The Burbank Northwest District spans the streets and homes southeast of the Burbank Airport along the railroad tracks, across Empire center (past Valhalla) to McCambridge, a strip of suburban/light commercial Burbank above the Interstate 5 freeway. The Eastern end of the Northwest District is a ribbon of shops and stores Northeast of the 5 Freeway that serves mostly the Starlight and Hillside communities.
The Battle of Providencia was fought over Burbank land in 1845, and while the South end of Burbank answers to the entertainment industry and the Northeast end speaks to the shoppers, Northwest Burbank is about quiet living and industrial commerce. Dotted commercial shops and a centralized anchor mall (Empire Center) reflect the City’s development direction. Before Empire Center was built, most of this area was Lockheed-related. The proximity to the airport and Amtrak station make travel very convenient from this neighborhood.
At the north end, municipal bits of San Fernando Road (paved in 1911) rise up to Glenoaks and then fall West to Vineland. In 1910, when the money for the railroad was raised, contributions from Stough (Stough Park) enabled a city on the edge of industrial success. Rail adjacent (before Chandler tracks were torn out), most of this neighborhood’s industrial output could freight fast to anywhere in the United States.
The Brand Pumping Plant on Verdugo Avenue started officially providing Burbank’s electricity. This subareas within the Northwest District began to populate with generic business, services, and repair shops for equipment and cars. Later diversifications led to light office space. Current residents might not realize that their paved roads and intersections were once farms.
Parks inside the Northwest District Environs are Ralph Foy Park, Pacific Park, Whitnall Highway North, Valley Park, and McCambridge bordering the Northeast boundary. The Northwest branch of the Burbank Public Library is found in this district, as is the Main Burbank Post Office on Hollywood Way close to the airport. Luther Burbank Middle School also is found in this neighborhood.
The Valhalla Memorial, the Portal of the Folded Wings is a key attraction of this neighborhood. Built in 1924, this elegant and poetic structure inspires respect and admiration for those who contributed efforts toward the science and art of aviation. the National Register of Historic Places lists this site in North Hollywood, yet the property in fact is in Burbank.