Things to see in the New York City Fire Museum

"Firefighting on Parade" at the New York City Fire Museum

The New York City Fire Museum is a museum devoted to the New York City Fire Department in the Hudson Square area of Manhattan, New York City. It is housed in the earlier quarters of the FDNY’s Engine Company No. 30, a restored 1904 firehouse at 278 Spring Street between Hudson and Varick Streets.

It is a 1904 firehouse situated in the Soho district. The building’s design features Beaux Art architecture.

History of New York City Fire Museum:

The NYC Fire Museum’s origins date back to 1870 when it was installed in Fire Department Headquarters at 155 Mercer Street. Houston and Prince Streets in Manhattan. Exactly when the government dismantled the place is not recorded but was most likely when the officials relocated the headquarters to East 67th Street in the late 1880s. When the NYC Fire College was instituted in the Packard Building at 32-02 Queens Boulevard in Long Island City, Queens, Chief John McKenna requested that the relics be set up as a museum, along with a thesaurus, on the building’s seventh floor. A better home was acquired in 1948 in the new FDNY equipment repair shops at 48-58 35th Street in Long Island City. It stayed there until 1958 when a bay was vacated at Engine Company 7 and Hook & Ladder Company 1 at 100 Duane Street in Manhattan. This place made it much easier for the general public to visit the impressive array of artifacts displayed on two firehouse floors.

In 1981, the Home Insurance Company chose to remove its H. V. Smith Firefighting Museum, situated at 59 Maiden Lane. The collection was distributed to the City of New York. However, the museum collection was so widespread that officials could not accommodate it at the Duane Street location. The FDNY started on a campaign to raise the required funding to transform the empty beaux-arts firehouse at 278 Spring Street, originally constructed for Engine Company 30 in 1904, into a state-of-the-art New York City museum. Finally, in 1987, the new New York City Fire Museum opened its doors to the public.

How to reach New York City Fire Museum?

You can reach the museum in different ways, i.e., through subway, bus or cab. The museum remains open all seven days, but the museum’s opening hours keep changing, depending on the month and climate.

Guided Group Tours

For tourists, the museum offers more than twenty guided group tours in which the tourists can ask different questions from the firefighters, and firefighter answers their questions readily. Firefighters also share the museum’s history and other important facts about it. Firefightera also guide the tourists about taking precautions to fire danger.

Here are things to See and Explore in the New York City Fire Museum

Fire Engines

The first fire engine used by firefighters in the United States is beautifully restored and preserved inside this museum. Visitors love to observe this engine. Many other fire engines are also put on display inside the museum for the tourists. The turbines include:

  • The smallest fire engine (it is as big as a piano box).
  • Hand pump engines.
  • The largest fire engine, known as the Double Decker Philadelphia fire engine, can also be observed.

Paintings and Photography

You will find several photographs and paintings on the museum’s walls showcasing the fire fighting scenes and theme in New York City. On the walls, you will find the map of Manhattan city.

Parade Room

The parade room contains many worth seeing items from the fire fighting history. It is unmissable for history buffs. 

Clothing and tools

The museum also displays modern and historical clothing and tools used in fire fighting. An essential tool you will find here is the Jaws of Life.

911 Memorial Section

In the museum, you can explore the emotional 911-memorial section where they have beautifully captured the memories of those three hundred and forty-three firefighters who died in the process of protecting the people from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

Gift Store

Museum also has a gift store where you can purchase different items, including FDNY souvenirs. You can also buy these online.

Hell’s Hundred Acre

This is a place renowned for the highest count of death by fire. Retired FDNY personnel manage the tour. In this tour, the tourists visit Engine 31, five places more exposed to fire, Ground Zero, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Large Open Space

Museum also offers rent space to organize different events like birthday parties, wedding ceremonies, or any other get-together.

It will be great fun for the young and adult visitors to explore and observe different museum items. But kids really have great fun watching trucks and massive machinery. The New York City Fire Museum truly embodies the brave spirits of fire fighting men along with an extensive range of fire fighting artifacts.

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