The new-and-improved Brand Library in Glendale really is all that. The 5,000 square foot mansion - named Miradero when it was built in the early 1900s - has been part of the city's library system since 1925. Over the years, many of the original interior features had been covered over by cheap architectural treatments, and bookcases full of books and audiovisual materials in a rather hodgepodge layout. The Brand Library is known for its music and art collection, including books, sheet music, CDs and videos.
The renovations have made quite a difference. Drop ceilings have been removed. Original murals have been recreated. Window frames have been restored. Where the space was once dim and a bit dingy with fluorescent lighting, it's now bright and airy. The front rooms are filled with comfortable chairs and tables that I'm going to check out next time I need a quiet place to write. The floors are covered by what look like early 20th century-style rugs. Be sure to take a look at the small, framed recreation of what the original walls looked like in the front room. Library materials and the check-out desk have been moved to the back of the building, where they connect with the art galleries.
The only sad note was that the front doors to Miradero are no longer the main entrance to the building. It's worth walking around to the front for a look at those doors, the historical marker, and the palm-lined view down to Grandview Avenue. (That's where I took my newest author photo.)
Today, you enter through these modern glass doors on the side:
If you think the Jewel City is only about the Boulevard of Cars, the Americana or great Middle Eastern food (and it is all those things too), visit the Brand Library too. Just be sure to save one of those comfy chairs for me.
Lately I've been making zines. For a limited time, you can see my first zine on exhibit at the Irvine Fine Arts Center. Read more.