A Brief History of
Friends of Historic Fire Station 62
When Fire Station 62 at the corner of Centinela Avenue and Windward Avenue closed in 2007, the fire fighters left behind a question: What should the City of Los Angeles do with the building? Sell it to a real estate developer? Raze it and build something new on the site? Or convert it to…what?
The Mar Vista Community Council felt that Historic Fire Station 62 (HFS62) should be retained and repurposed to continue serving the community. But the original question remained: Covert it to…what? The Council formed an Ad Hoc Committee to solicit feedback from Mar Vista stakeholders on how they wanted to see this important resource used. The Ad Hoc Committee determined that there was a broad base of support for a new multi-purpose community center offering meeting space for groups like the Girl Scouts; a CERT command post in an earthquake; performance space for artists; a resource for after school or senior citizen programs; maybe even a satellite office for a City Councilman. Consequently by-laws were drafted, a Board of Directors was formed, and in 2012 Friends of Historic Fire Station 62 (FOHFS62) filed Articles of Incorporation as a Public Benefit Corporation in the State of California. While continuing building support in the community, FOHFS62’s Board of Directors consulted with architects, contractors and City officials to determine the possible, practical, and legal of renovating HFS62. The City agreed to put up a fence to secure the building from the vandals that were entering the building. A volunteer day to clean up the grounds of HFS62 followed. But there was this small dilemma. Major donors to the renovation of HFS62 would want to know the Board had formal City authorization to undertake renovation of HFS62. But the City would not grant formal authorization until the Board demonstrated its bonafides by raising significant funds from major donors.
Councilman Bill Rosenthal was a major backer of FOHFS62 and when he passed away, his successor Councilman Mike Bonin continued to be a champion. In 2017 the Boardworked out with Councilman Bonin a proposal that then became a resolution introduced to and passed by the Los Angeles City Council. Under this special agreement, the Board first undertakes to raise $1.6 million to renovate HFS62. Once that amount is reached in the specified time, the City commits to signing a lease that allows work to begin on the conversion of Historic Fire Station 62 into the Mar Vista Community Center. With this agreement with the City of Los Angeles, FOHFS62 have hired an architect who has produced preliminary plans and a scale model that bring the day of the Mar Vista Community Center that much closer.
Some photos from our efforts to create a Mar Vista Community Center at the Historic Fire Station 62
A Timeline of the Process of Creating a Mar Vista Community Center at the Historic Fire Station 62
(content coming soon)