The Naval and Marine Corps Reserve training facility was constructed between 1938 and 1941 by the Works Progress Administration, which was part of President Roosevelt’s New Deal. It’s been used to train over 100,000 sailors since its completion.
The interior of the structure had a rifle range, pool, and even a large open spaced drilling area built to look and function like the deck and architecture of a ship. Old World War II antiaircraft guns and cannons still remain silent on the “deck” as a testament to the structures past.
The facility was later renamed the Frank Hotchkin Memorial Training Facility, in memory of a Los Angeles City Fireman of the same name who was killed fighting a fire there on September 27, 1980. It is currently utilized by the Los Angeles Fire Department as a training facility and drill tower.
Some of the more interesting features of the facility include the aforementioned drill deck in the likeness of a warship, the guns, a massive knot display utilized for instruction, a damage control room that at one time would flood for drills, beautiful stone carvings, and a pylon that once stood at the World Trade Center and was sent to the Department for its efforts there following the attacks on September 11, 2001.
Much of the facility is visible from the outside, and while public admittance is limited, it’s worth the call to see the pylon alone.
Know Before You Go
Access to the facility is limited, especially when a tower class is in training. However the department sometimes has community events or training that is open to the public.