Historic Fire Station No. 39


July 15, 1940
July 15, 1940

The Los Angeles Fire Department has a collection of vintage fire company photos.

In the LAFD archives, I found images related to Van Nuys’ Engine Company #39 which has occupied a building or two at 14415 Sylvan St. since 1919.


Chuck Madderom Coll.
Chuck Madderom Coll.

Curiously, it seems that present structure, dating to 1939, is merely an Art Deco remodeling of the original neo-classical structure. I could be wrong, but comparing the two buildings, which are in exactly the same location, seems to indicate this.

In the midst of the Great Depression, a grand and completely modern structure was erected or refashioned for a little over $4 a square foot.

Statistics from 1939:

Date Opened
July 25, 1939

Land Cost

Building Cost

Sq.Ft. Main Bld
Main Bld. 15,004
Garage & Storage 1,256
Hand Ball Ct. 1,122

Sq.Ft. Site 100×140
100×140 14,000

Number of Poles: 3

2 thoughts on “Historic Fire Station No. 39

  1. Used to walk up Sylvan St to fire station everyday to buy my Grandma a newspaper for 10 cents in 1952…..was safe then for a 7 year old to stroll around Van Nuys. Good days!


  2. No–don’t be surprised that the fire station was built in the Depression. Van Nuys has a lot to thank for “government spending” during the Depression. Van Nuys High, the Fire
    Station, Sepulveda Dam–all projects vitally needed–payrolls all valued–all built in a hurry.
    The Los Angeles River flooded in l938–killing up to 50 people–(hard to believe) and less than 2 years later, there is Sepulveda Dam. The quick, simple move to make it happen is unique–compared to even the discussion of the “300 mile per hour California train”–where even the simplest towns like Hanford demand millions of dollars to take the train right-of-way around the town–instead of simply going through.


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