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Inventory of the James Keane Collection of Fritz Burns Biographical Materials
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Fritz Burns Biography
  • Chronology
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Bibliography
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: James Keane Collection of Fritz Burns Biographical Materials
    Dates: 1923-2001
    Collection number: CSLA-24
    Creator: James Keane
    Collection Size: 4 archival document boxes, 2 flat files
    Repository: Loyola Marymount University. William H. Hannon Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
    Abstract: The collection contains the materials that James Keane used to write his biography of Fritz Burns: notes, the manuscript of Keane's book, photocopies of primary source materials, business brochures, and copies of business and personal correspondence of Fritz Burns. There are
    Physical location: Collection stored offsite. Research use requires both an advance notice of intent to use the collection and an appointment. To schedule an appointment, please contact the Department of Archives and Special Collection, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University: 310-338-2780, 310-338-5357.
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English


    The Fritz Burns Papers are part of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles Research Collection, a program of the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Center for the Study of Los Angeles, Loyola Marymount University. The Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University, administers the Research Collection. Research use requires both an advance notice of intent to use the collection and an appointment. Collection is open to research under the terms of use of the Department of Archives and Special Collections, Loyola Marymount University.

    Publication Rights

    Materials in the Department of Archives and Special Collections may be subject to copyright. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, Loyola Marymount University does not claim ownership of the copyright of any materials in its collections. The user or publisher must secure permission to publish from the copyright owner. Loyola Marymount University does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or of publication rights held by the original author or artists or his/her heirs, assigns, or executors.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Series number, Box and Folder number, James Keane Collection of Fritz Burns Biographical Materials, CSLA-24, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of James Keane, 2002 (acccession number 2002.17)

    Fritz Burns Biography

    Fritz Bernard Burns (1899-1979), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, was a powerful real estate developer in Southern California. As vice-president of Dickenson & Gillepsie real estate firm in Los Angeles in the 1920s, he oversaw the development of Palisades Del Rey (now Play Del Rey). With partner F. W. Marlow, he was involved in the development of Westchester, Windsor Hills, Panorama City, parts of North Hollywood and other areas in Los Angeles. Such projects made him a prominent developer in Los Angeles and a leader in the development of mass-produced housing, resulting in community development and the notion of middle class ownership of homes as a way of life. He was, consequently, a leading civic figure in the city. Burns was also a major philanthropic benefactor to Roman Catholic institutions, including Loyola Marymount University and Aquinas College. Burns was President of the Home Builders Association of Los Angeles in 1942 and of the National Association of Home Builders in 1945.


    1899 Born Fritz Bernard Burns, Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1916-1932 Salesman, sales manager, and executive vice president, Dickinson & Gillespie Corporation. Responsible for the development of Palisades del Rey, a beachfront area of Los Angeles County.
    1924 Marries Lucille Robinson, whom he divorced in 1927. The couple has one son, Fritz Patrick Burns (1925-1980).
    1937-1944 General partner with F. W. Marlow in Marlow-Burns Development Company, which develops Windsor Hills, Toluca Wood, Westchester, and parts of West Los Angeles.
    1940 Marries Gladys Carson Scheller (1897-1985).
    1945 With Henry J. Kaiser forms Kaiser Community Homes. Best known development is Panorama City. Also the two partners develop properties in Hawaii.
    1955 Burns receives "Man of Achievement" award from the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce.
    1960-1979 CEO, Fritz B. Burns and Associates. Partner in development of hotels and shopping centers in the Los Angeles area.
    1979 Death of Fritz B. Burns.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    This collection's holdings include copies of Keane's manuscript and his typewritten research notes, newspaper clippings, flyers and brochures, taped interviews and photographs. Items of particular interest include Keane's manuscript with editorial comments, photocopies of newspaper clippings regarding the life of Fritz Burns and news items regarding Los Angles City Housing Authority official Frank Wilkinson, who was fired in 1952, after refusing to answer questions from the California State Un-American Activities Committee. Also included in this collection are brochures and flyers for Burns development projects such as Palisades Del Rey, Riverside Ranchos, Del Rey Hills, Hastings Ranch and Windsor Hills, and copies of personal and business correspondence of Fritz Burns. The materials in this collection range in date from 1923 to 2001; however, the bulk of the collection dates from 2000 to 2001.
    The collection contains twenty-two micro-cassette tapes of interviews recorded during Keane's research for the book. Please note that the Research Collection lacks a machine capable of playing them.


    This small collection has no series; its holdings are listed by box and folder. James Keane's original filing system has been preserved as closely as possible.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Burns, Fritz
    Real estate development -- California, Southern -- History -- Sources
    Real estate developers -- California, Southern -- Biography -- Sources
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources
    Philanthropists -- California -- Los Angeles -- Biography -- Sources


    Keane, James Thomas. Fritz B. Burns and the Development of Los Angeles. Los Angeles, 2001

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