Preserving its past is as important in Glendale as planning for its future. The old town clock graces the downtown square, while Glendale's skyline is enhanced by the famous six-story brick Sugar Beet Factory, empty for dozens of years, but still standing as a guardian of the city's colorful past. In 1999, the Sugar Beet Factory received a grant from the State Historic Preservation in order to preserve this historic monument.
Much of the city's history can be seen in historic sights that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Historic Sahuaro Ranch, the 17-acre site of a model fruit farm with seven restored buildings and barnyard area, is a prime example of how Glendale cherishes its heritage. Lush grounds with a 1000-bush rose garden and colorful peacocks roaming freely through the ranch, make it the showplace it was in the late 1800s when first built.
The three-story Victorian ranch house, known as Manistee Ranch, was also a model farm, citrus orchard, palm grove and cattle-feeding center. Recently preserved, its unique architecture is accented by the serenity garden that buffers it from the rest of civilization.
Historic Catlin Court residential neighborhood with its 4-block shopping district is one of the finest areas of century-old Craftsman Bungalows in the state. Also named to the National Register of Historic Places, this example of Glendale's first subdivision is dotted with white picket fences where the residential flavor has been maintained in charming houses converted to specialty shops and tea houses. Catlin Court is one of the major attractions for visitors to the downtown area.
The cultures of many foreign immigrants converged on Glendale when they came to build their dreams in the rich soil. Founded as a temperance colony in 1892, Glendale served as a haven from the rest of the rollicking Arizona Territory. The arrival of the railroad and an ice plant heralded Glendale's glory days when this agricultural mecca was Arizona's largest agricultural products distribution center.
With the advent of World War II, Glendale's skies were filled with training planes at Luke and Thunderbird airfields. The post-war decades were marked by skyrocketing growth as thousands of returning airmen and other dream-seekers made Glendale their new home. This tradition continues today with Glendale being home to Luke AFB and several high-tech aerospace companies such as Honeywell, Space Craft Manufacturing Company, and Valtronics Engineering and Manufacturing. Agricultural fields made way for homes and industry, making Glendale, with its 212,000 population, a dynamic urban center and the 100th largest city in the nation.
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