The City of Burbank is home to twelve historic properties that have been recognized at the national, state, or local level. Please view the Historic Resources Poster or the Historic Resources Handout to learn more about the Historic Resources in Burbank. You may also continue to read this page to find out more information about Burbank's Historic Resources.
National Register of Historic Places
The federal historic preservation program is the National Register of Historic Places, which recognizes buildings and places of local, state, and national significance. There are specific criteria that a property must meet in order to be listed on the National Register (e.g. the property's association with events in history and significant persons, distinctive characteristics, architectural style, physical integrity, etc.). For more information about National preservation programs, please visit the following website: National Register of Historic Places.
The City of Burbank is fortunate to have three properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places:
Burbank City Hall, 275 East Olive Avenue
City Hall, located at 275 East Olive Avenue, was designed and built by George W. Lutzi and William Allen in 1943. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1996. City Hall is notable for its modern/art deco architecture, which was popular in the 1930s and 1940s. The architecture celebrates the achievements of technology and the taming of nature.
For more information about City Hall, please click here
Burbank Post Office, 125 East Olive Avenue
The Downtown Burbank Post Office is an eclectic Mediterranean-styled building containing elements of the Spanish Colonial Revival, the Mission Style, and the Pueblo Style. The building was designed and built in 1937 by Gilbert Stanley Underwood. He was one of the most successful Los Angeles architects during the 1930s. He received numerous federal commissions for large projects, notably the Los Angeles Federal Building and Courthouse and the Lost Angeles Terminal Annex Post Office. The Burbank Post Office is an important example of the architect's smaller buildings.
The front entrance is marked by an arcaded loggia, with an irregular, picturesque massing. The public lobby is decorated with two Treasury Department Section of Fine Arts murals, depicting elements of Burbank’s Economic Base. Distinctive exterior features include an arched entry façade with a tile floor and exposed beam ceiling; recessed windows, some of which have wrought iron grates, others with rustic wooden shutters. The building also contains a mural, painted in 1940 by Barse Miller. The murals depict two of Burbank’s primary historical industries, “Aviation” and “Motion Picture Filming.” A noted painter and educator, Miller received several federal commissions for murals in the 1930s and early 1940s, and his work is included in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and in the National Museum of Art in Glasgow, Scotland.
Portal of the Folded Wings, Valhalla Memorial Park
(This landmark is listed in the National Register as being in North Hollywood because Valhalla Memorial Park has a North Hollywood street address. However, the landmark itself is located in the City of Burbank.)
In 1924, architect Kenneth MacDonald, Jr. and sculptor Federico Giorgi built the Valhalla Memorial Rotunda, now known as the Portal of the Folded Wings Shrine to Aviation and Museum, on the eastern edge of Pierce Brothers Valhalla Cemetery. This was the original entrance to the cemetery, before being closed off in the 1930s (after Union Airport, now Bob Hope Airport, opened). For a more detailed history of this monument, please click here.
California Register of Historic Resources
In addition to the National Register, the California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) has developed three historic registration programs: California Historical Landmarks, California Points of Historic Interest, and the California Register of Historical Resources. Each registration program has a different set of criteria and designation procedure. For more information about California's preservation programs, please visit the following website: California Historical Landmarks.
Burbank is fortunate to have a property listed as a California Point of Historic Interest:
Bob's Big Boy, 4211 Riverside Drive
The original Bob’s Big Boy restaurant building and sign were designated a California Point of Historic Interest in 1992. The restaurant was built in 1949 by local residents Scott MacDonald and Ward Albert, and is the oldest remaining Bob’s Big Boy restaurant in America. The large monumental sign is an integral part of the building’s design and is its most prominent feature. The restaurant was designed by respected architect Wayne McAllister and the building is a transitional design that incorporates 1940’s streamline modern styles while anticipating the freeform 1950’s coffee shop architecture. Of the more than 100 buildings that Wayne McAllister built in Los Angeles County from 1934 until 1952, only a few remain and the Bob’s Big Boy is one of the best preserved.
