|City of Burbank|
Looking northwest over Burbank
|Motto(s): "A city built by People, Pride, and Progress"|
Location of Burbank in Los Angeles County, California.
|Founded||May 1, 1887|
|July 8, 1911|
| • ||Will Rogers|
| • ||Emily Gabel-Luddy|
| • ||Bob Frutos|
| • ||Ron Davis|
| • ||Debbie Kukta|
|• Total||17.39 sq mi (45.04 km2)|
|• Land||17.35 sq mi (44.95 km2)|
|• Water||0.04 sq mi (0.09 km2) 0.22%|
|Elevation||607 ft (185 m)|
|• Total||103,340 (US: |
|• Estimate (2016)||104,447|
|• Density||6,018.61/sq mi (2,323.77/km2)|
| • Summer (||PDT (|
|91501–91508, 91510, 91521–91523, 91526|
Billed as the "Media Capital of the World" and only a few miles northeast of
Burbank consists of two distinct areas: a downtown/foothill section, in the foothills of the
The city of Burbank occupies land that was originally part of two Spanish and Mexican-era colonial land grants, the 36,400-acre (147 km2)
Dr. David Burbank purchased over 4,600 acres (19 km2) of the former Verdugo holding and another 4,600 acres (19 km2) of the Rancho Providencia in 1867 and built a ranch house and began to raise sheep and grow wheat on the ranch. By 1876, the
A professionally trained dentist, Burbank began his career in
Burbank also later owned the Burbank Theatre, which opened on November 27, 1893, at a cost of $150,000. Though the theater was intended to be an opera house, instead it staged plays and became known nationally. The theatre featured famous actors of the time including
When the area that became Burbank was settled in the 1870s and 1880s, the streets were aligned along what is now Olive Avenue, the road to the
At the time, the primary long-distance transportation methods available to
A shrewd businessman, foreseeing the value of
The group of speculators who bought the acreage formed the Providencia Land, Water, and Development Company and began developing the land, calling the new town Burbank after its founder, and began offering farm lots on May 1, 1887. The townsite had Burbank Boulevard/Walnut Avenue as the northern boundary, Grandview Avenue as the southern boundary, the edge of the Verdugo Mountains as the eastern boundary and Clybourn Avenue was the western border. The establishment of a water system in 1887 allowed farmers to irrigate their orchards and provided a stronger base for agricultural development. The original plot of the new townsite of Burbank extended from what is now Burbank Boulevard on the north, to Grandview Avenue in
At the same time, the arrival of the railroad provided immediate access for the farmers to bring crops to market. Packing houses and warehouses were built along the railroad corridors. The railroads also provided access to the county for tourists and immigrants alike. A
The boom lifting real estate values in the Los Angeles area proved to be a speculative frenzy that collapsed abruptly in 1889. Much of the newly created wealthy went broke. Many of the lots in Burbank ended up getting sold for taxes. Vast numbers of people would leave the region before it all ended.
By 1904, Burbank received international attention for having world heavyweight boxing champion
Burbank's first telephone exchange, or telephone switch, was established in August 1900, becoming the first in the
The town's first bank was formed in 1908 when Burbank State Bank opened its doors near the corner of Olive Avenue and San Fernando Blvd. On the first day, the bank collected $30,000 worth of deposits, and at the time the town had a population of 300 residents. In 1911, the bank was dissolved; it would then become the Burbank branch of the Security Trust & Savings Bank.
In 1911, wealthy farmer Joseph Fawkes grew apricots and owned a house on West Olive Avenue. He also had a fascination for machinery, and soon began developing what became known as the "Fawkes Folly" aerial trolley. He and his wife Ellen C. Fawkes secured two patents for the nation's first
Joseph Fawkes called the trolley his Aerial Swallow, a cigar-shaped, suspended monorail driven by a propeller that he promised would carry passengers from Burbank to downtown Los Angeles in 10 minutes. The first open car accommodated about 20 passengers and was suspended from an overhead track and supported by wooden beams. In 1911, the monorail car made its first and only run through his Burbank ranch, with a line between Lake and Flower Streets. The monorail was considered a failure after gliding just a foot or so and falling to pieces. Nobody was injured but Joseph Fawkes' pride was badly hurt as Aerial Swallow became known as "Fawkes' Folly." City officials viewed his test run as a failure and focused on getting a Pacific Electric Streetcar line into Burbank.
