Carlisle: Digital map details Glendale's growth


We all know Glendale looks much different than it did 100 years ago or 20 years ago or even five years ago, but the areas that make up Glendale have changed dramatically over the years as well.

I’ve discovered a fun online tool that displays how Glendale has grown in land size over the years. This area of Glendale’s website shows a map of land parcels as they were annexed into the city of Glendale.

The tool can be found here.

You can filter land by the year it was annexed by selecting the “Table” tab, then clicking on the “Adopt_Year” column. On the right side of the screen, a widget will appear that allows you to type in the year range you’d like to view. For example, typing in the year the city was incorporated, 1910, through 1960 will show a map of Glendale when it was 50 years old.

This visual tool is very helpful to learn about the city’s history. Did you know when Glendale was incorporated in 1910 the city was just over one square mile? Today the city takes up about 62 square miles. The city didn’t add any more land until two decades later in 1930 and didn’t reach two square miles until 1954.

It’s interesting to see how the city has, literally, taken shape over its 109-year life and how much of its growth has happened recently. It may surprise some transplants to discover where they live wasn’t considered Glendale at the time they were born.

In 1959, Glendale was just 3.7-square-miles large. The city had its growth spurt in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, growing by 46 square miles over those 30 years, shooting from under four square miles to 50 square miles. The fastest growth was in the 1970s, where Glendale grew by 24 square miles, more than twice as much as any other decade. More recently, Glendale has grown by 3.7 square miles (almost entirely on the west side of town) in the last decade.

By tweaking these filters, you have access to hundreds of historical maps in one. It’s a fun tool to glimpse into the city’s past and perhaps discover something about its history you didn’t realize.

Mark Carlisle
Mark Carlisle
Glendale Today News Editor Mark Carlisle can be reached at or found on Twitter @mwcarlisle.