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Burbank is a city in the southeastern end of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County, California. Located 12 miles (19 km) northwest of Downtown Los Angeles, Burbank is well known for being home to Walt Disney Studios and Warner Bros. Studios, as well as having the largest IKEA in the United States. The population at the 2010 census was 103,340.
Billed as the “Media Capital of the World” and only a few miles northeast of Hollywood, numerous media and entertainment companies are headquartered or have significant production facilities in Burbank, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, The Burbank Studios, Cartoon Network Studios with the West Coast branch of Cartoon Network, and Insomniac Games. The Hollywood Burbank Airport was the location of Lockheed’s Skunk Works, which produced some of the most secret and technologically advanced airplanes, including the U-2 spy planes that uncovered the Soviet Union missile components in Cuba in October 1962.
Burbank consists of two distinct areas: a downtown/foothill section, in the foothills of the Verdugo Mountains, and the flatland section. The city was referred to as “Beautiful Downtown Burbank” on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, as both shows were taped at NBC’s former studios. The city was named after David Burbank, a New Hampshire–born dentist and entrepreneur who established a sheep ranch there in 1867.
The city of Burbank occupies land that was previously part of two Spanish and Mexican-era colonial land grants, the 36,400-acre (147 km2) Rancho San Rafael, granted to Jose Maria Verdugo by the Spanish Bourbon government in 1784, and the 4,063-acre (16.44 km2) Rancho Providencia created in 1821. Historically, this area was the scene of a military skirmish which resulted in the unseating of the Spanish Governor of California, and his replacement by the Mexican leader Pio Pico. Remnants of the military battle reportedly were found many years later in the vicinity of Warner Bros. Studio when residents dug up cannonballs.
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 San Fernando Valley became the largest wheat-raising area in Los Angeles County. But the droughts of the 1860s and 1870s underlined the need for steady water supplies.
A professionally trained dentist, Burbank began his career in Waterville, Maine. He joined the great migration westward in the early 1850s and, by 1853 was living in San Francisco. At the time the American Civil War broke out, he was again well established in his profession as a dentist in Pueblo de Los Angeles. In 1867, he purchased Rancho La Providencia from David W. Alexander and Francis Mellus, and he purchased the western portion of the Rancho San Rafael (4,603 acres) from Jonathan R. Scott. Burbank’s property reached nearly 9,200 acres (37 km2) at a cost of $9,000. Burbank would not acquire full titles to both properties until after a court decision known as the “Great Partition” was made in 1871 dissolving the Rancho San Rafael. He eventually became known as one of the largest and most successful sheep raisers in southern California, and as a result, he closed his dentistry practice and invested heavily in real estate in Los Angeles.
Burbank also later owned the Burbank Theatre, which opened on November 27, 1893, at a cost of $150,000. It struggled for many years and by August 1900 had its thirteenth manager. The new manager’s name was Oliver Morosco, who was already known as a successful theatrical impresario. He put the theater on the path to prosperity for many years. Though the theater was intended to be an opera house, instead it staged plays and became known nationally. The theatre featured leading actors of the day, such as Fay Bainter and Marjorie Rambeau, until it deteriorated into a burlesque house.
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 Cahuenga Pass and downtown Los Angeles. These were largely the roads the Native Americans traveled and the early settlers took their produce down to Los Angeles to sell and to buy supplies along these routes.
At the time, the primary long-distance transportation methods available to San Fernando Valley residents were stagecoach and train. Stagecoaching between Los Angeles and San Francisco through the Valley began in 1858. The Southern Pacific Railroad arrived in the Valley in 1876, completing the route connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles.
A shrewd businessman, foreseeing the value of rail transport, Burbank sold Southern Pacific Railroad a right-of-way through the property for one dollar. The first train passed through Burbank on April 5, 1874. A boom created by a rate war between the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific brought people streaming into California shortly thereafter, and a group of speculators purchased much of Burbank’s land holdings in 1886 for $250,000. One account suggests Burbank may have sold his property because of a severe drought that year, which caused a shortage of water and grass for his livestock. Approximately 1,000 of his sheep died due to the drought conditions.