Laid out and surveyed with a modern business district surrounded by residential lots, wide boulevards were carved out as the "Los Angeles Express" printed:
"Burbank, the town, being built in the midst of the new farming community, has been laid out in such a manner as to make it by and by an unusually pretty town. The streets and avenues are wide and, all have been handsomely graded. All improvements being made would do credit to a city ... Everything done at Burbank has been done right."
The citizens of Burbank had to put up a $48,000 subsidy to get the reluctant Pacific Electric Streetcar officials to agree to extend the line from Glendale to Burbank. The first Red Car rolled into Burbank on September 6, 1911, with a tremendous celebration. That was about two months after the town became a city. The "Burbank Review" newspaper ran a special edition that day advising all local residents that:
"On Wednesday, the first electric car running on a regular passenger-carrying schedule left the Pacific Electric station at Sixth and Main streets, Los Angeles, for Burbank at 6:30 a.m. and the first car from Burbank to Los Angeles left at 6:20 a.m. the same day. Upon arrival of this car on its maiden trip, many citizens gave evidence of their great joy by ringing bells and discharging firearms. A big crowd of both men and women boarded the first car and rode to Glendale and there changed to a second car coming from Los Angeles and rode home again. Every face was an expression of happiness and satisfaction."
The Burbank Line was completed through to Cypress Avenue in Burbank, and by mid-1925 this line was extended about a mile further along Glenoaks Boulevard to Eton Drive. A small wooden station was erected in Burbank in 1911 at Orange Grove Avenue with a small storage yard in its rear. This depot was destroyed by fire in 1942 and in 1947 a small passenger shelter was constructed.
On May 26, 1942, the California State Railroad Commission proposed an extension of the Burbank Line to the Lockheed plant. The proposal called for a double track line from Arden Junction along Glenoaks to San Fernando Blvd. and Empire Way, just northeast of Lockheed's main facility. But this extension never materialized and the commission moved on to other projects in the San Fernando Valley. The Red Car line in Burbank was abandoned and the tracks removed in 1956.
The city marshal's office was changed to the Burbank Police Department in 1923. The first police chief was George Cole, who later became a U.S. Treasury prohibition officer.
In 1928, Burbank was one of the first 13 cities to join the
The town grew steadily, weathering the
The populace petitioned the
In 1915, major sections of the Valley capitulated, helping
Around this time, Burbank City Council responded by slashing 10% from the wages of city workers. Money was put into an Employee Relief Department to help the unemployed. Local civic and religious groups sprang into action and contributed with food as homeless camps began to form along the city's Southern Pacific railroad tracks. Hundreds began to participate in self-help cooperatives, trading skills such as barbering, tailoring, plumbing or carpentry, for food and other services.
By 1930, as
As of June 2008, the city employee population in Burbank stood at 1,683. Of the total, 1,253 were full-time, 217 part-time, and 213 temporary employees. The Burbank City Employees Association represents workers in the city. The organization dates back to 1939, and its primary role was to secure civil service status for city workers. The BCEA, representing more than 750 city employees, is one of six bargaining unions in Burbank city government. Others include: the Burbank Fire Fighters Association, the Burbank Police Officers' Association, the International Brotherhood of Electric Workers Local 18, the Burbank Fire Fighters-Chief Officer's Unit, and the Burbank Management Association.
In 1887, the Burbank Furniture Manufacturing Company was the town's first factory. After the land boom downturn in 1888, the building was abandoned and transients slept in the empty factory. In 1917, the arrival of the
Within the next several decades, factories, both large and small, would dot the area landscape. What had mainly been an agricultural and ranching area would get replaced with a variety of manufacturing industries. Moreland operated from 1917 to 1937. Aerospace supplier Menasco Manufacturing Company would later purchase the property. Menasco's Burbank landing gear factory closed in 1994 due to slow commercial and military orders, affecting 310 people. Within months of Moreland's arrival, Community Manufacturing Company, a $3 million tractor company, arrived in Burbank.
In 1920, the Andrew Jergens Company factory opened at Verdugo Avenue near the railroad tracks in Burbank. Andrew Jergens, Jr. — aided by his father, Cincinnati businessman Andrew Jergens, Sr. and business partners Frank Adams and Morris Spazier — had purchased the site and built a single-story building. They began with a single product, coconut oil soap, but would later make face creams, lotions, liquid soaps and deodorants. In 1931, despite the Depression, the Jergens company expanded, building new offices and shipping department facilities. In 1939, the Burbank corporation merged with the Cincinnati company of Andrew Jergens, Sr., becoming known as the Andrew Jergens Company of Ohio. The Burbank plant closed in 1992, affecting nearly 90 employees.
The establishment of the aircraft industry and a major airport in Burbank during the 1930s set the stage for major growth and development, which was to continue at an accelerated pace into
In 1931, Lockheed was then part of Detroit Aircraft Corp., which went into bankruptcy with its Lockheed unit. A year later, a group of investors acquired assets of the Lockheed company. The new owners staked their limited funds to develop an all-metal, twin engine transport, the Model 10 Electra. It first flew in 1934 and quickly gained worldwide fame.
A brochure celebrating Burbank's 50th anniversary as a city touted Lockheed payroll having "nearly 1,200" by the end of 1936. The aircraft company's hiring contributed to what was a favorable employment environment at the time.
Moreland's truck plant was later used by the Lockheed's Vega Aircraft Corporation, which made what was widely known as "the explorer's aircraft."
During World War II, the entire area of Lockheed's Vega factory was camouflaged to fool an enemy reconnaissance effort. The factory was hidden beneath a complete suburb replete with rubber automobiles and peaceful rural neighborhood scenes painted on canvas. Hundreds of fake trees and shrubs were positioned to give the entire area a three-dimensional appearance. The fake trees and shrubs were created from chicken wire that had been treated with an adhesive and then covered with chicken feathers to provide a leafy texture. Air ducts disguised as fire hydrants made it possible for the Lockheed-Vega employees to continue working underneath the huge camouflage umbrella designed to conceal their factory.
Burbank's airport has undergone seven name changes since opening in 1930. It had five runways that radiated in varying directions, each 300 feet (91 m) wide and 2,600 feet (790 m) long. It remained United Airport until 1934, when it was renamed Union Air Terminal (1934–1940). Boeing built planes on the field. Lockheed Aircraft had its own nearby airfield. Lockheed bought the airport in 1940 and renamed it Lockheed Air Terminal, which it was known as until 1967, when it became Hollywood-Burbank Airport. In 1978, it was renamed Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport (1978–2003) after Lockheed sold it to the three California cities for $51 million. In December 2003, the facility was renamed
The growth of companies such as Lockheed, and the burgeoning entertainment industry drew more people to the area, and Burbank's population doubled between 1930 and 1940 to 34,337. Burbank saw its greatest growth during
Dozens of hamburger stands, restaurants and shops appeared around Lockheed to accommodate the employees. Some of the restaurants operated 24 hours a day. At one time, Lockheed paid utility rates representing 25% of the city's total utilities revenue, making Lockheed the city's cash cow. When Lockheed left, the economic loss was huge. At its height during
Lockheed's presence in Burbank attracted dozens of firms making aircraft parts. One of them was
By the mid-1970s, Hollywood-Burbank Airport handled 1.5 million passengers annually. Airlines include
By 2010, Burbank's Bob Hope Airport had 4.5 million passengers annually. The airport also was a major facility for FedEx and UPS, with 96.2 million pounds of cargo that year. In early 2012, American Airlines announced it would cease flights in and out of Burbank. The decision followed American's parent company filing for bankruptcy protection in November 2011. American ranks well behind Southwest Airlines in terms of passenger traffic from Bob Hope Airport. For October 2011, Southwest flew roughly 233,000 passengers that month while American was just under 30,000 passengers. A 2012 study found Burbank ranks among the lowest in terms of tax burdens for travelers, according to a trade group for travel managers. GBTA Foundation found on average Burbank charges $22.74 per day for travelers compared with $40.31 for Chicago and $37.98 for New York.
An expansion of the airport facilities began in August 2012 when construction commenced on the Regional Intermodal Transportation Center (RITC) along Empire Avenue directly across from the Hollywood Burbank Airport Train Station. RITC opened in June 2014  RITC links the airport to other transportation systems, including regional bus lines, shuttles, as well as the Amtrak and Metrolink rail services, and includes an elevated covered moving walkway to the terminal building. An adjacent multi-story parking structure also is planned on the site. Additionally, the airport was given $3.5 million in Metrolink funds for a bridge that would cross south of the RITC facility on Empire Avenue to the rail platform used by Metrolink and Amtrak. The RITC's overall cost was reported at $112 million and includes consolidating rental car facilities of at least nine different rental car brands. RITC also will serve as a command center for emergency operations. Reversing recent passenger declines, the airport reported the number of passengers in the first seven months of 2015 rose 2.4% compared with the same period a year ago. That marked a turnaround from slow passenger trends experience since 2007. Passenger traffic continued to grow into 2017, with the airport announcing the total number of travelers rose 14.4 percent for the full year to just over 4.7 million. That said, the airport still remains below the peak of 5.9 million passengers recorded in 2007. Part of the reason for the decline is a lower number of flights out of the airport.
