Pass under high stone arches through the doors with red brick walls into one of the country’s most important collection of fire related artifacts and artwork from 18th century to the present. Kids can wear fire-fighting outfits to create memorable photographs documenting their visit.
New York City Fire Museum tells the story of early firefighting days in New York City. Permanent and temporary exhibits show the evolution of firefighting technology. A memorial honors the 343 members of FDNY that sacrificed their lives on September 11, 2001.
The collection of 10,000 artifacts include pre Civil War hand pumped fire engines, horse drawn vehicles and early-motorized apparatus. It has one of North America’s earliest fire engines, a “Farnam” style engine built in New York in 1790. There are rare painted parade hats, helmets, speaking trumpets, leather fire buckets, lanterns and tools, dating back to the 1650’s.
Tools and clothing of modern Firefighters give a perspective of how firefighting has progressed. Modern tools include the Jaws of Life and the Halligan forcible entry tool. The Jaws of Life is well known from exposure on TV programs. The Halligan bar is a multipurpose tool for prying twisting, punching or striking. It was named for NYFD’s first Deputy Chief Hugh Halligan.
The museum also has a vast collection of fire insurance marks. They were lead or copper plates embossed with the sign of the insurance company’s fire brigade. Each insurance company maintained its own fire brigade during early days of firefighting. Each brigade extinguished fires in building insured by its insurance company.
‘The Friends of the New York City Fire Department’ was formed as a non-profit organization in 1987 raising funds to renovate old Engine Company Number 30 firehouse to create a museum. The building on Spring Street was a 1904 Beaux-Arts style firehouse. The museum annually attracts 40,000 visitors yearly, with the exception of in 2002 with 46,000 visitors.
New York City Fire Museum is 1 block north of the Holland Tunnel between Hudson and Varick Streets. Ride subways 1,9 to Houston Street and CE to Spring Street.
278 Spring Street
Monday – Saturday 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 Am – 4:00 PM
Closed major holidays
Seniors and students $5
Children under 12, $1
New York City Fire Museum is a 5:15 minute drive of 313 miles from Rochester NY. First drive east on thruway I-90 to Syracuse, US 81 south to Scranton Pennsylvania, then US 380 to Bethlehem PA. Continue east through New Jersey on US 78 to Newark NJ, then US 95 south to route 495 across George Washington Bridge and route 9A south. Turn east on Spring Street to New York City Fire Museum.
A museum visitor made this comment:
“I think I would go here every time we visit NYC, even if exhibits never change.”