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 as 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 Glendale, California on the south, and from the top of the Verdugo Hills on the east to what is now known as Clybourn Avenue on the west.
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 Southern Pacific Railroad depot in Burbank was completed in 1887.
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 James J. Jeffries become a major landowner in the town. Jeffries bought 107 acres (0.43 km2) to build a ranch on Victory Boulevard. He eventually raised cattle and sold them in Mexico and South America, becoming one of the first citizens to engage in foreign trade. He eventually built a large ranch home and barn near where Victory and Buena Vista Street now intersect. The barn was later removed and reassembled at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, California.
Burbank’s first telephone exchange, or telephone switch, was established in August 1900, becoming the first in the San Fernando Valley. Within 5 years, there were several telephone exchanges in the Valley and became known as the San Fernando Valley Home Telephone Company, based in Glendale. Home Telephone competed with Tropico, and in 1918 both were taken over by Pacific Telephone Company. At this time, there were an estimated 300 hand-cranked telephones in Burbank.
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 was also fascinated with 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 monorail. The two formed the Aerial Trolley Car Company and set about building a prototype they believed would revolutionize transportation.
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:
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:
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 Boulevard 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 Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, one of the largest suppliers of water in the world. This contrasted with other San Fernando Valley communities that obtained water through political annexation to Los Angeles. By 1937, the first power from Hoover Dam was distributed over Burbank’s own electricity lines. The city purchases about 55% of its water from the MWD.
The town grew steadily, weathering the drought and depression that hit Los Angeles in the 1890s and in 20 years, the community had a bank, newspaper, high school and a thriving business district with a hardware store, livery stable, dry goods store, general store, and bicycle repair shop. The city’s first newspaper, Burbank Review, was established in 1906.
The populace petitioned the State Legislature to incorporate as a city on July 8, 1911, with businessman Thomas Story as the mayor. Voters approved incorporation by a vote of 81 to 51. At the time, the Board of Trustees governed the community which numbered 500 residents. With the action of the Legislature, Burbank thus became the first independent city in the San Fernando Valley.
The first city seal adopted by Burbank featured a cantaloupe, which was a crop that helped save the town’s life when the land boom collapsed. In 1931, the original city seal was replaced and in 1978 the modern seal was adopted. The new seal shows City Hall beneath a banner but no cantaloupe. An airplane symbolizes the city’s aircraft industry, the strip of film and stage light represent motion picture production. The bottom portion depicts the sun rising over the Verdugo Mountains.
In 1915, major sections of the Valley capitulated, helping Los Angeles to more than double its size that year. But Burbank was among a handful of towns with their own water wells and remained independent. By 1916, Burbank had 1,500 residents. In 1922, the Burbank Chamber of Commerce was organized. The Federal government officially recognized Burbank’s status in 1923 when the United States Postal Service reclassified the city from the rural village mail delivery to city postal delivery service. By this time, Burbank’s population had grown significantly, from less than 500 people in 1908 to over 3,000 citizens. The city’s business district grew on the west side of San Fernando Blvd. and stretched from Verdugo to Cypress avenues, and on the east side to Palm Avenue. In 1927, five miles (8 km) of paved streets had increased to 125 miles (201 km).
The Wall Street Crash of 1929 set off a period of hardship for Burbank where business and residential growth paused. The effects of the Depression also caused tight credit conditions and halted home building throughout the area, including the city’s Magnolia Park development. Around this time, major employers began to cut payrolls and some plants closed their doors forever.
Around this time, Burbank City Council responded by slashing 10% of 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 First National Studios, Andrew Jergens Company, The Lockheed Company, McNeill and Libby Canning Company, the Moreland Company, and Northrop Aircraft Corporation opened facilities in Burbank and the population jumped to 16,662.
In the 1930s, Burbank and Glendale prevented the Civilian Conservation Corps from stationing African American workers in a local park, citing sundown town ordinances that both cities had adopted.
Following a San Fernando Valley land bust during the Depression, real estate began to bounce back in the mid-1930s. In Burbank, a 100-home construction project began in 1934. By 1936, property values in the city exceeded pre-Depression levels. By 1950, the population had reached 78,577. It was no longer the “tiny little village” of Jane Russell’s song “Hollywood Cinderella”; it had become a major Los Angeles suburb. From 1967 to 1989 a six-block stretch of San Fernando Blvd. was pedestrianized as the “Golden Mall”.
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 the 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 Moreland Motor Truck Company changed the town and resulted in a manufacturing and industrial workforce begin to take root in the city. Within a few years, Moreland trucks were seen bearing the label, “Made in Burbank.” Watt Moreland, its owner, had relocated his plant to Burbank from Los Angeles. He selected 25 acres (100,000 m2) at San Fernando Blvd. and Alameda Avenue. Moreland invested $1 million in the factory and machinery and employed 500 people. It was the largest truck maker west of the Mississippi.
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 World War II and well into the postwar era. Brothers Allan Loughead and Malcolm Loughead, founders of the Lockheed Aircraft Company, opened a Burbank manufacturing plant in 1928 and, a year later, aviation designer Jack Northrop built his Flying Wing airplane in his own plant nearby.
Dedicated on Memorial Day Weekend (May 30 – June 1), 1930, the United Airport was the largest commercial airport in the Los Angeles area until it was eclipsed in 1946 by the Los Angeles Municipal Airport (now Los Angeles International Airport) in Westchester when that facility (the former Mines Field) commenced commercial operations. Amelia Earhart, Wiley Post and Howard Hughes were among the notable aviation pioneers to pilot aircraft in and out of the original Union Air Terminal. By 1935, Union Air Terminal in Burbank ranked as the third-largest air terminal in the nation, with 46 airliners flying out of it daily. The airport served 9,895 passengers in 1931 and 98,485 passengers in 1936.
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 notice.
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 Lockheed’s Vega Aircraft Corporation, which made what was widely known as “the explorer’s aircraft.” Amelia Earhart flew one across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1936, Lockheed officially took over Vega Aircraft in Burbank.
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 Bob Hope Airport in honor of the comedian who lived in nearby Toluca Lake. In 2005, the city of Burbank and the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority, which owns and operates the airport, reached a development agreement. The agreement forbid further airport expansion until 2009. Unlike most other regional airports in California, Burbank’s airport sits on land that was specifically zoned for airport use.
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 World War II due to Lockheed’s presence, employing some 80,800 men and women producing aircraft such as the Lockheed Hudson, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Lockheed PV-1 Ventura, Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, and America’s first jet fighter, the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star. Lockheed later created the U2, SR-71 Blackbird and the F-117 Nighthawk at its Burbank-based “Skunk Works”. The name came from a secret, ill-smelling backwoods distillery called “Skonk Works” in cartoonist Al Capp’s Li’l Abner comic strip.
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 World War II, the Lockheed facility employed up to 98,000 people. Between the Lockheed and Vega plants, some 7,700,000 square feet (720,000 m2) of manufacturing space was located in Burbank at the peak in 1943. Burbank’s growth did not slow as war production ceased, and over 7,000 new residents created a postwar real estate boom. Real estate values soared as housing tracts appeared in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank between 1945 and 1950. More than 62% of the city’s housing stock was built before 1970.
Following World War II, homeless veterans lived in tent camps in Burbank, in Big Tujunga Canyon and at a decommissioned National Guard base in Griffith Park. The government also set up trailer camps at Hollywood Way and Winona Avenue in Burbank and in nearby Sun Valley. But new homes were built, the economy improved, and the military presence in Burbank continued to expand. Lockheed employees numbered 66,500 and expanded from aircraft to include spacecraft, missiles, electronics and shipbuilding.
Lockheed’s presence in Burbank attracted dozens of firms making aircraft parts. One of them was Weber Aircraft Corporation, an aircraft interior manufacturer situated adjacent to Lockheed at the edge of the airport. In 1988, Weber closed its Burbank manufacturing plant, which then employed 1,000 people. Weber produced seats, galleys, lavatories and other equipment for commercial and military aircraft. Weber had been in Burbank for 37 years.
By the mid-1970s, Hollywood-Burbank Airport handled 1.5 million passengers annually. Airlines include Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, JetBlue Airways, Southwest Airlines and United Air Lines. As of August 2009, Southwest represented two-thirds of the airport’s operations. In 2005, JetBlue Airways began the first non-stop coast-to-coast service out of the airport. Avjet Corporation, a private jet service, operates out of several hangars on the south side of the airport. Surf Air operates six daily flights out of Burbank airport servicing Santa Barbara and San Carlos in the Silicon Valley. Atlantic Aviation, (formerly Mercury Air Center) also provides jet services for several prominent companies. In 1987, Burbank’s airport became the first to require flight carriers to fly quieter “Stage 3” jets.
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 while American flew 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% 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. Federal Aviation Administration, airport officials looked to replace the aging terminal with something up to two-thirds bigger in size. The current terminal dates back to the 1930s and is deemed too close to the runways by current standards – roughly 250 feet (76 m) instead of the required 750 feet. In November 2016, city voters approved a replacement terminal. The Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority has said it hopes to have the replacement terminal open in 2022.
The motion picture business arrived in Burbank in the 1920s. In 1926, First National Pictures bought a 78-acre (320,000 m2) site on Olive Avenue near Dark Canyon. The property included a 40-acre (160,000 m2) hog ranch and the original David Burbank house, both owned by rancher Stephen A. Martin. In 1928–29, First National was taken over by a company founded by the four Warner Brothers.
Columbia Pictures purchased property in Burbank as a ranch facility, used primarily for outdoor shooting. Walt Disney’s company, which had outgrown its Hollywood quarters, bought 51 acres (210,000 m2) in Burbank. Disney’s million-dollar studio, designed by Kem Weber, was completed in 1939 on Buena Vista Street. Disney originally wanted to build “Mickey Mouse Park,” as he first called it, next to the Burbank studio. But his aides finally convinced him that the space was too small, and there was opposition from the Burbank City Council. One council member told Disney: “We don’t want the carny atmosphere in Burbank.” Disney later built his successful Disneyland in Anaheim.
Burbank saw its first real civil strife as the culmination of a six-month labor dispute between the set decorator’s union and the studios resulted in the Battle of Burbank on October 5, 1945, a confrontation that led to the largest wave of strikes in American history.
By the 1960s and 1970s, more of the Hollywood entertainment industry was relocating to Burbank. NBC moved its west coast headquarters to a new location at Olive and Alameda avenues. The Burbank studio was purchased in 1951, and NBC arrived in 1952 from its former location at Sunset and Vine in Hollywood. Although NBC promoted its Hollywood image for most of its West Coast telecasts (such as Ed McMahon’s introduction to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: “from Hollywood”), comedians Dan Rowan and Dick Martin began mentioning “beautiful downtown Burbank” on Laugh-in in the 1960s. By 1962, NBC’s multimillion-dollar, state-of-the-art complex was completed.
Warner Bros., NBC, Disney and Columbia TriStar Home Video (now Sony Pictures Home Entertainment) 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 Grand Central Airport in the nearby city of Glendale. Only Disney’s most senior executives and some film, television, and animation operations are still based at the main Disney studio lot in Burbank.
Rumors surfaced of NBC leaving Burbank after its parent company General Electric Corporation acquired Universal Studios and renamed the merged division NBC Universal. Since the deal, NBC has been relocating key operations to the Universal property located in Universal City. In 2007, NBC Universal management informed employees that the company planned to sell much of the Burbank complex. NBC Universal would relocate its television and cable operations to the Universal City complex. When Conan O’Brien took over hosting The Tonight Show from Carson’s successor Jay Leno in 2009, he hosted the show from Universal City. However, O’Brien’s hosting role lasted only 7 months, and Leno, who launched a failed primetime 10pm show in fall 2009, was asked to resume his Tonight Show role after O’Brien controversially left NBC. The show returned to the NBC Burbank lot and had been expected to remain there until at least 2018. However, in April 2013 NBC confirmed plans for The Tonight Show to return to New York after 42 years in Burbank, with comic Jimmy Fallon replacing Leno as host. The change became effective in February 2014.
The relocation plans changed following Comcast Corp.’s $30 billion acquisition of NBC Universal in January 2011. NBC Universal announced in January 2012 it would relocate the NBC Network, Telemundo’s L.A. Bureau, as well as local stations KNBC and KVEA to the former Technicolor building located on the lower lot of Universal Studios in Universal City. The former NBC Studios were renamed The Burbank Studios.
Meanwhile, Conan O’Brien is now based in Burbank, taping his new TBS talk show, Conan, from Stage 15 on the Warner lot. Stage 15, constructed in the late 1920s, was used to shoot films such as Calamity Jane (1953), Blazing Saddles (1974), A Star Is Born (1976) and Ghostbusters (1984).
In the early 1990s, Burbank tried unsuccessfully to lure Sony Pictures Entertainment, the Columbia and TriStar studios owner based in Culver City, and 20th Century Fox, which had threatened to move from its West Los Angeles lot unless the city granted permission to upgrade its facility. Fox stayed after getting Los Angeles city approval on its $200 million expansion plan. In 1999, the city managed to gain Cartoon Network Studios which took up residence in an old commercial bakery building located on North 3rd St. when it separated its production operations from Warner Bros. Animation in Sherman Oaks.
Burbank has a rich cinematic history. Hundreds of major feature films have been filmed in Burbank including Casablanca (1942), starring Humphrey Bogart. The movie began production a few months after the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor. Due to World War II, location shooting was restricted and filming near airports was banned. As a result, Casablanca shot most of its major scenes on Stage 1 at the Warner Bros. Burbank Studios, including the film’s airport scene. It featured a foggy Moroccan runway created on the stage where Bogart’s character does not fly away with Ingrid Bergman. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) was also filmed at the Warner Bros. Burbank Studios.
The Gary Cooper film High Noon (1952) was shot on a western street at the Warner Brothers “Ranch”, then known as the Columbia Ranch. The ranch facility is situated less than a mile north of Warner’s main lot in Burbank. 3:10 to Yuma (1957) was also filmed on the old Columbia Ranch, and much of the outdoor filming for the Three Stooges took place at Columbia Ranch, including most of the chase scenes. In 1993, Warner Bros. bulldozed the Burbank-based sets used to film High Noon and Lee Marvin’s Oscar-winning Western comedy Cat Ballou (1965), as well as several other features and television shows.
In 2002, a fire broke out on Disney’s Burbank lot, damaging a sound stage where a set was under construction for Disney’s feature film Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003). No one was injured in the blaze.
While filming Apollo 13 (1995) and Coach Carter (2005), the producers shot scenes at Burbank’s Safari Inn Motel. True Romance (1993) also filmed on location at the motel. Back to the Future (1985) shot extensively on the Universal Studios backlot but also filmed band audition scenes at the Burbank Community Center. San Fernando Blvd. doubled for San Diego in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) while much of Christopher Nolan’s Memento was shot in and around Burbank with scenes on Burbank Blvd., at the Blue Room (a local bar also featured in the 1994 Michael Mann feature Heat), the tattoo parlor, as well as the character Natalie’s home.
The city’s indoor shopping mall, Burbank Town Center, is often used as a backdrop for shooting films, television series and commercials. Over the years, it was the site for scenes in Bad News Bears (2005) to location shooting for Cold Case, Gilmore Girls, ER and Desperate Housewives. The ABC show Desperate Housewives also frequently used the Magnolia Park area for show scenes, along with the city’s retail district along Riverside and adjacent to Toluca Lake, California. Also, Universal Pictures Larry Crowne shot exterior scenes outside Burbank’s Kmart, the store doubled for ‘U Mart’, and in The Hangover Part II (2011) about a breakfast scene at the IHOP restaurant across the street.
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 is 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 California. Since 2007, Burbank has prohibited smoking at all city-owned properties, downtown Burbank, the Chandler Bikeway, and sidewalk and pedestrian areas.
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, the 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 Walmart Supercenter on the site of the former Great Indoors store. The project had been halted since 2011 due to lawsuits. However, the Walmart store finally opened its doors in June 2016.
Burbank also opened its first Whole Foods Market near The Burbank Studios lot in June 2018. The mixed-use development also includes apartment units above the store. The project faced controversy due to traffic concerns and street barriers in the adjacent neighborhood.
A planned real estate deal announced in April 2019 could bring big changes to Burbank in the coming years. Warner Bros., now part of WarnerMedia and under the ownership of telecommunications conglomerate AT&T, is selling its historic Ranch lot off North Hollywood Way and acquiring a new parcel of land off the California State Route 134 freeway. Warner plans to open a series of two new Frank Gehry-designed office towers on the new site that have been described as “like icebergs floating alongside the 134 freeway.”
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For most people, their home is their largest asset (most valuable possession) and largest monthly payment (expense). Since you may only purchase or refinance a few times during your life, a lot of change can happen between the last time you got a loan and what you need to do now. That is just one of the many reasons it is critical to work with a mortgage lender in Burbank who has a needs-based approach to financing your loan. Additionally, with frequently changing, rules, regulations, and loan products, it is even more important to work with a team who has their finger on the pulse of the industry as well as the local community.
If you are ready to qualify for a purchase or even refinance an existing mortgage loan, get started today by clicking on the APPLY button Below.
Burbank is located in Los Angeles County (Los Angeles, 037, California at 34.180840, -118.308970.
Burbank, CA. Population:
Total Population: 103340
Male Population: 0 (0%)
Female Population: 0 (0%)
Adult Population: 0 (0%)
Child Population: 0 (0%)
Elderly Population: 0 (0%)
Burbank Household Income: $0
Home Loans, VA Loans, Refinance and More…
Burbank VA Loans (VA Loan Experts in Burbank)
The VA loan is a 0% down payment mortgage loan available to active-duty service members, veterans, qualifying reservists and select military spouses. VA loans are funded by banks (“lenders”) and are partially guaranteed by the U.S Department of Veteran Affairs (commonly called “The VA”). There are a lot of myths about the VA loan which lead most people to believe the benefit can only be used one time (single-use benefit); however, that is untrue and there are many homeowners who have used their VA entitlement for a subsequent purchase or refinance. The home loan Certificate of Eligibility “COE” (VA Form 26-1880) will determine how much eligibility you have available to you for your purchase or refinance and can be request by your team Mortgage Heroes. It is important to know that VA loans have NO Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) and tend to have lower interest rates compared to the conventional mortgage market.
Burbank Conventional Loans
Conventional loans are the most widely used loans for residential real estate. Conventional loans are broadly offered by many banks and lending institutions throughout the country and are broken into two categories: Conforming and Non-Conforming. Conforming conventional loans follow guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while non-Conforming conventional loans can have looser or tighter guidelines depending on who the lender is. Commonly conventional purchase loans are believed to require 20% down payment; however, there are a variety of options available, and some can be funded with as little as 3% down.
Conventional refinances are offered as “Rate and Term” or “Cash Out” refinances. Rate and Term refinances are what they sound like, a refinance where the new loan’s rate and term changed, but the loan balance remains the same (except for closing costs, impounds and fees rolled into the new loan). Cash Out refers to the cash back that the homeowner receives because of taking out a new loan at a higher loan amount than what they currently owe. Simply put, this is home equity being taken from the value of the house and transferring it to the homeowners to use as they wish. People who do cash out loans typically consolidate debts, pay down or pay off debts all together, remodel part of their home, or make upgrades.
Burbank FHA Loans
FHA loans are residential loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration. FHA loans are most commonly used by first time, or repeat, homebuyers who have minimal money for down payment. Down payment can be as little as 3.5% for a FHA purchase loan. Although these loans are still financed by banks and lenders, they are still backed by the Federal Housing Administration, and they do have mortgage insurance.
The FHA Streamline refinance is a change in the rate and term of the loan, similar to the conventional rate and term refinance. For homeowners who need to access their equity, FHA does also offer a cash out refinance program.
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