Construction is underway on a two-story addition to the Gordon R.
Howard museum complex on Olive Avenue, and Burbank Historical Society
founder Mary Jane Strickland couldn’t be happier.
“We were out of room and had no place to do any more displays,”
Strickland said of the complex, which houses the historical society.
“We just came to the conclusion that we needed more space.”
When the 7,000-square-foot addition is completed in October,
Strickland said it will give her and her cadre of volunteers the
opportunity to totally renovate existing exhibits and create new
In addition to showcasing a vast array of artifacts donated to the
historical society, Strickland said that Walt Disney Co. and Warner
Bros. will mount new displays in the museum.
Burbank’s history is tied into that of Warner Bros., said Leith
Adams, the studio’s executive director of corporate archives.
“Warner Bros. Studios is excited to share some of [its] costumes,
documents, artifacts and props that were used in making films and
television right down the street for the last seven decades,” Adams
Disney has a small exhibit in the museum that focuses on its
relationship with the city during most of its 80-year history, Disney
spokeswoman Marilyn Waters said.
“The new exhibit will add a fresh element, including interactive
pieces that appeal to children who often visit the museum,” she said.
The construction, which will include covering and enclosing the
existing courtyard, was made possible following a three-year
fund-raising campaign, Strickland said.
Mary M. Howard, the widow of Gordon R. Howard -- a major
benefactor of the historical society -- contributed $100,000 to the
“They have great plans for this additional space,” Howard said. “I
didn’t question them about it. I thought I would just wait and see
and be surprised.”
The museum, at 1015 W. Olive Ave., will close Sept. 14 and reopen
to the public Oct. 19, Strickland said.