Steve Harvey did the "L.A. Then and Now" column this Sunday and wrote about our old fire stations. One--Station 23 on 5th Street--was the station in Ghostbusters. How cool. I always assumed that place was in New York, and since I don't hang around Skid Row I never took a good look at it.
Shoulda known. The Biltmore Hotel was used in Ghostbusters, as well as the Doheny Library at USC, the downtown library, Greystone Mansion, and . . . here we are, at filming locations for the entry at imdb.com: Fire Station 23, 225 E. 5th St.
#23 has also been in The Mask, Big Trouble in Little China, Flatliners, and a few other movie and TV shows--even an A Team episode.
As a real fire station, #23 operated from Oct. 2, 1910 till Nov. 23, 1960. Ten stalls for horses were built into it originally. Quite ornate for a fire station--polished oak floors, French beveled glass mirror hanging over a Vermont marble mantelpiece, leaded glass bookcases, and Peruvian mahogany panelling. Not to mention a marble shower, and double tub in the chief's quarters.
These pictures are from the LAFire.com site. This last one is dated May 15, 1915, and shows men on some of the six brass poles, the horses (the hay was kept on the 3rd floor, which was not a problem since the building included an elevator). The site includes many other wonderful shots, names of the firemen, and a history of the horses.