Monday, April 22, 2013

New York City Fire Museum

I stumbled on the NYC Fire Museum completely by chance when I was downtown last week.  I almost walked past it, but noticed the flag waving outside and thought it would be worth a visit.  The museum is located in the old fire house of Engine 30 at 278 Spring Street, west of SoHo, and is the official museum of the New York Fire Department.

The NYC Fire Museum
I have never been in a fire house before and it was interesting to see the layout and how it may have worked when it was in use.  The museum is situated on the first 2 floors of the building, with the top floor reserved for private functions.  There was children's party there when I visited, so it was quite noisy!

I started on the 1st floor of the museum which is home to historic memorabilia dating back to the 1650's.  You can see horse drawn fire trucks, historical uniforms and equipment as well as the 'Firefighting on Parade' and 'Romance of Firefighting' exhibitions.

'Hand Pumper' Fire Truck
The ground floor contains more modern fire apparatus, tools and equipment.  Here you can try on uniforms and get up close and personal with real fire fighters waiting to answer questions and tell stories.
Try on real firefighter uniforms 
For me the most moving and memorable part of the museum was the '9/11 Memorial' exhibition.  There is a memorial made of 343 tiles containing the names and photographs of each firefighter who lost their lives on that day.  They have artifacts recovered from the World Trade Center and photographs taken on the day and the days that followed.  A second room if full of art work and images paying tribute to the fallen firefighters.  It was a moving and emotional exhibit.   

On a lighter note, there is a lovely little shop on site selling all sorts of NYC Fire fighter apparel, books, costumes and souvenirs.  They also have an online store which sells a wider variety of items.

I was pleasantly surprised by my visit to the New York City Fire Museum and it is worth a visit if you are in the area.  It is only $8 for adults and $5 for children, and is open every day from 10am to 5pm.  
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  1. Hi! How long does the visit tour take approximately?

  2. Hi Billie, thanks for your comment! It depends on how closely you look at everything, but I would say about an hour to an hour and a half to get a good look at most things in the museum.

    1. Hi, thanks for the rapid response! I'm currently planning my trip to NY and your blog helps me a lot, so thanks again!

    2. That's great! Let me know if you need any other tips or advice. Have a great trip!