LAFD Museums





The African American Firefighter Museum is dedicated to collecting, conserving and sharing the heritage of African American firefighters. The history of African American firefighters in Los Angeles spans more than 100 years and provides a unique glimpse into the history of firefighting, race relations and segregation in the City.

The Museum is housed at old Fire Station 30 - one of two segregated fire stations in Los Angeles between 1924 and 1955. It was built in 1913 to serve the Central Avenue community of the City. It is now beautifully restored and has the original apparatus floor tiles, poles and kitchen out-building. Old Fire Station 30 is now a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument - 289 on the historic register - and is the recipient of the Los Angeles Conservancy's 1999 Preservation Award. It is opened to the public as a museum.

Old Fire Station 30 exhibits display a wide array of firefighting paraphernalia including vintage engines (a 1940 Pirsch ladder truck and a 1890 hose wagon), uniforms from New York, LA County and LA City firefighters, badges, helmets, displays of African American women firefighters, photographs, and other authentic firefighting artifacts.

African-American Firefighter Museum (Old 30s)
1401 South Central Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90021-2607
213.744.1730 [ Direct Line ]
Visit the African-American Firefighter Museum Online: [ AAFF Museum ]




On October 13, 1960, Fireman Bob Foster (Truck 17-B) was appointed the department's official historian by the Fire Commission. In 1981, Acting Chief Engineer Alan R. Evanson created a committee to further support archiving history of the department. Two of the firefighters named to the committee were Don Dodd and William Dahlquist, serve the LAFD Historical Society to this day. The committee evolved into a formal organization. The Society was initially named "Olde 23s" because of the expectation that the group would restore old Fire Station 23 and move in to the facility. Unfortunately, that never happened. In 1998, the group became a non-profit public benefit corporation (501c3) and was formally named the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society (LAFDHS). They were in need of a new home.

Fire Station 27 had withstood significant damage during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. In 2001, a new fire station was completed next door, and the old building was slated to become a community center. With some dedicated commitment on the part of a number of local officials, Society members, and LAFD management, the LAFDHS received a long-term lease on the building. In the years that followed, the Society developed an inventory of more than 30 pieces of firefighting apparatus significant to Los Angeles, thousands of artifacts (some dating back to the 1880s), and hundreds of hours of film and video.

Since taking over old Fire Station 27, the LAFDHS has opened it to the public as a museum, and has also opened a smaller, but no less impressive museum in San Pedro. Both are opened on Saturdays from 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM.

Today, the LAFDHS is working to preserve the history of the department, focusing on both artifacts, apparatus and documents. The organization relies on donations and corporate gifts.

323.464.2727 [ Direct Line ]
Learn more about the LAFD Historical Society [ LAFDHS Museums ]



The Old Plaza Firehouse is the oldest firehouse in Los Angeles, operating from 1884 to 1897. Since then the building has been used as a saloon, cigar store, poolroom, "seedy hotel", Chinese market, "flop house", and drugstore. The building was restored in the 1950s and opened as a firefighting museum in 1960.

The Old Plaza Firehouse
501 North Los Angeles Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
213.485.8437 [ Direct Line ]



LA FIRE HISTORICAL ARCHIVES is maintained by LAFD Captain Larry Schneider. It is a wonderful resource for information regarding the history of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Digital historic archives are being released that focus on the more than 125 years the department has served the public. We invite you to explore the history of this unique and special department. The purpose of the Archive is to collect and present in a simple format the history of the Los Angeles Fire Department. It is Captain Schneider's belief that knowing one's history is to better understand the present and better prepare for the future.

The Archive includes hundreds of photos, newspaper articles, reports, records, and maps. The archive is a work in progress and Captain Schneider welcomes submissions.

Visit the archive: [ ]

Historic LAFD Station Details



To learn about the past Chief Engineers (now called the Fire Chiefs), we encourage you to visit for a complete list through the most recently retired Fire Chief, Brian Cummings.
View the list: [ Past Fire Chiefs ]