Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr.
Project Area: Central Industrial
Project: African American Firefighter Museum Tribute
Project Location: 1401 S. Central Avenue
Project Type: CRA/LA Initiated
The California Artist Coalition of Los Angeles (CACLA), a local non-profit organization, worked with the African American Firefighter Museum (AAFM) to develop a public art program for museum. AAFM was once the home of Fire Station #30, one of two segregated fire stations in Los Angeles between 1924 and 1955, and was designated by the City of Los Angeles as Historic-Cultural Monument #289.
As part of their planned art program, they sought to honor Arnett L. Hartsfield, Jr., a local black firefighter, who was at the forefront of integrating fire stations in the 1950s. With funding assistance from the CRA/LA, CACLA contracted with renowned artist Artis Lane to create a statuary bust of Hartsfiled. Lane’s bronze bust captures Hartsfield’s strength and perseverance. This statue is located in AAFM’s interior courtyard, where the public can learn and be inspired by his accomplishments. Hartsfield currently serves as AAFM’s historian, volunteering his time to help educate the public on this important part of the Los Angeles Fire Department’s history.
The unveiling of this statue on June 14, 2011 coincided with Arnett Hartsfield’s 93rd birthday.
The inscription on the plaque reads:
Born in 1918, in Bellingham, Washington. Served as a Firefighter for the Los Angeles Fire Department from 1940-1961. Affectionately called "The Rookie" by the men who worked with him here at Fire Station #30. He is also known as the historian, griot, and leader of the integration of African American Firefighters in Los Angeles during the mid 1950's.
This bronze bust is dedicated to Arnett L. Hartsfield for the contributions he has made to make the fire service a better place for all.