Former Washington Park Fire House Proposed as Youth Training Facility 

October 4, 2023

Department of Planning and Development    312.744.9267

The former Chicago Fire Department Engine Co. #61 station in Washington Park would be redeveloped as a training center for youths interested in fire safety careers through a $1 sale proposed to City Council today by Mayor Brandon Johnson.  

Erected in 1927 at 5349 S. Wabash St., the two-story, 4,650-square-foot building would be purchased from the City and renovated by the non-profit Black Fire Brigade Org. for activities that promote hiring diversity among Chicago firefighters and emergency medical services personnel.   

The $150,000 project would also create a permanent headquarters for the Black Fire Brigade, which is currently located in a leased space in Ashburn.   

Valued at $77,000, the masonry, terra cotta-trimmed structure was among seven ornate firehouses erected in the late 1920s to address the fire protection needs of a rapidly growing city. It was designated as a City landmark in 2003.  

The firehouse is temporarily being used by the non-profit African American Firefighter Museum, which is expected to relocate.