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Museum Info

Hollywood Museum

1355 N. Caheunga Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
(323) 464 - 2727
SAT 10a - 4p

Harbor Museum

638 Beacon Street
San Pedro, CA 90731
(323) 464 - 2727
SAT 10a - 3p

Off-hour tours available
by special request.

Author: admin

Memories of Northridge

The Northridge Earthquake - The LAFD Historical Society Remembers.

Northridge Earthquake Damage

This week, Los Angeles is buzzing with memories of the 1994 Northridge earthquake. At 4:31 on the 17th of January in 1994, a significant earthquake ripped through the San Fernando Valley, northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Although centered in Reseda, the Northridge quake as it is known, killed 57 people, sent 1,600 to area hospitals, and injured more than 8,700.

From a scientific perspective, this was an interesting quake, and quite different from the one most eyes are trained on: the San Andreas. When the San Andreas next rips, it will shift the ground side to side - a slip fault. The Northridge fault pushed up - a blind thrust fault called the Pico fault.

The Northridge quake wasn't a particularly large quake on the magnitude scale - a 6.7 magnitude, but it was one of the most destructive local quakes ever recorded in North America. A freeway overpass on the Santa Monica Freeway collapsed more than 20 miles from the epicenter.

We're learning more about new and potentially deadly faults all the time. Hollywood has been at the center of a battle over the construction of new buildings close to fault lines. And, with good reason. The USGS is worried that a major quake in Hollywood would kill or injure more than 11,000 people, cause more than $20 billion in damage, and literally destroy the Hollywood area. Fire following a quake like that could bolt not only through Hollywood itself, but the neighboring Hollywood HIlls. It was fire that destroyed most of San Francisco after the Big 1906 quake, and more than 110 fires destroyed blocks of buildings following the Northridge quake.

The Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society is headquartered in Hollywood, and Old Fire Station 27 - now the home of the LAFD Museum - has some significant earthquake history. In fact, it's only because of the building being damaged in an earthquake that the City of Los Angeles eventually agreed to lease it to the LAFD Historical Society. 

Our friends at MySafe:LA have gathered a number of interviews with LAFDHS members, including Director of Operations Frank W. Borden - and are making those interviews available via podcast. You can learn more by visiting the MySafe:LA podcast.

Welcome!!!

Welcome to the Los Angeles Fire Department Historical Society's blog. Our blog is part of our completely redesigned website. Expect to read a wide variety of news, opinion, and editorial about the history of the Los Angeles Fire Department and the city she serves.

This is an exciting time for the LAFDHS and the museum and memorial. The Memorial Plaza was completed just this month - after more than four years of planning, fund-raising, and construction. There are some remaining small areas that require minute detail work, but the overall plaza is complete and it's ready for use.

We'll celebrate the completion of the plaza with a ribbon-cutting and Open House on August 17, beginning at 11AM. We hope you can join us for a terrific afternoon of music, tours, fire engine rides, and much more.

This summer is also the kick off for our first formal fund-raising program, Firing Up Our Future. Those most at risk relative to injury or death from fire or accident include our kids and our seniors. Our $3 million dollar campaign is designed to develop and deliver a range of education and preservation programs that will benefit the community and all of our fellow citizens, young and not so young.

We welcome your thoughts, comments, and suggestions regarding everything related to the LAFDHS, including our Fallen Firefighter Memorial, our two museums (Hollywood and San Pedro), and Old Fireboat No. 2, the Ralph J. Scott. Tell us what you think, and don't forget we're always interested in meeting new friends, as well as greeting old ones. So, stop by on any Saturday from 10AM through 4PM.