Structure Type: built works - dwellings -public accommodations - hotels

Designers: Newsom and Newsom, Architects (firm); Joseph Cather Newsom (architect); Samuel Newsom (architect)

Dates: constructed 1886-1887, demolished 1928

3 stories

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Jackson Street and Wilson Avenue
Downtown, Glendale, CA 91206

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the Glendale Hotel was erected on a parcel bounded by J Street (now known as Jackson Street), 3rd Street (now Wilson Avenue), I Street (Isabel Street) and 4th Street (Broadway)

Overview

This grand Queen Anne Revival Style hotel opened during the Southern California land boom of the 1880s, but functioned only one year as a hotel before closing during the burst of the bubble in 1888. Designed by the noted Queen Anne specialists Joseph and Samuel Newsom, the ill-fated hotel subsequently operated as the city's first high school, a girl's religious school and sanitarium before being demolished 41 years after its completion.

Building History

The earliest Anglo-American settlers to the Glendale, CA, area carved up the what was the Julio Verdugo cattle rancho in the early 1870s. The 1876 completion of the transcontinental rail line to Los Angeles brought hordes more Anglo-American fruit farmers, businesspeople and hucksters from the East, South and Midwest, triggering a tremendous land rush during the 1883-1887 period. It was at the start of this fevered period of buying and selling real estate, that a local booster group, the Glendale Improvement Society, formed in 1883. A sub-set of the society, led by Judge Erskine M Ross, B.F. Patterson, H. J. Crow and E.T. Byrum, began to conceive of the largely agricultural area as promising townsite on its own, or at least as a potential bedroom community for Los Angeles, a satellite town comparable to the thriving Pasadena nearby. This group pooled its land resources and platted a 150-acre parcel with the usual gridiron plan, the five east-west streets numbered, the 17 north-south streets named for letters, A-O. A prominent amenity located on the first plat map was a grand hotel, suitable for catering to prospective residents visiting town.

The developers commissioned the Newsom Brothers to design this remarkable Queen Anne pile in 1886. Construction took about a year on the wood-frame, highly ornate inn. Unfortunately for its investors, its completion coincided with Southern CA real estate bubble's bursting in 1888. The hotel operated for about one year, before closing in a sea of contractor debt. For a considerable time, the hotel sat vacant, as the economic collapse of 1888 was followed shortly thereafter by the Panic of 1893, a paralyzing economic downturn that lasted into the late 1890s. The community repurposed the hotel in 1901, as the city's first public high school. Glendale High School utilized the hotel's first-floor dining room for classes for about three years. L.C. Brand (1859-1925) purchased the hotel "on a plumber's lien" c. 1904 and leased it for use young women's seminary known as St. Hilda's Hall. This school did not last long. By about 1907, the Battle Creek Sanitarium Company bought the property and operated it as the Glendale Sanitarium. It was razed in 1928.

Demolition

The Glendale Hotel was demolished in 1928.

PCAD id: 20546