First Black Firefighters Museum Clears Hurdle

By Wendell Hutson on March 26, 2013 11:06am 

 Morris Davis, 81, is a retired Chicago firefighter, who is now trying to open the first African-American Firefighters Museum in the city.
Morris Davis, 81, is a retired Chicago firefighter, who is now trying to open the first African-American Firefighters Museum in the city.
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DNAinfo/Wendell Hutson

BRONZEVILLE — The creation of the first black firefighters museum moved one step closer to reality Monday when the city's Housing and Real estate Committee approved an ordinance proposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

The ordinance, which must be approved by the City Council, authorizes the city to lease a vacant fire station at 5349 S. Wabash Ave. to the Chicago African-American Firefighters Museum for 10 years at a cost of $1.

In 2008, Mayor Richard M. Daley introduced an ordinance to allow the museum to lease a vacant fire station at 6843 S. Harper Ave. for $1, but the organization never moved in because of problems with the building.

Morris Davis, an 81-year-old retired Chicago firefighter, who is spearheading the museum, said Monday's approval means his dream of creating the museum is finally happening.

"There is so much history we do not know. Black firefighters have contributed so much to the profession, and we aim to educate and inform people about these contributions with this museum," Davis said.

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