High in the foothills overlooking Glendale, with a design inspired by the East Indian Pavilion of the 1893 Chicago World Columbian Exposition, “El Miradoro” was completed as a home for railroader Leslie C. Brand in 1904. (Since you’re at the library anyway, chick out The Devil in the While City by Erik Larson, an excellent nonfiction telling of the Chicago Exposition and the nefarious goings-on of a serial murderer stalking the city at the same time. But we digress.)
Brand donated the house and grounds to the city with the provision that when it was no longer the residence of his widow, it would become a library and park. And so it is, with the addition of an art gallery and recital hall in 1969. An art and music focused library directed at adult usage, Brand houses books, periodicals, videos, CDs, slides and prints. (There’s no book drop, so return materials during library hours.) This specialized library also maintains a collection of framed prints, which may be borrowed for 56 days. The art gallery features four shows for California artists each year, and the recital hall is used for music and art events.
Don’t forget to ask a librarian about the ghost, thought to be the redoubtable Mr. Brand, who died here in 1925 and is perceived by those who have felt his presence to be of the benevolent and protective order of spirits.
Brand Library & Art Center
1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale