Burbank is a city in Los Angeles County located in the southeastern end of the San Fernand Valley.
Known for being the “Media Capital of the World” and located only a few miles northeast of Hollywood, it is a home to a numerous media and entertainment companies such as Warner Brothers Entertainment, The Walk Disney Company, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, The Burbank Studios, Cartoon Network Studios and Insomniac Games.
Burbank also has its own Airport.
The city consist of two distinct areas, a downtown/foothill section located in the foothills of the Vedugo Mountains, and the flatland section.
During the Spanish Mexican era, the city of Burbank was part of the colonial land grant of Rancho San Rafael, granted to Jose Maria Vedugo.
In 1867 Dr. David Burbank purchased over 4600 acres of this land and built a ranch house to raise sheep and grow wheat. By 1876, the San Fernando Valley became the largest wheat raising area in the Los Angeles County. Burbank also later owned the Burbank Theater which opened in 1893. Later on, Burbank sold some of his land holdings to Southern Pacific Railroad. 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. The arrival of railroads provided access for the frmers to bring crops to the market. Towards the end of the 19th century, there was a brief boom lifting real estate market.
In the early 1900, Burbank’s first telephone switch was established becoming the first one in San Fernando Valley. The town’s first bank called Burbank State Bank opened in 1908, and after it closed in 1911, it then became a Burbank branch of Security Trust and Savings Bank.
The town steadily grew in the 20th century remaining independent for their water supply and wells. 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. 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.
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. 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.
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, 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 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.
Burbank has a rich cinematic history. Hundreds of major feature films have filmed in Burbank over the years, but perhaps none more famous than 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 famous airport scene. It featured a foggy Moroccan runway created on the stage where Bogart’s character doesn’t fly away with Ingrid Bergman. Bonnie and Clyde (1967) was also filmed at the Warner Bros. Burbank Studios.
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 California. Since 2007, Burbank has prohibited smoking at all city-owned properties, downtown Burbank, the Chandler Bikeway, and sidewalk and pedestrian areas.
Burbank has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild to warm winters and occasional rainfall. The highest recorded temperature in Glendale was 114 °F in 2018 on a number of occasions and the lowest was 22 °F in 1978. The warmest month is August and the coolest is January.
According to the 2010 United States Census, reported population was 103,340.
The racial makeup of Burbank was 75,167 (72.7%) White (58.3% Non-Hispanic White), 2,600 (2.5%) African American, 486 (0.5%) Native American, 12,007 (11.6%) Asian, 89 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 7,999 (7.7%) from other races, and 4,992 (4.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 25,310 persons (24.5%).
According to the 2010 United States Census, Burbank had a median household income of $66,240, with 9.4% of the population living below the federal poverty line
Burbank is a charter city which operates under a council–manager form of government. In 1927, voters approved the Council-Manager form of government. The five-member City Council is elected for four-year overlapping terms, with the Mayor appointed annually from among the Council. The City Clerk and the City Treasurer are also elected officials.
City Mayor: Sharon Springer
In the state legislature, Burbank is in the 25th Senate District, represented by Democrat Anthony Portantino, and in the 43rd Assembly District, represented by Democrat Laura Friedman.In the United States House of Representatives, Burbank is split between California’s 28th and 30th congressional districts, which are represented by Democrat Adam Schiff and Democrat Brad Sherman, respectively.In the United States Senate, Burbank is represented by California’s Senators Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris.
Burbank is within the Burbank Unified School District.
Burbank is home to several California Distinguished Schools including:
- Luther Burbank Middle School
- David Starr Jordan Middle School.
Both its public and private K-12 schools routinely score above state and national average test scores. According to U.S. News Best High Schools rankings, the district contains three schools that received gold, silver or bronze medals in the publication’s latest rankings.
The largest university in Burbank is Woodbury University. Woodbury has a number of undergraduate and graduate programs, including business, architecture, and several design programs. A number of smaller colleges are also located in Burbank, including several makeup and beauty trade schools serving the entertainment industry. The nearest community college to Burbank is Los Angeles Valley College, which is west of the city.
- The Concordia Schools Concordia Burbank, a K–6 private school
- Lycee International de Los Angeles, a bilingual French American college preparatory school, grades 6–12
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