Greyhound Bus depot was at Brand and Colorado in 1950s and ¿60s

The Greyhound bus line, with its well-known logo of a leaping greyhound, has been around since before World War I and Greyhound buses were making regular trips from New York to California by the late 1920s, according to Wikipedia.

The Greyhound line came to Glendale in the early 1930s. Two stations were listed in the city directory in 1934, one on East Broadway and another on South Glendale Avenue, said George Ellison of Glendale Public Library’s Special Collections.

By 1952, when Lola Archer and her husband, Clifford, came to town to take over the Greyhound bus depot, the station was located at the northeast corner of Brand Boulevard and Colorado Street.

The depot shared a building with a used furniture store and Billy’s Delicatessen. The Masonic Temple was just down the street on Brand and between the bus depot and the temple was a large parking lot used for boarding.

“Cliff ran the day-to-day operations and I was a stay-at-home mom until our youngest son, Ron, was in preschool,” Archer said. “When our boys were old enough, they were engaged to load and deliver baggage to earn their spending money.”

At the time there only a few restaurants in town and Archer recalled that Billy’s was very popular.

“It was famous for pastrami sandwiches, potato salad and coleslaw, and drew diners from all over the Southern California area. Billy’s was owned by two guys; one was called ‘Big Joe,’ because he was tall, and the other was ‘Little Joe,’ because he was much shorter.”

The huge Masonic Temple building brought a variety of businesses to the corner over the years. The Sands movie theater was on the ground floor of the temple when the Archers took over the depot. Actor Michael Landon occasionally attended movies at the Sands, coming into the depot to pay the 25 cent parking fee, which was collected by the honor system.

“Not everyone was honorable,” Archer said.

Later, a disco night club called “Under the Ice House” opened in the temple’s basement. The entrance was in the alley behind the building.

“They had an antique airplane hanging from the ceiling.”

For a brief period, a small restaurant called “The Carriage House” was on the temple’s mezzanine floor.

“It was a charming little place, open only on weekends and served fondue, which was popular at the time,” Archer said.

The café served bread from a bakery in Newport Beach and had a wine cellar converted from an inoperable elevator.

When all their children were in school full time, Archer started learning the travel business and by 1956 was concentrating on the airline side of the agency.

In the mid-1960s, the couple received a notice to vacate the building. After nearly a year of looking for another location, they realized they couldn’t find one to accommodate both the bus depot and their growing travel agency, so the agency moved into a small office in the temple in 1966.

“Our lease was signed by Roy Fitzgerald — Rock Hudson — obviously a tax write-off for him,” Archer said.

Meanwhile, the depot moved around the corner on Colorado until a new place was completed on San Fernando Road. The Archers gave up the bus depot in 1966 to focus on the travel business.

The old depot building was demolished and replaced by a service station that later closed and was torn down, leaving a vacant lot.

“It is used as a Christmas tree lot during the holidays,” Archer said.

In 1979, Archer Travel moved into an office in the new Verdugo Club on Glenoaks Boulevard, eventually taking over most of the ground floor. Cliff Archer passed away in 2002 and Archer Travel Service, now in Montrose, is operated by sons Steve and Ron Archer.

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To the Readers:

Save the date, July 8, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Burbank’s incorporation. The party will be at City Hall in downtown Burbank.

The city is named for a dentist, David Burbank, who in the late 1860s purchased the land on which the town was later established and began raising sheep. Burbank sold a right of way to the new Southern Pacific railway for one dollar. The first train arrived in 1874, leading to the city’s growth, according to the city’s official website. A group of developers purchased land from Burbank, laid out a business district at San Fernando Boulevard and Olive Avenue and subdivided the rest into residential lots and small farming plots. The tract — named for Burbank — opened in 1887. The town grew steadily and within 20 years had a bank, a newspaper (established in 1906) and a high school. Burbank had a population of 500 when it was incorporated on July 8, 1911.

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