“Have you been to Glendale?” This was the question posed in full-page advertisements that ran every Sunday in Los Angeles newspapers during the early 1900s. The man who placed these ads was civic booster and real-estate tycoon Leslie C. Brand, often referred to as “The Father of Glendale.” Born in St. Louis, Brand moved to the Southland in 1898 and did quite well in the insurance business, becoming president of Guarantee Title and Trust Company of Los Angeles. By 1902, he owned one thousand acres in the Verdugo Mountains. At the base of the mountains Brand built El Mirador, a 5,000-square-foot mansion. El Mirador, with its elegant white exterior, horseshoe arches and bulbous domes is a unique example of Saracen architecture—a mixture of Spanish, Moorish and Indian styles.
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© 2006 John McKinney/The Trailmaster. All Rights Reserved.