A retrospective of the first 100 years of work completed by Austin’s California Office.

Austin continued with project work for NBC in Burbank, completing more than 20 projects in the 1960s alone. For ABC, Austin completed approximately ten projects, including their Hollywood television studios (see photo below).

Following the entertainment industry business segment, Austin completed an additional 15 projects for Technicolor Corporation, a client and part of the industry that Austin served over the next 30 years.

Lockheed (Lockheed California Company) became an active client in 1962, a relationship that continues today. Austin’s work at Burbank Airport (see Through the Decades – The1930s) provided the connection to Lockheed, who, until the late-1980s, also called the Burbank airfield home. Austin’s nationwide work in the aviation industry for companies including Boeing, Douglas, and McDonald made the engagement with this new client seamless for Austin– we knew aviation.

Austin also began major work with Northrop (Northrop Corporation Norair and Space Divisions), completing more than 30 projects during the 1960s. These facilities were home to the Northrop F-5 family of supersonic light fighter aircraft. This included the original F-5A and F-5B Freedom Fighter. Though primarily designed for a day air superiority role, the aircraft was also a capable ground-attack platform. The F-5A entered service in the early 1960s. During the Cold War, over 800 were produced through 1972 for U.S. allies. Though at the time the United States Air Force (USAF) did not have a need for a light fighter, it did procure approximately 1,200 Northrop T-38 Talon trainer aircraft, which were based on Northrop’s N-156 fighter design.

Austin once again demonstrated its broad range of aviation experience opening doors to work in the aviation and defense industry across the country. This included projects with Grumman on the east coast beginning an active and ongoing relationship with Northrop Grumman that has spanned more than 60 years.

Freedom Fighter

Other clients with multiple projects during this time included familiar names such as Ford Motor Company, Montgomery Ward, Sunkist Growers, the Bureau of Yards and Docks, and U.S. Navy Facilities Engineering Command (collectively known today as NAVFAC). Less familiar names (today) included Burroughs Corporation, Pacific Southwest Realty (Security Pacific National Bank) – today a part of Bank of America, the Upjohn Company (now a part of Pfizer), and several Southern California newspaper printing companies – which would become a significant market segment for Austin in the decades ahead. Join us next month as we discuss the 1970s as Austin’s California office ventures into a series of new and expanded market segments and relocates from Los Angeles to Irvine, California.


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