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Statue without limitations

Artistic take on David Burbank now stands 12 feet tall at Five Points.

January 13, 2010|By Christopher Cadelago

Dr. David Burbank, a dentist and sheep rancher whose name lives on in the city for which he was named, was recognized Tuesday at Five Points with a statue in his likeness, capping months of anticipation and transforming the busy corner into a grassy lookout.

City executives Tuesday dedicated the 12-foot-tall statue along with a time capsule and plaques recognizing Burbank’s sister cities in an upbeat ceremony at 1075 West Burbank Blvd.

Children looked on from the shoulders of their parents at the 50-foot-tall pole bearing a flapping American flag as the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines presented the colors.

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“I cannot think of a better use or better day to dedicate it,” City Manager Mike Flad said, thanking a host of dignitaries before circling back to officials who made the land public in perpetuity. “You don’t see this project but for the wisdom of the City Council.”

City Council members had approved the gateway public art project and appropriated $365,000 for the statue, with another $300,000 for site improvements at Five Points, according to city reports.

Hand-fabricated in Italy by Andrea Favilli, the bronze sculpture depicts Burbank standing atop a large pedestal and features images associated with the city’s transportation- and media-related history.

“Believe it or not, there’s very little out there about David Burbank,” Favilli told a group after the unveiling. “That’s why we did this.”

Born Dec. 17, 1821, in Effingham, N.H., Burbank moved to California in 1853. He rose to prominence after buying nearly 10,000 acres of Southern California land and overseeing one of the largest sheep farms. Two years before his death in 1895, he opened the Burbank Theatre on South Main Street in Los Angeles.

The city was later named in his honor.

Standing below the sculpture, Mayor Gary Bric said the representation instantly would be among the city’s most recognizable pieces of public art.

“You can’t miss it,” Bric said.

On the heels of digging up a 50-year-old time capsule buried below the Magnolia Boulevard Bridge, officials Monday dedicated a capsule containing letters from council members, drawings from schoolchildren and photographs of notable architecture.

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