PICTURE THIS: Glendale’s Grand Central Air Terminal

A wonderful shot of Glendale's neon GRAND CENTRAL AIR TERMINAL sign, c. 1937. (LAPL/Herman J.. Schultheis Collection

A wonderful shot of Glendale’s neon GRAND CENTRAL AIR TERMINAL sign, c. 1937. (LAPL/Herman J.. Schultheis Collection)

I am leaving this fabulous vintage photo large and uncropped . . . I think it’s that good. How many Angelenos know that little old Glendale, once a rather sleepy L.A. suburb, was actually at the very heart of the burgeoning aviation industry here in Southern California? (Unrelated side note: the edge of the small billboard to the left in the photo advertises the construction of “ranchos” in the area . . . Oh, how I would love a day or two with a time machine!)

P-38

 

I was amazed to learn that our 1920’s bungalow once hosted the likes of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith . . . the pioneering Australian aviator who, in 1928, made the first Trans-Pacific flight from the United States to Australia. (Sydney’s international airport is named Kingsford Smith in his honor.) 1928 Kingsford SmithTurns out, he was friends with and came to visit the folks who lived in our house at the time. He sat and chatted with them in our very own breakfast nook before heading on to the next leg of his flight out of the Glendale airport. History so close you can almost touch it . . . seriously.

Feel free to share your comments/info/personal anecdotes about Glendale’s aviation history. Long before LAX was even a twinkle in anyone’s eye, this was the place to fly!

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