Oldest Firehouse in L.A.

When I took the train to downtown Los Angeles last week, I arrived at Union Station, across from Olvera Street and El Pueblo de Los Angeles historical monument. One of L.A.’s original areas, it’s always fun to visit. The celebration of Dia de Los Muertos was on, so colorful costumes were abundant, music playing, dancers on the Plaza stage. After lunch at Philippe’s, I was able to spend time in the surrounding museums. I don’t remember visiting the firehouse museum before, but discovered it to be fascinating. It’s the red brick building with the bell tower in the picture below.Los Angeles firehouseAccording to their information flyer, “in 1884, the Plaza Firehouse was the first building to be constructed by the City of Los Angeles for housing fire fighting equipment and personnel. Over the years, until 1953 when the building became part of the State Historic Park, it had gone from being a firehouse to a saloon, cigar store, poolroom, house of ill repute, Chinese vegetable market, and Chinese drug store. Around 1926 it was called the Cosmopolitan Saloon. The area had greatly deteriorated, and by the late 1940s the firehouse had degenerated into a cheap drug store with flop-housing upstairs.”

If you get a chance to visit downtown, be sure to stop at the firehouse. The docent had a wealth of fun and interesting info to share. Heads up, though, you’re not allowed to slide down the fire pole! ~SueBee (photos by SueBee) (Click on the pictures to view full size)

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Categories: In the City, Museums, Nostalgia, Photography


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