New York City Fire Museum
The FDNY’s original museum opened as the Fire College Museum in Long Island City in 1934. In 1959 the collection was moved to the spare bay of a working firehouse at 100 Duane Street in Manhattan, where it remained until the Home Insurance Company presented its own extensive collection of fire memorabilia to the city in 1981, making a move to larger space imperative. A new non-profit, The Friends of the New York City Fire Department Collection, was created to raise funds to renovate the former quarters of Engine Company No. 30, a 1904 Beaux-Arts firehouse on Spring Street, and in 1987, the New York City Fire Museum opened its doors.
Displays illustrate the evolution of firefighting from the bucket brigades of Peter Stuyvesant’s New Amsterdam through the colorful history of volunteer firefighters to modern firefighting techniques and equipment. The Museum also houses a special memorial to the 343 members of the FDNY who made the Supreme Sacrifice on 9/11 and features a number of firefighting artifacts recovered from the World Trade Center site. A video room and a mock apartment with an artificial smoke machine and black-lighted fire hazards are used in the museum’s fire education program for school children ages K through 12.
The New York City Fire Museum attracts 40,000 visitors a year from all over America and almost every country in the world. Retired FDNY firefighters proudly volunteer to relate stories of New York City’s “Bravest” and with the help of the Museum’s stunning collection, tell how they got to be that way.