Walk into Glendale’s historic past, a perfect stroll on a hot summer’s day

This is a gentle stroll, a lovely walk through Glendale’s Brand Park and some fascinating Southern California history. Except for the last little optional bit, it’s also wheelchair accessible.

1. Start this walk from the terminus of Grandview Avenue, in Glendale, where Grandview meets West Mountain Street. Park on the street and walk past the big white gates marked with the word “Miradero,” or drive past the gates and park in one of several free lots.

(Lou Spirito For The Times)

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2. There is interesting history all around. As you walk up the main boulevard, to the right is the Brand Library, whose architecture matches the Miradero gate. Just beyond is a statue honoring the American Green Cross — a 1920s memorial dedicated to preserving woods for walkers.

3. Continue along the main road. To the left is the Whispering Pine Teahouse, a painstakingly accurate reproduction of a classic Japanese tea ceremony house and garden. If you’re there Monday to Thursday between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., take a look.

4. Continue on the main road as it arcs to the right and heads for the hills. On your left, as you go, is another remarkable historic feature. Known as “The Doctor’s House,” this Victorian residence dates from 1888 and is period-correct within and without. Tours are Sunday between 2 and 4 p.m.

A walk through Brand Park in Glendale continues past a historic feature known as the Doctor's House, a Victorian residence dating from 1888.
(Christina House / Los Angeles Times)

5. The road will rise as you continue. Walk past a wide yellow gate. (This may be the farthest accessible point for wheelchairs.) At the first intersection, bear left and continue another 100 yards up the road.

6. Up a flight of unstable stairs on your right, behind a locked green gate, is a pyramid-shaped memorial to the Brand family. Here lie the remains of Leslie C. Brand, the man who built the city of Glendale into an empire, and whose dream home, Miradero, is now the library you passed earlier. Among the many sharing the pyramid are his widow, Mary Louise Brand; Nathaniel Dryden, the architect who build Glendale to Brand’s specifications; and Claire Anne Dodd, a film actress who was married to a Brand great-nephew. Also interred here are multiple family pets, historians have said.

7. A trail that begins just below the pyramid runs another mile up the canyon. Check that out if you’re interested in extending your walk. Otherwise, turn back down the road and return to your starting point.



Distance: 1 mile round trip

Difficulty: 2 on a scale of 1 to 5

Duration: 45 minutes

Details: Free parking. OK for pets on leashes and bicycles. Wheelchair accessible. Bus service via Glendale lines 7, 92.


Fleming is the author of “Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles” and “Secret Walks: A Walking Guide to the Hidden Trails of Los Angeles.” Each month, he leads a free walk at one of his favorite spots in Southern California. Find out more at his Facebook page, Secret Stairs. He is on Twitter @misterfleming


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