Chula Vista Fire Department’s Centennial exhibit!

An ongoing exhibit at the South Chula Vista Library celebrates the centennial of the Chula Vista Fire Department.

Today I visited this library for the very first time, knowing that a vintage fire engine would be on display.

I was excited to discover a large, museum quality exhibit just inside the library entrance!

The Chula Vista Fire Department originated in 1921. For over a century now, they’ve saved many lives and been an integral part of this South Bay community.

The displays I looked at concerning dedication and heroism impressed me the most.

Not only do library visitors see historical photographs, artifacts, and firefighting equipment, but at the center of the exhibit stands the Chula Vista Fire Department’s original fire engine, The Gallopin’ Goose!

I’ve added captions with some additional fascinating info. If you have a chance, I definitely recommend a visit!

Chula Vista Fire Department. Established May 2, 1921. People who care about people.
The Chula Vista Fire Department’s original Seagrave fire truck, on display at South Chula Vista Library. “The Gallopin’ Goose” was purchased in 1923, the same year City Hall was built at 294 Third Avenue. The new City Hall was also a fire and police station.
Artifacts from the very early days of the Chula Vista Fire Department.
The Firemen’s Ball was an annual dance that began in 1922. It raised funds for the Firemen’s Benefit Fund. Children were also helped in the community during Christmas.
Originally, firefighters used buckets of water passed from hand to hand. But the “bucket brigade” method wasn’t very effective. The development of the firehose was of critical importance.
One display in the exhibit concerns training.
Photos, descriptions and firefighting equipment in one corner of the extensive centennial exhibit. Fire Station No. 5 is located directly next to the South Chula Vista Library.
Firefighting equipment includes breathing apparatus, turnouts (protective clothing) and helmets.
Dogs heroes help with ignitable liquid detection, and urban search and rescue.
Six Chula Vista firefighters traveled to New York City after the attacks of September 11, 2001. They worked the night shift at Ground Zero for ten days.
Artwork celebrates the firefighting heroes of Chula Vista.
The museum display is dedicated to Captain William Gavin.
If you’d like to show your support for the Chula Vista Fire Department, read the above sign!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Firewall at the Solana Beach Fire Department.

Every night, fire appears in front of the Solana Beach Fire Department. The mysterious wall of glowing embers near the fire station might surprise motorists driving down Lomas Santa Fe Drive.

I walked past Firewall during the day and took these photos.

The simulated wall of embers, that lights up after dark, is a very unique piece of public art that debuted in 2019. It’s by artist Betsy Schulz.

In addition to the red, yellow and orange glass embers, there are beautiful fused-glass mosaic panels facing the sidewalk and street.

Amazing mosaics created by Betsy Schulz appear all over San Diego County. During my walks I’ve photographed many.

This public art sculpture and its small surrounding garden were created with the help of Van Dyke Landscape Architects, and the Solana Beach Civic and Historical Society and Garden Club.

I added contrast to some of these photos to bring out color in the mosaics.

Take a look!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Rose Creek depicted on new Fire Station 50!

Monumental public art debuted late last year, when the new San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Station 50 opened in University City. I saw the artwork for the first time on Saturday and took these photographs!

The huge metal sculpture on the building’s side represents “blue” Rose Creek running through “coppery” Rose Canyon, which the fire station is positioned above!

The artist, Susan Zoccola, has an assortment of great photos on her website, including images taken at night when the sculpture is lit. (I had to take my own shots into the sunlight. A little photo editing produced the results you see here.)

At first sight I thought the bluish wire-like tubes that compose the river represent smoke! Or perhaps the tall grass by the sidewalk! But, no. The vertically arranged river runs across perforated copper layers that intentionally appear like a topographic map–the type of map firefighters often use.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Colorful artwork at Golden Hill fire station!

I love this colorful, very unique public artwork near the entrance of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Station 11 in Golden Hill!

The title of this piece is Signifire. It was created in 1997 by San Diego artist Nina Karavasiles. For outdoor art that’s nearly a quarter century old, it still looks shiny and new!

Signifire, which depicts a fire hose coiled around brilliant flames, is composed of bronze, chrome and glass mosaic. At night the water blue hose nozzle lights up!

Nina Karavasiles has created a variety of other works around San Diego and Southern California. Six years ago I took photographs of her very cool “Recipe for Friendship” at Amici Park in Little Italy. See those photos here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

America’s Heroes of 9-11 mural painted by Navy SEAL.

A large patriotic mural paying tribute to firefighting heroes is visible to those driving down Main Street in Barrio Logan. It can be observed on the side of the FIRE ETC firefighter supply store.

Titled “America’s Heroes of 9-11,” the mural was painted in 2011 by Pete Carolan, a retired Navy SEAL.

To learn more about Pete Carolan’s career and accomplishments, check out his website here. I see he has painted an outdoor mural at the UDT-SEAL Museum, and “his many works…appear in such places as The Pentagon, our Nation’s Capitol and The White House.”

Pete Carolan got his start early in life as a lifeguard in Huntington Beach, California, became a world champion outrigger canoe paddler, and would eventually become a Navy frogman. He was chosen to be swim team leader in the recovery of the Apollo-13 capsule when it finally splashed down in the South Pacific.

He was the one who painted “Freddie the Frog” on the Sea King helicopter that recovered the astronauts. You can see “Freddie the Frog” briefly in the Apollo 13 movie starring Tom Hanks!

Should you visit the USS Midway Museum, check out their SH-3 Sea King helicopter. It, too, has been painted with Pete Carolan’s “Freddie the Frog!”

(You might notice I took these photographs late in the afternoon. I had to cope with glare produced by reflecting sunlight, plus a few trees across Main Street were casting their long shadows upon the artwork.)

