Historic USC-Close Fire Station Hits the Road

Fire Station No. 15 headed to a new home overnight (with a lot of help along the way).

Changing things around at a university is pretty standard everyday stuff.

A student wants swap a drama class for a seminar on dance, a couple of professors want to trade offices, and the student union's busy coffeehouse will head to another building in search of larger digs.

To take the entire 250-ton concrete façade of a decades-old fire station and truck it over to a new location is a bit more unusual, however, even in the annals of the ever-changing, always evolving college campus.

But the University of Southern California did just that, on Monday, Oct. 5, when historic Fire Station No. 15 beat a path over to its next home at the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

The 1950s façade will "become part of a sound studio" at the 32nd Street-located school, says a USC representative. The school is three blocks away from the fire house's longtime home.

And, of course, "beat a path" sounds as if dozens upon dozens of people weren't involved in the challenging move, which required "a custom rig atop three 12-wheeled trailers" for the 24-by-51-foot concrete structure.

How fast does such a get-up go? There was not pedal-to-the-metal-ing happening in West Adams; speeds topped at a three miles an hour.

As for what happens to the firefighting company that serves the West Adams neighborhood and what comes next? A new station was built "at USC's expense," at Hoover Street and 30th Avenue, and "the firefighters are already settled into their new digs," which are described as a "state-of-the-art facility."

The preserving of the historic façade is a part of the USC Village master plan. And, yes, just the facade, or a third of the original building, made the move (the remainder "will be demolished to make room for a pedestrian walkway").

Though it was moved in the middle of the night, Fire Station No. 15 will have its day in the sun on Saturday, Oct. 10, when a grand opening ceremony is held at the new fire station's Hoover location. (update)

bottom photo: LAFD Photo Album Collection 

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