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Inventory of the Fritz Burns Papers, 1899-circa 1980
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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
  • Collection Description
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms
  • Bibliography
  • Related Collections

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Fritz Burns papers
    Dates: 1899-circa 1980
    Bulk Dates: 1920-1959
    Collection number: CSLA-4
    Creator: Burns, Fritz B. (1899-1979)
    Collection Size: 13.25 linear ft
    Repository: Loyola Marymount University. Library. Department of Archives and Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90045-2659
    Abstract: The Fritz Burns Papers contain materials related to the life and career of this major developer of real estate in the Los Angeles area in the 1920s, and then in the late 1930s through the 1970s. The holdings consist of business records, correspondence, memoranda, scrapbooks, sales literature, and photographs.
    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 Research Collection is administered by the Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University. 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, Fritz Burns Papers, CSLA-4, Department of Archives and Special Collections, William H. Hannon Library, Loyola Marymount University.

    Acquisition Information

    Perhaps originally donated to Loyola Marymount University by the Fritz Burns Foundation, circa 1990. In 1990, Father Robert Trame, then University Archivist at LMU, transferred the papers to the Urban Archives at California State University, Northridge. They were then returned to Loyola Marymount University in 1996.

    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.

    Collection Description

    The Fritz Burns Papers (CSLA-4) especially cover Burns's early career and his involvement in the development of Palisades Del Rey (now part of Marina del Rey). There are also substantial holdings on his partnership with F. W. Marlow, which devleoped parts of West Los Angeles. Thus, the collection provides excellent resources for the study of the development of real estate and communities in Los Angeles.
    Materials in the collection include business correspondence and records, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and photographs, which are especially rich in documenting development in Los Angeles from the 1920s through the 1950s. Of interest are the notes for talks that Fritz Burns and his partner F. W. Marlow gave at morning sales meetings (1941-1942); newspaper clippings about public housing, and photographs of Burns and others and some of his projects.


    The Fritz Burns Papers are divided into five series, some with subseries:
    • Series One: Chronological Files, 1918-1980
    • Series Two: Legal and Financial Records, 1927-1936
    • Series Three: Photographs--Subseries A: Prints, Subseries B: Negatives, Subseries C: Albums
    • Series Four: Newspaper Clippings
    • Series Five: Scrapbooks
    Descriptions of each series are found in the series' box and folder lists described in this guide to the collection.

    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 B.
    Marlow, F. W. (Fred W.)
    Dickinson & Gillespie
    Real estate developers -- California, Southern -- Biography -- Sources
    Real estate development -- California, Southern -- History -- Sources
    Palisades del Rey (Calif.) -- History -- Sources
    Marina del Rey (Calif.) -- History -- Sources
    Los Angeles (Calif.) -- History -- 20th century -- Sources


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

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