La Crescenta-Montrose includes both a census-designated place (CDP) and an Unincorporated community in Los Angeles County, California. In the spring of 2012, a large black bear managed to wander regularly from the Angeles National Forest into the La Crescenta-Montrose-Glendale residential area, rummaging through trash cans and showing a preference for Costco meatballs and tuna. The bear was subdued in La Crescenta and returned to the forest. A Twitter account from an individual posting as “GlenBearian” appeared with updates from the bear’s perspective.
Another, more notorious sanitarium existed in La Crescenta from the 1920s to the early 1960s. A few yards west of the La Crescenta Motel, on the corner of Foothill Boulevard and Rosemont Avenue, is the site of the Kimball Sanitarium, which was housed in a large, foreboding, converted Victorian mansion built in the 1880s. Bela Lugosi attempted to overcome his morphine addiction at the Kimball, as represented in the Tim Burton film “Ed Wood.” Actress Frances Farmer, misdiagnosed as a “paranoid schizophrenic,” received insulin shock therapy at Kimball. Plans to expand the sanitarium were rejected by local residents in the early 1960s and the sanitarium was finally torn down. Construction workers readying the building for demolition found padded cells, straight-jackets and manacles attached to the walls. The site became sprawling shopping plaza, and a Ralphs supermarket currently occupies the spot where the disreputable sanitarium once stood.
St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church was designed and built by the famous artist Seymour Thomas in 1924. Constructed of natural stone from the valley, it is reminiscent of a woodlands church in northern Europe. It is considered to be the architectural centerpiece of the valley. St. Luke’s is located at 2563 Foothill Blvd. Le Mesnager Barn is a stone barn perched high above the valley, built in 1911 by George Le Mesnager, a French patriot, to store and process grapes from his vineyards in the Sparr Heights area. These grapes supplied his “Old Hermatage Vinyards” winery in downtown Los Angeles. There is still a Mesnager Street in the downtown area where the winery had been located. It is owned by the City of Glendale, which plans to restore it as an educational nature/history center. Le Mesnager Barn is located in Deukmejian Wilderness Park at the top of Dunsmore Ave.
Find Your Way Around La Crescenta