Mentzer House (1887) and Lockhead F-104 Starfighter, Spirit of Burbank
George Izay Park
1100 West Clark Avenue
Burbank, CA 91506
Burbank's Historical Society is quite busy between operating a main museum, an historic house, and hosting special events such as film premiers, book discussions, guest lecturers and creating special displays and exhibitions. Run completely by volunteers with no paid staff, the public is invited to visit and join or support the society if they like.
If you drive up to George Izay Park it's quite a blast to see a Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, Spirit of Burbank, mounted gracefully in the sky for all to see. It stands in contrast to the historic Mentzer House with an ornate white, picket fence and Victorian wood accents. It's a striking display showcasing less than a century of change from Old World craftsmanship to modern science applied to the journey into space.
The Historical Society Gordon R. Howard Museum Complex spans about a city block with the attractions mentioned, and a fabulous museum. Housed in the 20,000 square foot facility named in honor of benefactor, Gordon R. Howard, The bulk of the society’s collection—vintage automobiles, movie & music memorabilia, farming equipment, commercial logos and products made in Burbank, and so much more—have been donated are on loan. Authentic women's attire, indoor settings with furniture, record albums, celluloid film, and countless photos and promotional posters truly offer something for every eye and interest.
We were passing by this Burbank gem and discovered it was like everything else we encountered in Burbank by accident. Just passing through, we haven't had enough time to dig down in the exhibitions and information to learn all the fascination history Burbank has experienced. The good news is that once you see the historical museum you'll want to come back again. And although their website (burbankhistoricalsoc.org) tantalizes with old black & white pictures, you'll definitely find yourself saying that you must go back for the hands-on experience again.