Saturday, November 15, 2008

Glendale, 1905: A Survivor

While reading an old copy of the Glendale Architectural And Historical Survey Self-Guided Tour (1983) this week I came across this intriguing description:
108 N. Brand Blvd. (1905)
Although unprepossessing in its current appearance, this two story building is the most historic on Brand Boulevard. It is the oldest structure on the street, and the first brick building in the city. Commissioned by Leslie C. Brand, it housed the First National Bank (until 1918) on the lower story and a large meeting room, used by the Masons, on the upper story.
108 N. Brand is a building I walk by every day. It is now occupied by Sansai Japanese Grill and a law firm.
Here it is today.

Here it is in 1906. Things were a bit different then! Interurban rail started operating on Brand Boulevard in 1904. The First National Bank building (now Sansai) was built in 1905. A Pacific Electric rail depot was built at the NE corner of Brand & Broadway in 1906.

Here is a similar perspective today.

Inside the bank in 1909.

First National Bank (with the Pacific Electric train depot in foreground) in 1909. Note how much more developed Brand is in this shot compared to the 1906 photo above.

The Security Trust and Savings Bank (1923) was built on the former site of the rail depot and now looms over the humble First National/Sansai building. From the guide:
100 N. Brand Blvd (1923)
The first six story building in Glendale, the Security Trust and Savings Bank was erected on the site of the Pacific Electric depot in 1923. Its Renaissance Revival design by Alfred Priest has been altered; however some original features, including the frieze and the office entrance on Brand, can still be seen.

108 N. Brand. Next time you walk past, take a moment to reflect on the changes this building has seen since 1905.

Vintage photographs were scanned from Glendale: A Pictorial History (PDF) and were originally courtesy of the Special Collections Room of the Glendale Public Library.


Mike said...

great post!

Phyllis Harb said...

Great photos! The building looks awfully good for its age (apparently quality, built to last)

smac said...

Daniel Campbell, was the managing director of this bank for Leslie Brand. Dan later built/owned 2 more banks, one in Tropico.
The Bank of Tropico was on San Fernando and Brand- So Eastern corner. He also built a hotel there. Both were designed by Alfred Priest. The last remnant of the development is now the Harley Davidson building. I have the original Priest plans for this block at my home.

Carol Fritsch said...

That's really cool that you have his original plans! He was my dad's cousin. I found out about his work and met his 94 year old daughter just recently.