Chrysler Siren Systems - Second Generation

This is not a complete list, it is a work in process. 
Last updated: Friday October 11, 2013.

Here are the communities that we have identified since March 8, 2003, as having had Chrysler Air Raid Sirens in their warning system.  This represents approximately 33% of the Chrysler Sirens believe to have been sold between 1952 and 1957.  [ 1950 population data ]

[ Click on community name below to jump to description and more information. ]

• Chicago, Illinois — 5 Sirens.
• Dade County (Miami-Dade County), Florida — 10 Sirens.
• Detroit, Michigan — 20 Sirens.
• Greenville, South Carolina — 1 Siren.
• Horsham, Pennsylvania, Willow Grove Naval Air Stn — 1 Siren.
• Kansas City, Missouri
— 3 Sirens.
• Los Angeles County (Los Angeles), California — 24 Sirens.
• Miami-Dade County, Florida — 10 Sirens.
• Monroe County (Rochester), New York — 2 Sirens.
• Newark, Delaware — 1 Siren.
• Oakland, California — 5 Sirens.
• Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania — 2+ Sirens.
• Rochester-Monroe County, New York — 2 Sirens.
• Rockford, Illinois — 2 Sirens.
• San Francisco, California — 1+ Sirens.
• Seattle, Washington — 6 Sirens.
• Spokane, Washington — 2 Sirens.
• Trenton, Michigan — 2 Sirens.
• Willow Grove Naval Air Stn, Horsham, Pennsylvania — 1 Siren.
•
Kent County (Grand Rapids), Michigan — 4 Sirens.

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Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

On July 15, 1954, the Chicago Civil Defense Corps issued a list of 77 siren locations, of those two were vacant, one was equipped with a 5HP Federal, 15 with a 7-1/2HP Federal, 48 with a 10HP Federal, five with a 40HP H.O.R., and five with a 180HP Chrysler. In 1955 there were 87 sirens in Chicago with plans for 12 more.  The Chicago Civil Defense Corps offices were in room 1188 of 140 S. Dearborn Street. Chicago civil defense sirens were tested at 10:30 a.m. each Tuesday.  Also see Rockford, Illinois.  [ Jump to Rockford ]

» Sanitary District Building, 3838 South Racine (Siren Station 3010)
»
Squad 11 Fire Station, 4456 North Knox (Siren Station 3035)
» Engine Company 88 Fire Station, 3500 West 60th Street (Siren Station 3036)
»
Engine Company 46 Fire Station, 3027 East 93rd Street (Siren Station 3037)
» Hose & Ladder Company 24 Fire Station, 10400 South Vincennes (Siren Station 3038)

 

 

 

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Dade County (Miami), Florida

Miami-Dade County, Florida

Dade County purchased and installed ten Chrysler Air Raid Sirens in 1953.  The location of nine of those sirens has been identified (below).  None are known to remain in place. It's likely that the Chrysler Siren owned today by "Big Daddy" Don Garlits was once one of the Dade County Chryslers.  This is the only system known to include both 12-0 and 13-2 engine cowlings.

» North Miami Senior High School at 800 North East 137 Street - Roof - 12-0 engine cowling
   Removed from roof during the summer of 2003 - Yellow [ photo ]
» G.W. Ivey Power Plant,
675 N Flagler Ave, Homestead, FL - Roof - Yellow - 13-2 engine
   cowling - Reportedly removed from roof during 2003.
 [ photo ]

» Biscayne Elementary School at 800 77th Street, Miami Beach, FL   [ photo ]
» Jai-Alai Building, 3500 NW 37th Ave, Miami, FL - Roof - Yellow - No longer on building,
   disposition unknown
  [ photo ]
» Riviera Theater, Miami, FL - Roof - No longer on building, disposition unknown
» Haitian Baptist Church, Miami, FL - Roof - No longer on building, disposition unknown
» Miami Beach Auditorium (now Jackie Gleason Theater) at 1700 Washington Avenue at
   17th Street, Miami Beach, FL - Roof - No longer on building, disposition unknown
» Coliseum, Douglas Road, Coral Gables, FL - Building demolished in 1993 - Roof
» Key Biscayne Fire Station, Key Biscayne, FL - Roof - 13-2 engine cowling - No longer on
   building

 

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Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan

According to an advertisement published by Chrysler in 1952, Detroit purchased twenty Chrysler Air Raid Sirens [ advertisement ].  The first three were located at the Sheraton-Cadillac Hotel, General Motors Building, and the Chrysler Jefferson Plant.  These first three sirens were tested on March 28, 1952 [ article ]. 

