Los Angeles Fire Department
Historical Archive

B a t t a l i o n  N e w s


Have you seen the building behind Fire Station 14?  It's had many uses over the years . . . .originally as a kitchen and then as an Air Filling Station.  What you probably don't know is that it was originally built in 1812 and  used by the Pony Express as a rest stop for their riders coming across the country from the East Coast.  Back then it was known as the HUT.  It was well known from coast to cost and also a favorite stop for COWBOYS herding cattle from MONTANA to California.  I'm serious!  The HUTS' reputation for the freshest hay and horses was famous, and the water that was pumped from the well was out of this world.  A natural underground spring ran directly below the HUT, and the thirsty Express Riders and COWBOYS could always count on a cold refreshing drink.  The HUT had a lot of things going for it including a master chef that made the worlds' best bbq teriyaki chicken.  There was always a line of riders, COWBOYS, and local folks waiting for a home-cooked meal.  The HUT served its purpose well for many years and was sorely missed when it finally had to be closed by Cal Osha.  The HUT didn't have handicapped parking for the horses and was fined and forced out of business.  It remained vacant for several years but, like the COWBOYS and Express Riders before, the HUT was STRONGER than most people thought!  It survived natural disasters including floods, earthquakes, and even a few stampedes!  After the Fire Department took over ownership, the Building Department deemed it an "Unsafe Structure" and decided to tear it down.  Finally, after deciding not to bring in the bulldozers, the City decided to retrofit the building.  I don't have enough space available to give you all the details, delays, changes, indecision, and jut plain confusing steps the City went through but, after nearly 7 years since the project was started, it's ALMOST finished.  Unbelievable!  Fortunately, the Pony Express no longer exists........otherwise there would have been a lot of thirsty COWBOYS, tired horses, and upset riders waiting for a place to rest!


This article appeared in the December 2000 issue of THE GRAPE VINE.

Copyright 2000 All Rights Reserved.