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Chaparral 2017-2018: 26.1 College Culture

1927: The Cheese Box

1929: The Harvard School

1933: Tent City Classrooms

1936-1937: Construction Begins

Timeline of Early Glendale College

by Lyn Ribisi
Facilities Department


On April 6, 1927, Glendale Junior College is formed as part of the Glendale Union School District.

Just four months later, in September of 1927, the college opens in the local high school building on Brand and Broadway—a wooden building fondly known as the “Cheesebox” because of its bright yellow color. 139 students attend and study English, Foreign Language, Math, Social Science, Commerce, and Mechanical Drawing.  (This is now the site of the Marshalls store.)


In September 1929, Glendale Junior College rents a wing in the Glendale Union High School on Harvard and Louis, where the main branch of the Glendale Public Library now stands. The yearly fee is $30,000.


The building suffers severe damage in the earthquake of March 1933 and is condemned. Glendale Junior College needs a new home.   

Tent City is formed! College classes are held in smaller buildings and tents outside the Harvard High School building. This arrangement lasts for four long years when, at last, after two attempts, a bond is passed, giving funds to the college for the purchase of land for a permanent campus.


The first purchase is twenty-five acres on Verdugo Road at a cost of $30,000—the price of a year’s rent in the Glendale Union building. The construction cost is $299,495 for the two original buildings. In March 1936, the construction begins! A year later, two buildings, our Administration Building and a Science Building, are completed, opening a year later. In that same year, the Student Union Building is erected and the hills are graded to make way for athletic fields.

On May 24, 1937, the school opens as Glendale Junior College!      

Coming up: Glendale Junior College has a pool!  Student life in the 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s! Sports through the decades! And more!


Thank you to the Glendale College Library Archives for supplying the pictures and the information for this article.        

Glendale Community College | 1500 North Verdugo Road, Glendale, California 91208 | Tel: 818.240.1000 | 
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