California like never before. Glendale would like to formally welcome craft beer to the Glendale area. With one brewery already located in Glendale’s industrial area and thriving, there is opportunity for growth and clustering in the San Fernando Corridor.

The downtown Glendale Galleria is anchored by Macy’s, Target, J. C. Penney, and Bloomingdales, and the Americana at Brand, an outdoor mall which includes stores such as Tiffany & Co., H&M, Armani Exchange, True Religion, and Urban Outfitters. The Americana at Brand is home to a Nordstrom, which was previously located inside the Glendale Galleria. Another shopping area is the Glendale Fashion Center, which is anchored by Ross, TJ Maxx, Nordstrom Rack, Staples, and Petco.

Parks and recreation
The city has nearly 50 public parks, from Deukmejian Wilderness Park in the north to Cerritos Park in the south. Central Park has the only West Coast monument to Korean comfort women of World War II.

Forest Lawn Memorial Park
Forest Lawn-Glendale is both a cemetery and a tourist destination. It contains the world’s largest collection of final resting places of Hollywood stars and other celebrities, many of which are accessible to the public. Visiting these sites in not encouraged, however, and they can be difficult to locate within the park’s more than 300 acres.

Forest Lawn-Glendale also has many other attractions that make it worth seeing. Among these are its art museum, its collection of approximately 1,500 statues, including reproductions of all of Michelangelo’s works, a reproduction of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” in stained glass, and a mosaic of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. There are also multiple chapels that are exact replicas of famous European churches.