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A Look at 7 Area Fire Stations Scheduled for Closure

March 12, 1987

Fire Station 56

2838 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake

This one-story station was built in 1924 in a Mediterranean Revival architectural style and has a red-tile roof, buff-colored brick and cream terra-cotta trim. As with many small fire stations of this era, it was designed to blend with the area's residences and features a small front lawn and landscaped juniper bushes.

Station 56 is under consideration as a City Cultural Monument, which would prohibit its demolition. Meanwhile, the building is temporarily protected and has been designated as architecturally significant by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board, which found it "an excellent example of the bungalow-type stations built in 1923-24."

Los Angeles city fire officials said they intend to sell the site and build a new station a block away at 2759 Rowena Ave. by mid-1988. About five individuals have expressed interest in buying the old station and possibly converting it to residential or office space, fire officials said. Any sale would require approval of the Los Angeles City Council.

Fire Station 6

534 E. Edgeware Road,

Echo Park / Angelino Heights

Built in 1929, Station 6 is an ornate, two-story building with an old-fashioned ceiling of stamped tin, brass fire poles and bas-relief stone carvings.

A new station is to be built within six months at 326 N. Virgil Ave.--about two miles away. Owners of several restored Victorian homes in the historic district of Angelino Heights oppose the move, fearing increased fire-response times. Fire Capt. Bruce Dodd said this week that Angelino Heights residents will be served with equal speed by a fire station on Sunset Boulevard and Alvarado Street, less than a mile away.

The old building's future is under debate. Fire officials said they may continue to use all or part of the building for administrative offices. There also is a proposal by some Angelino Heights residents to convert the station to a permanent home for the Echo Park branch library, which currently is housed in cramped quarters on Laveta Terrace.

Tom Levine, an Angelino Heights activist, said that placing the library in the gentrified neighborhood would provide an "ideal focal point" for the community. Levine said he has collected about 1,000 signatures from local residents who approve of the idea and will seek the support of newly elected Councilwoman Gloria Molina.

City officials, however, are not sold on the idea. A January report by the city library's administrative office concludes that the station site is inappropriate for a library because it is in a residential neighborhood far from the main flow of foot traffic. The report also said the building would require extensive improvements and did not provide enough space on the ground floor.

Fire Station 44

929 Cypress Ave., Glassell Park

Station 44 was considered for historical status until the Los Angeles Conservancy learned that major alterations had been made to the building. Fire officials said they hope to move within three months to a new station at 1410 Cypress Ave., five blocks away. The old site probably will be sold.

Built in 1924, this station is a one-story, brick building with a red-tile roof, hardwood floors, skylights, a stamped-tin ceiling and neatly manicured front lawn and landscaped bushes. The station has a detached kitchen in the back, a custom that dates to when food preparation was separated from horses that were kept in the station.

Fire Station 55

4455 York Blvd., Highland Park

This building, similar in construction to the Glassell Park station, will be demolished to make way for a larger, modern fire station. Station 55 originally was scheduled to close Feb. 15, but as construction was not expected to begin until May, neighbors petitioned the city and won a reprieve that will keep the station open until April 20.

Fire officials say the firefighters, engine and rescue ambulance will be housed at Station 12 on Figueroa Street in Highland Park while the new building is under construction. Local calls will be handled by several other nearby stations. Some homeowners, especially in the high fire-risk area of Mt. Washington, privately express doubts about the Fire Department's claim that response time will not increase while Station 55 is closed.

Fire Station 22

1505 S. Brand Blvd., Glendale

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