Personal Injury Attorneys Proudly Serving the South Chicago Suburb of Burbank
Twelve miles southwest of the Chicago Loop sits the community of Burbank. Burbank is one of the newest communities in Chicago, having been incorporated in 1970. Burbank is bordered by Chicago on the east, Oak Lawn on the south, Bridgeview on the west and Bedford Park on the north.
Back in 1850 the area now known as Burbank became the southeastern plot Lyons Township. In the late 1800s, State Road, the diagonal road that ran through the area connecting Ridgeland/Narragansett Avenues with Cicero Avenue, began to attract a Pittsburge investor who created a subdivision along the route that never really developed.
German and Dutch farmers instead began to settle in the area. A.B. Stickney, a prominent railroad executive at the time, began plans for a huge freight railroad transfer station that would include the northern part of what is now Burbank. However, the depression of 1893 derailed those efforts. After the turn of the century, the area became the southern tip of the newly incorporated Stickney Township. The area marked an 18 square mile tract split from the eastern portion of Lyons.
Subdivisions began to quickly populate the area in the 1920s as farmland was converted to real estate when developers snapped up the available plots. However, ongoing drainage issues and poor roads, along with inadequate sewer systems, curtailed efforts to sell the new homes that sprang up in the area. The Great Depression also had a huge impact on the interest of would-be home buyers at the time.
But finally, in 1952, with the development of the South Stickney Sanitary District, Burbank’s fortunes began to change. A new water and sewer system was first realized for the area known as South Stickney or Burbank Manor in 1959. Flooding issues diminished and area roads took on improvements with new streetlights and modern amenities of the time. The population soon experienced a boom, reaching over 20,000 residents in 1960.
The last part of Stickney Township to incorporate, Burbank did so in a concerted effort to avoid annexation by the City of Chicago. The city’s name was derived from the local Luther Burbank Elementary School, named for the noted horticulturist.
Just a few years after its incorporation the city’s population was to peak at nearly 30,000 residents. By the late 1970s, almost all of Burbank was subdivided. However, the city suffered a large decline in population in the year 2000.
Retail sales tax accounts for over half of Burbank’s revenue. Shops located along Harlem and Cicero Avenues, and businesses on 79th and 87th Streets have largely replaced all of the manufacturing plants that accounted for the area’s economy just a half-century ago.
The city is just a bit larger than it was in 1970 when it was incorporated.