Meanwhile, there have been discussions in recent years by members of the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority to rebrand the Bob Hope Airport to identify the location more with Hollywood and the Burbank area. That name change was finally approved in May 2016 by the airport's leaders. Airport officials hope the branding will increase passenger traffic, particularly as the airport prepares to construct a new and larger terminal facility. "For passengers unfamiliar with our Airport, the word ‘Hollywood’ has international recognition,” Airport Executive Director Frank Mille was quoted as saying in a 2017 press release. “But although we have a new name, we’re still the convenient Airport our passengers know and love.”
Prodded by the U.S.
By the 1960s and 1970s, more of the Hollywood entertainment industry was relocating to Burbank.
Warners, NBC, and Disney all ended up located very close to each other along the southern edge of Burbank (and not far from Universal City to the southwest), an area now known as the Media District, Media Center District or simply Media Center. In the early 1990s, Burbank imposed growth restrictions in the Media District. Since then, to house its growing workforce, Disney has focused on developing the site of the former
Rumors surfaced of NBC leaving Burbank after its parent company
The relocation plans changed following
Meanwhile, Conan O'Brien is now based in Burbank, taping his new
In the early 1990s, Burbank tried unsuccessfully to lure
Burbank has a rich cinematic history. Hundreds of major feature films have filmed in Burbank over the years, but perhaps none more famous than
The Gary Cooper classic
Other classic live-action films shot in Burbank include Disney's
The city's indoor shopping mall,
During 2010, Burbank experienced a surge in on-location commercial and TV production. The city's film permit official reported 32 permits were issued in December 2010 alone, up from 24 permits in the year-earlier period. Among the 2010 commercials filmed in the city were spots for
In 2012, an international filmmaking and acting academy opened its doors in Burbank. The school, the International Academy of Film and Television, traces its roots to the Philippines. The first class will include students from 30 countries.
Heading into 2018, Burbank was expected to decide whether to establish a rent-control ordinance for about 10,400 residential units in the city. State law bars communities in the state from putting rent control on complexes built after February 1995. Any rent control ordinance also would require the exemption of single-family homes and condominiums. Housing costs in California have been going up in the last decade and there's a shortage of affordable housing. Rent control is seen as a way to keep housing costs affordable but some economists have suggested ordinances limiting rent only contribute to California's chronic housing problem.
Burbank has taken the initiative in various anti-smoking ordinances in the past decade. In late 2010, Burbank passed an ordinance prohibiting smoking in multi-family residences sharing ventilation systems. The rule went into effect in mid-2011. The new anti-smoking ordinance, which also prohibits smoking on private balconies and patios in multi-family residences, is considered the first of its kind in
The murder of Burbank police officer Matthew Pavelka in 2003 by a local gang known as the Vineland Boys sparked an intensive investigation in conjunction with several other cities and resulted in the arrest of a number of gang members and other citizens in and around Burbank. Among those arrested was Burbank councilwoman Stacey Murphy, implicated in trading guns in exchange for drugs. Pavelka was the first Burbank police officer to be fatally shot in the line of duty in the department's history, according to the California Police Association officials.
The city's namesake street, Burbank Boulevard, started getting a makeover in 2007. The city spent upwards of $10 million to plant palm trees and colorful flowers, a median, new lights, benches and bike racks.
Today, an estimated 100,000 people work in Burbank. The physical imprints of the city's aviation industry remain. In late 2001, the Burbank Empire Center opened with aviation as the theme. The center, built at a cost of $250 million by Zelman Development Company, sits on Empire Avenue, former site of Lockheed's top secret "Skunk Works", and other Lockheed properties. By 2003, many of the center's retailers and restaurants were among the top national performers in their franchise. The Burbank Empire Center comprises over 11% of Burbank's sales tax revenue, not including nearby Costco, a part of the Empire Center development.
Work started in summer 2015 to open a
Burbank also is scheduled to get its first