One Detroit siren is now owned by collector Harry Barry of Pennsylvania.  Mr. Barry's siren is  tagged, "Property of CD 307629 City of Detroit" [ photo ].  A second Detroit siren was owned by Jim Carruthers of Oregon for twelve year until acquired by the VictorySiren Foundation in June 2003.  The Foundation's siren is a Model IND-20A; Type 486; Serial Number S120; tagged, "Property of CD 307523 City of Detroit"  [ photo ].  Both of those sirens have 12-0 engine cowlings and were painted yellow at the time they were taken out of service in Detroit.  In 1991 Mr. Barry traded a private party an air horn for this siren in working condition [ article ] [ sound ].  Since then he has reconditioned the siren, painted it bright red and mounted it on a trailer. 

» Sheraton-Cadillac Hotel at 220 Michigan Avenue at Washington Blvd - Roof (24 floors)
» General Motors Building (now Cadillac Place) at 3044 West Grand Blvd - Roof (15 floors)
» Chrysler Jefferson Assembly Plant - Building demolished in 1990

 

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Greenville, SC

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville had at least one Chrysler Air Raid Siren

» Westin Poinsett Hotel, 120 South Mainstreet - Roof (12 floors)

 

 

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Kansas City, Missouri  

Kansas City, Missouri

The Kansas City Fire Department dispatch was the city's warning point.  Kansas City sirens were tested monthly.  These sirens were painted yellow at the time they were taken out of service.

» City Hall at 12th & Oak - Roof (30 floors)
» US Army Records Center at Independence Avenue & Hardesty - Roof top tower (about
   10 floors) - In place as of APR-2003

» Central High School at Linwood Blvd & Cleveland - Roof (3 floors) - Building demolished
   circa 1990.

 

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Los Angeles County (Los Angeles), California

Los Angeles County (Los Angeles), California

Los Angeles County had at least eight Chrysler Air Raid Sirens and by one report fourteen.  The location of seven of the sirens is known for certain as of October 26, 2003. 

Twenty-four sirens were installed at a cost of $200,000 in 1955.  On February 28, 1955, the county participated for the first time with the City of Los Angeles for a joint air raid siren test.  That single test generated more than 500 calls to emergency switchboards. [ story ]

Los Angeles County sirens were activated from the Sheriff's Department Communications Center (SCC).  County-wide civil defense sirens were tested at 10:00 a.m. the last Friday of each month.  The test was initiated by the "Radio Sergeant" (that's what the supervisor of the dispatching center was called) from a little CD console at the left-hand side of his operating position.  A White Alert or All-Clear signal was used for the monthly tests.  The last test of the Chrysler Sirens may have been conducted as late as 1985.  The siren control panel was removed in about 1995 during an upgrade of the SCC. 

Machinery and equipment owned by Los Angeles County during the 1950's was uniformly painted a forestry green color.  There is good evidence that the Chrysler Air Raid Sirens purchased by Los Angeles County were ordered from the factory painted green. 