UPDATE!

Here’s a photo I took at a later time when the sun and shadows weren’t being problematic…

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Firefighters Sculpture at San Ysidro fire station.

Over the years I’ve photographed several works of public art located in front of San Diego fire stations. This weekend I saw another example. A very cool sculpture stands near the entrance of San Diego Fire-Rescue Department Station 29 in San Ysidro!

Firefighters Sculpture is the title of this piece, which was created by Jeri Deneen in 2005. The artist is part of Deneen Powell Atelier, a nationally recognized, award-winning San Diego landscape design firm that has undertaken major projects locally and across the nation. Their work can be enjoyed at the United States Botanic Garden and United States National Arboretum, not to mention inside the San Diego Zoo and the Safari Park.

According to the San Diego Civic Art Collection web page here, Firefighters Sculpture is “formed from a two-dimensional, trapezoidal panel of weathered, Cor-ten steel perforated with laser-cut figures rendered in a graphic “stencil” style. The sculpture depicts three firemen kneeling in profile as they work together to hold a fire hose. The nozzle of the hose spouts “water” which is represented by a vertical glass shard, translucent during the day and illuminated from within at night…

To see more public art at San Diego fire stations, click here and here and here!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Mosaic artwork at Barrio Logan Fire Station!

Take a look at one of the most unique, fun and inspired pieces of public artwork in San Diego!

You can find it at Barrio Logan Fire Station #7 facing Cesar E. Chavez Parkway.

Students attending nearby Perkins Elementary School created this awesome tile mosaic artwork. A sculptural fire hose decorated with firefighting imagery spurts water on burning flames!

This was a project of Rebuilding Together San Diego back in 2005. See their website here.

The organization’s mission is: “Bringing our volunteers and the community together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners who are in need, and help revitalize neighborhoods throughout San Diego.”

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Firefighters descend pole outside fire station!

Yesterday I observed two firefighters sliding down a fire pole outside San Diego Fire-Rescue Station 44 in Mira Mesa.

Yes, I said outside!

Strangely, the two rapidly descending firefighters never reached the ground. Why? Because they’re life-size bronze figures and part of an extremely cool sculpture titled Firefighters at 44.

Firefighters at 44 debuted at the new fire station back in 2002. The monumental sculpture was created by artists T.J. Dixon and James Nelson, whose work can be enjoyed all over San Diego.

(You can see more of their amazing sculptures by checking out certain old blog posts. To do that, click here.)

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Huge bell at The Big House fire station!

Have you ever walked or driven past Fire Station 1 near the center of downtown San Diego and seen a gigantic bell out front? Have you wondered about it?

A few days ago I walked down the sidewalk past “The Big House” fire station and paused to snap some photos!

Words on the bell read:

W.T.GARRATT & Co SF CAL 1885
PRESENTED TO
SAN DIEGO ENGINE CO NO 1
BY BRYANT HOWARD
SAN DIEGO

A plaque above the huge bell reads:

THIS BELL WAS PRESENTED TO THE SAN DIEGO FIRE DEPT. ENGINE COMPANY NO. 1. IT WAS CAST IN SAN FRANCISCO IN 1885 AND HUNG IN A 50 FOOT TOWER ON FIFTH AVENUE, BETWEEN BROADWAY AND C STREET, WHERE JESSOPS JEWELRY STORE NOW STANDS.

(Jessops moved from that location many, many years ago.)

According to the City of San Diego website: Fire Station 1 was originally opened at 865 Second Avenue in 1904. That station was closed and relocated to the current building (at 1222 First Avenue) in January 1971.

I’d love to hear that bell ring! (Without a fire, of course.)

Thank you to all firefighter heroes!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Street art at San Ysidro and Cottonwood.

Follow your heart.
Follow your heart.

Many electrical boxes have been painted with street art on San Ysidro Boulevard, just northwest of Cottonwood Road. It appeared during my Saturday walk that some of the boxes were painted long ago, and others this year.

I took photos. The art speaks for itself.

Mental health matters.
I am loved. Grow strong.

Aztec skull imagery.
Aztec skull imagery.

A people's spirit lives on.
A people’s spirit lives on.

Two doves.
Two doves.

You are better than unicorns and sparkles.
You are better than unicorns and sparkles.

Quédate en casa con un rico pan dulce y cafecito. (Stay home with a delicious sweet bread and coffee.)
Quédate en casa con un rico pan dulce y cafecito. (Stay home with a delicious sweet bread and coffee.)

Lady Liberty in a serape.
Lady Liberty in a serape.

Kindness matters, and fireworks or stars.
Kindness matters, and fireworks or stars.

Por tu salud. (For your health.) We love our community. Street art painted in San Ysidro during the coronavirus pandemic.
Por tu salud. (For your health.) We love our community. Street art painted in San Ysidro during the coronavirus pandemic.

Firefighters of Fire Station 29 in San Ysidro.
Firefighters of Fire Station 29 in San Ysidro.

A local firefighter at work.
A local firefighter at work.

Purple and lavender flowers.
Purple and lavender flowers.

Butterfly rises near a hot air balloon.
Butterfly rises near a hot air balloon.

Bicycle by a fruit tree, and a trolley in the background.
Bicycle by a fruit tree, and a trolley in the background.

Trolley windows full of passengers.
Trolley windows full of passengers.

Trolley driver emerges from a painted electrical box.
Trolley driver emerges from a painted electrical box.

A little land and a living. Un poco tierra y una vida.
A little land and a living. Un poco tierra y una vida.

Working the land.
Working the land.

A family on a sweeping, colorful landscape.
A family on a sweeping, colorful landscape.

Handfuls of good earth.
Handfuls of good earth.

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!