City of Burbank Historic Resources
The City of Burbank currently has eight offically designated Historic Resources:
The Rock House, 902 East Olive Avenue
The Rock House was built between 1921 and 1923 and was constructed in the Craftsman style using indigenous river rocks that were likely cultivated from the surrounding landscape including the nearby Verdugo Mountains. This property and the neighboring property at 906 East Olive Avenue are the only two known remaining properties in the City of Burbank using this type of construction. The house was built for and originally owned by Orlando C. Lane, who moved with his family to Burbank in 1889 at the age of eight. He established a bicycle repair shop, later followed by an auto repair garage, and finally a Ford auto dealership. Lane’s granddaughter told the current owners that Henry Ford once stayed at the house while in town to inspect the dealership. Lane was acquainted with aviator Amelia Earhart and humorist Will Rogers, both of whom are said to have visited the house. The current owners have restored the exteriors of the house and garages to their original condition. As they stand today, the stone walls, concrete tile roof, windows, and other exterior finishes and features are believed to be the original materials and configuration of the structures.
834 East Magnolia Boulevard
This two-story, wood framed farmhouse, built in 1910 is characterized by a front gabled roof with unenclosed eave overhangs, exposed roof rafters, triangular knee braces, decorative beams under the gables, a full width porch, a wide front porch, decorative vent covers, a poured concrete foundation, and original redwood siding. The front porch and first floor have horizontal redwood siding, while coursed redwood shingles cover the walls on the second floor. The second floor was also constructed with shed style dormers, which allow for more light and air circulation. The house appears to have been constructed in the Transitional farmhouse architectural style with early Craftsman influence, which was popular in the early part of the 20th century. This property is also one of the relatively few known remaining properties in Burbank that showcase this style of architecture in addition to being one of the oldest known structures in the city
923 East Magnolia Boulevard
This one-story, wood framed home was built in 1927 in the English Tudor Revival style. The Tudor Revival style was popular in Southern California from the 1910’s - 1930’s and is based on late medieval English cottage styles.
The home was commissioned and paid for by Ruth Roland (1892-1937), a cousin of one of the original property owners. Her relatives still live in the home. Ms. Roland was an early silent movie star and Los Angeles area real estate investor. She appeared in over 100 silent movies, serials, and several “talkies.” Over the course of her career, she worked for the Kalem Company and later, Balboa Studios. The Kalem Company was bought out by Vitagraph Studios, which was eventually taken over by Warner Bros.
Ruth Roland built a concrete vault in the backyard of 923 East Magnolia Boulevard in which she stored a collection of her films. After her death in 1937, the films remained locked in the vault until 1980, when her relatives unlocked the vault and donated the rare films to the UCLA Film Archives.
901 Sherlock Drive
This two-story, wood framed home was built in 1923 in the Dutch Colonial Revival style that was popular in Los Angeles in 1920-1940. The style’s popularity later diminished and Dutch Colonial Revival houses are now difficult to find in the Los Angeles area. This may be the only Dutch Colonial Revival home in Burbank today.
The first owner of the house was Dr. Edwin Butterfield. Dr. Butterfield was a prominent, socially active resident in Burbank’s early history. He was an ear, eye, nose, and throat specialist that practiced locally at 227 East Angeleno Avenue and also worked at the Burbank Community Hospital on Olive Avenue, which was across from Bellarmine Jefferson High School. He was also a member of the American Medical Association and was a charter member of Burbank Rotary club. His wife, Mrs. Bertha Butterfield served as president of The Burbank’s Women Club in 1944 and retained her position as a Director after 1944. Victor Jones purchased the home in 1948. He worked as a gaffer for the Paramount Studio for 25 years. His works included many Alfred Hitchcock films.
910 Sherlock Drive
This 2,357 square foot, two-story Spanish Colonial Revival home was built in 1927 and is located in the Burbank hillside area. Although the interior of the home has been renovated over time, the exterior of the home has been only minimally altered. The home was built during the Residential Development Boom period of 1912-1928. In the late 1910s, Burbank grew beyond the downtown core as numerous manufacturing companies set up plants in Burbank. The establishment of Warner Bros. and Lockheed during the late 1920s set the stage for even more residential and commercial development, particularly in the Benmar Hills area, which this home is just north of.