» Cerro Negro Lookout, Glendale - Tower - 13-2 engine cowling - Green paint -
   In place (not believed to be functional) as of JUN-2003.  [ photo ]

» Lomita Park, Lomita - 40ft Tower - 13-2 engine cowling - Green paint - Tower dismantled
   circa 1999 - Restoration attempted but not successful, siren no longer exists. [ photo ]

» Hansen Dam - Unconfirmed location - 13-2 engine cowling - Green paint - Model IND-20A;
   Type 480; Serial Number 6225; and Part Number 1487028
- Sold by LA County, now owned
   by David Stall - Siren resides in Texas.  [ story ] [ photo ]

» Sheriff's Station, Lakewood, 5130 N. Clark Ave. - Tower - Red paint (painted to match the
   new brick building and is believed to be the only LA County Chrysler Siren painted red) -
   Siren reportedly removed in 1996 and placed into County storage in Bell, California.   [ photo ]

»
Sheriff's Station, Lennox, 4331 W. Lennox Blvd, Inglewood - Tower - Green paint - No
   longer in place (reported to have been removed following 1994 Northridge earthquake).

» Sheriff's Station, West Hollywood, 729 N. San Vicente Blvd. - Tower - Siren reportedly
   removed following 1994 Northridge earthquake and placed into storage.
» County Fire Station 5, 7225 N. Rosemead Blvd., San Gabriel - Tower - Green paint - Siren
   reportedly removed in the 1980's.
» County Fire Station 73, 24875 N. San Fernando Road, Newhall (Santa Clarita) - Tower.
» Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, 2525 Firestone Blvd, South Gate - Roof Top Tower -
   13-2
engine cowling - In place as of 26MAY03,  with engine missing.  [ photo ]
» Dominguez, 18600 Wilmington Ave, Carson (located amongst tanks) - Tower - Green paint
   - Siren still in place as of June 2003 (not believed to be functional).  [ photo ]

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Newark, Delaware 

Newark, Delaware

Newark, Delaware had only one Chrysler Air Raid Siren and it was donated to the Aetna Hose, Hook & Ladder Company by Chrysler who had a parts plant in their Newark fire protection district.  This was Newark's second Chrysler Siren and replaced the earlier model. 

» Aetna Hose Hook & Ladder Company, Volunteer Fire Department - 75ft Tower - 13-2
  
engine cowling - Delivered in 1952 and installed December 1953 [ photo ].

 

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Oakland, California

Oakland, California

Oakland had five Chrysler Air Raid Sirens in 1953. As of 2005 two still remain on roof tops.

» Fire Station 26 Siren #1 - Tower - Located at 98th & Mountain Blvd, Oakland, CA - Siren &
   tower removed when fire station moved across the street circa 2000.

» Fire Station 29 Siren #2 - Tower  - Located at 1061 66th Street, Oakland, CA - Siren
   removed.

»
Lafayette Siren #3 - Roof Top (2 story) - Located on the Lafayette Elementary School,
   1700 Market Street, Oakland, CA - Reported still in place as of AUG-2005. [ aerial photo ]
» Buckingham Place Siren #4 - Concrete Pad - Located above Hiller Quarry - Removed.
» Woodminster Siren #5 - Roof Top - 12-0 engine cowling - Located on the Woodminster
   Amphitheater, 3300 Joaquin Miller Road, in Joaquin Miller Park, Oakland, CA. -
Reported still
   in place as of JAN-2006
[ photo ].

 

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh had ten Chrysler Air Raid Sirens that were installed in 1953 at a cost of $100,000.  The location of only two of these sirens has been discovered.  Both of these sirens are now owned by collectors.  During the late 1950's and early 1960's Pittsburgh's sirens were tested every Monday morning.

» Carrick High School - Roof (3 floors) - 12-0 engine cowling - Now owned by David Stall in
   Texas, presently residing in Pennsylvania  [ story ] [ photo ]

» Prospect Junior High School - Roof - 12-0 engine cowling - Model IND-20A; Type 480;
   Serial Number 5699
- Now owned by Harry Barry in Pennsylvania  [ article 1 ] [ article 2 ]
   [ photo ]

 

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Rochester, New York

Rochester-Monroe County, New York

Rochester-Monroe County had at least two Chrysler Air Raid Sirens. The sirens were activated by the Rochester Fire Department. 

» Rochester Fire Department Maintenance Shop - Roof - 13-2 engine cowling - In place
   [ photo ].

