The Brand Library & Art Center, featuring some of Glendale’s most intricate and popular architecture, completed its two-year renovation on March 27. Upon its reopening to the public, a week of local events commenced to highlight the various features of the newly furbished library’s structural and aesthetic beauty.
The library, which was originally a mansion owned by developer Leslie C. Brand in the early 1900s, has a monumental collection of art books, musical notations and recordings, periodicals, and much more. After years of popular use, rooms had became over-stacked with piles of neglected books and the building itself had multiple durability issues.
“Windows were bricked up and books had a layer of dust covering them,” commented Andrea, a resident of Glendale who had regularly visited the Brand Library prior to its refurbishment.
The newly designed library now provides an elevated level of modernity and safety. The building now ensures seismic bracing, a new roof, a new and modern entrance, and enhancements to enforce the site’s compliability with Americans with Disabilities Act. Dangerously irregular paths have been replaced with more accommodating and welcoming ones, and signs now feature Braille.
After a brief gala exhibiting the new features of the library, small hunks of the original ceiling plaster from various rooms of the Brand family mansion were sold for $20 each. A gallery reception, which included presentations of works by local artists, took place on March 29.
Currently the exhibit “Turmoil and Tranquility,” is on display until May 5. This exhibit features the works from artists Jill Knox, Gilda Davidian, Razmik Samvelts, Natasha June, and Jon Rajkovich. In the future, more exhibits, performances, lectures, and screenings will take place at the site.
It’s still early, but the re-opening has started on a positive note.
“On our first day yesterday we checked out 559 items! Not bad!” Cathy Billings, Art Librarian & Gallery Manager at the Brand Library, enthusiastically remarked on the library’s new Facebook page.
The Brand Library & Art Center is located at 1601 West Mountain St. in Glendale and is open from 12 pm to 8 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 12 pm to 6 pm on Wednesdays, and 10 am to 5 pm on Fridays and Saturdays. The library is closed on Sundays and Mondays.