The house reflects the Spanish Colonial Revival style, which was popular in Southern California from 1915 to the 1930s. The style grew out of a renewed interest in the Spanish Missions in the Southwest and the Monterey Revival. The architectural features of this style are intended to reflect traditional Spanish architecture with local building materials, such as Adobe brick or stucco. This style was used in the design of many single and multiple-family residences constructed in the city from the 1920s through the early 1930s.
115 North Lomita Street (1015 West Olive Avenue)
The Mentzer House was built prior to the official incorporation of the City (which occurred in 1911). By 1887, the Providencia Land and Water Development Company (PLWC) had purchased large areas of land in the area that was to become Burbank and constructed much of the initial public infrastructure as well as completed the land subdivision that would further facilitate a boom in commercial and residential development. During this time period, PLWC had seven Queen Anne style residential buildings constructed. In May of that 1887, the PLWC had Los Angeles contactor Milo E. Mather construct a one-story residence for Amos Leslie Burbank (no relation to David Burbank) and a two-story residence for Thomas William T. Richards. By July another home was constructed for Richards, along with two residences for L.T. Garnsey, a residence for T. McNeil and a boarding house for John Downey Harvey; it is likely that the builder for these buildings was M. E. Mather as well. The seven houses, known today as the “boom houses,” were the only homes constructed by the PLWC and it appears that they were sold immediately after construction.
There are only three of these homes still standing. They consist of two extensively altered boom houses located at 815 East Angeleno Avenue and along Orange Grove Avenue and a third house - the Mentzer House - that was moved to its current site in 1977 and restored by the Burbank Historical Society to its original condition.
922 North Bel Aire Drive
This home is a 3,280 square foot, two-story Colonial Revival style home built in 1941. The home was designed by Sumner Spaulding, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Mr. Spaulding designed a variety of architecturally significant buildings in Southern California, including the Avalon Casino on Catalina Island, Case Study House #2 in Pasadena, and the Harold Lloyd House in Beverly Hills.
The home was originally constructed for Robert and Eleanor Hiller, who moved to Burbank in 1938. Mrs. Hiller served both Burbank and the State for over 20 years in matters related to women’s probation and corrections issues. She served on the Burbank Police Commission from 1953-1961, and was named Burbank’s Woman of the Year in 1953 by the Zonta Club. Throughout the mid-1950s, she served on the State Advisory Committee for Children and the Committee for Youth and Crime Prevention. Appointed by Governor Reagan, she was the chairwoman of the California Women’s Board of Terms and Parole from 1967 to 1977. She was also a delegate and local chairwoman of the White House Conference on Children and Youth, and member of the Neighborhood Youth Association, Burbank Family Service, and the Big Sister League.
1258 East Elmwood Avenue
This home is a 2,626 square foot, two-story Spanish Colonial Revival home, built in 1927 and located in the Burbank hillside area. It was built during the Residential Development Boom period (1912-1928). According to statements from their neighbors, the current owners believe that the second owners, Stanton J. Raimey and Lawrence Wilson Isham, offered the home as a “secret escape” to many Hollywood stars. Rudy Vallee, a popular singer and bandleader during the 1920’s – 1940’s, was said to be a frequent guest of the second owners and it is believed that the chandeliers in the home were purchased by him as a gift to the second owners.
837 East Olive Avenue
This home is a 2,094 square foot, one-story Oriental Craftsman home, built in 1918. It has the distinction of being the only known Oriental Craftsman style home in Burbank, and appears to retain all of its original exterior details and features. The home's stylized roof eaves and stone porch piers link it to the Oriental Craftsman style. This home was also featured in "The Architecture of Los Angeles" (1981), written by Paul Gleye in collaboration with the Los Angeles Conservancy.
For more information, please contact the Planning Division at (818) 238-5250.