» Unidentified building - Roof - 13-2 engine cowling [ photo ]

 

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Rockford, Illinois

 Rockford, Illinois

Rockford had at least two Chrysler Air Raid Sirens.  For some period of time the sirens were maintained by Strandquist Motors, the local Plymouth dealership. 

» Essex Wire Building on North Main Street - Roof - Removed circa 1983.
» Talcott Building at 321 West State Street - Roof (12 floors)

 

 

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San FranciscoSan

San Francisco, California

San Francisco had at least one Chrysler Air Raid Siren.  There are records of truck mounted Chrysler-Bell Victory Sirens having been used in San Francisco during the 1940's.  

» Saint Francis Hotel at 335 Powell Street on Union Square - Roof (32 floors)
 

 

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Seattle, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Seattle had a 21-siren system during the 1950's.  At least six of those sirens were Chrysler Air Raid SirensSeattle sirens were tested every Wednesday at noon.

» Seattle Police Garage at 5th Avenue and Cherry Street - Roof - Erected in 1952 (likely an
   early model Chrysler)

» John B. Allen Elementary School (now Phinney Neighborhood Center) at 6532
   Phinney Avenue North at Sixty-Ninth Street - Tower
- 12-0 engine cowling - Erected
   22-APR-1953 and operational until mid-1970's - Siren now owned in original location by
   Phinney Neighborhood Association -
In place NOV-2003.  [ photo ]
»
City Light Warehouse, Roof - Installed 17-OCT-1952. [ photo ]
»
Washington Athletic Club, 1325 6th Avenue - Roof - Installed 17-OCT-1952. [ photo ]
»
Georgetown Steam Plant (City Light Department), 6605 13th Avenue South - Roof -
   Installed 08-APR-1953. [ photo ]
»
Northacres Park, Tower - In place NOV-2005. [ photo ]
» Unknown, above Rainier Avenue, south of Columbia City - Tower - Circa 1953 [ photo ]

 

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Spokane, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Spokane had at least two Chrysler Air Raid SirensSpokane sirens were tested every Wednesday at noon until 1973 when the tests were reduced to once a month.  From 1984 to 1986 the siren system was shut down because of numerous false alarms.  In 1986 the system was reactivated using radio controls.  In 1995 the siren system was again taken out of service.

» Fire Station - Tower - 12-0 engine cowling - In place.  [ photo ]
» Old National Bank Building, West 422 Riverside Ave - Roof (15 floors)

 

 

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Trenton, Michigan

Trenton, Michigan

Trenton had two Chrysler Air Raid Sirens.  The Trenton Plant siren was installed before the King Road Fire Station siren. 

» King Rd Fire Station, Trenton, MI - 90ft Tower - 13-2 engine cowling - Installed August 1958
   [ article ].  In place 44 years - Removed from tower and tower dismantled DEC-2002 [ article ]
   Siren is now owned by the Walter P. Chrysler Museum and under restoration for display.
 
   [ photo ]

» Chrysler Corp, Trenton Plant, MI - Roof

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Willow Grove NAS

Willow Grove Naval Air Station, Pennsylvania

Willow Grove NAS had a Chrysler Air Raid Siren outside the Fire/Crash/Rescue Station.  The report of this siren comes from a Naval reservist who in 1970 attended Reserve Anti Submarine Warfare Tactical School and observed (heard and felt) a test of the Chrysler Air Raid Siren.

» NAS Fire/Crash/Rescue Station, Horsham, PA - Operational to 1970 or later.

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Grand Rapids, Michigan

Kent County (Grand Rapids), Michigan

Kent County had four a Chrysler Air Raid Sirens purchased under a Federal Civil Defense Administration matching funds program.

» Wyoming Township General Offices, Wyoming, MI - Tower [photo]
» Weber Showcase & Fixture Co., Grand Rapids, MI - Roof - 13-2 engine cowling [photo]
» Michigan National Bank Building, Downtown, Grand Rapids, MI - Roof - 12-0 engine
   cowling
[photo]
» Oakdale School, Grand Rapids, MI - Roof - 13-2 engine cowling [photo]

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