Original Los Angeles Fire Station 29 had room for horses, hay

| March 28, 2013 | 0 Comments

Join members of Fire Station 29 when they celebrate its 100th year at a pancake breakfast on Tues., April 16 at 8 a.m. at 4029 Wilshire Blvd.

FIRST HOME OF fire station was on Western Ave. until 1991.

FIRST HOME OF L.A. fire station 29 was on Western Ave. until 1991.

The station originally was located on Western Ave. between 1st and 2nd streets. The main building was a two-story, brick, Italian Renaissance style structure housing equipment on the first floor and living and office areas upstairs. Since the building was initially designed for horse-drawn carriage, the kitchen and hay storage areas were built separately at the back of the lot.

Female volunteer fire fighters

Prior to Fire Station 29 opening, the protection of the area was provided by local women, since their husbands were downtown at work. In August of 1912, then Fire Chief Archibald Eley formed a second female volunteer fire company among socially prominent women residing in the 1st St. and Manhattan Pl. area, which was the western outskirts of the city. Their district was so large that they modified their hose cart to enable it to be towed behind one of their automobiles.

Natural springs water supply

For a water supply, they used the natural springs in the area such as the one still located at Beverly Blvd. and Oxford Ave. Officially known as the Manhattan Place Volunteer Fire Brigade of the LAFD, Capt. J.A. Caldwell and the matrons renamed their company “The Society Fire Department.”

One day off a month

In the early days, few of the firefighters were married. This was due, in part, to the work schedule. They worked 24 hours per day, seven days per week with one day off a month.

In 1915, the Los Angeles Fire Department went to the two- platoon system, and in 1960 adopted the present schedule, whereby firefighters and paramedics work a 24-hour schedule, three of every nine days equaling a 56 hour work week.
Old Fire Station 29 served the citizens of Los Angeles for almost 78 years, closing on Jan. 22, 1991. That same day, new Fire Station 29 opened at 4029 Wilshire Blvd. at Van Ness Ave.

FIREFIGHTERS now call Wilshire Blvd. station “home.”

FIREFIGHTERS now call Wilshire Blvd. station “home.”

New Fire Station 29

The “new” Fire Station 29, a 9,000 square foot tri-level structure, was built at a cost of $1.9 million. It houses Task Force 29 consisting of a truck company (hook and ladder) and a two-piece engine company. It also houses a rescue ambulance and is the headquarters for the Battalion 11 chief.

The area covered by Fire Station 29 includes Wilshire Center, Koreatown, Hancock Park, Windsor Square and Fremont Place.


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