Built in 1912 and with a construction cost of more than $60,000, Engine Co. No. 28 was the most expensive Los Angeles fire station of its time. Engine Co. No. 28 answered its first emergency call on July 23, 1913, and would respond to many such calls over the next five decades. The station's active service ended in 1969, and the building fell into disrepair over the coming years. In 1983, a 5-year preservation effort transformed Engine Co. No. 28 into its current blend of historic architecture and contemporary design. It is now home to a popular restaurant, Engine Co. No. 28, a theatre organization, and two renowned law firms.

Among the historic architecture preserved is the building's exterior brick facade. Unique features include street-level dual archways that once allowed fire trucks access to the building's two formidable metal doors, one of which is now permanently opened in the entryway. Spanning the second and third stories are two large Renaissance Revival-style window bays, and above these, three terra cotta cartouches portraying firemen's tools and the seal of the City of Los Angeles. Atop the original third story, twin towers crown a 14-foot parapet.

Inside the restaurant, much of the original architecture survives -- the red brick flooring, 18-foot pressed tin ceilings, and near the entrance, the elegant mahogany cabinetry that once housed the emergency alarm system. What is now the building's restaurant was then the apparatus room where the station's two motor-driven fire trucks -- a Gorham-Seagrave pumping engine and a Seagrave chemical and hose wagon -- were parked. At the time of construction, horse-drawn vehicles were still in use as evidenced by the large (and ultimately unused) ceiling brackets intended for hanging reining equipment.

What is now the building's restaurant was then the apparatus room where the station's two motor-driven fire trucks -- a Gorham-Seagrave pumping engine and a Seagrave chemical and hose wagon -- were parked. At the time of construction, horse-drawn vehicles were still in use as evidenced by the large (and ultimately unused) ceiling brackets intended for hanging reining equipment.
The building's original third story served as a private apartment for the fire chief and his family, while the second floor was used as a dormitory for the station's firemen. Three firepoles connected the living quarters to the apparatus room, one of which remains in the rear of the restaurant, providing a quick exit in times of emergency. In less hectic circumstances, a slate-step staircase was also used (a preserved section now leading to the restaurant's mezzanine). Much of the then state-of-the-art alarm equipment and its miles of wiring were located in the large basement, which was used as a practice hall for the fire department band in later years. At the rear of the building was a recreational handball court and the station's kitchen.

By the 1960's, Los Angeles had changed dramatically and so had its Fire Department. As part of a facilities replacement program and because of an agreement with the newly built Hilton Hotel (now the Wilshire Grand), Engine Co. No. 28 was closed.

The building continued to be used by the fire department as a credit union until it was finally vacated in 1971 and put up for sale as surplus city property. Over time, the building would fall into disrepair. Demolition seemed inevitable. In late 1983, Linda Griego, in partnership with Peter Mullin and Hugh Biele, began renovating the 3-story abandoned historical landmark into offices and a restaurant. The existing 20,000 square foot structure was expanded by 15,000 square feet which included a new fourth floor tucked behind the parapet. Project costs exceeded $5 million. Engine Co. No. 28's renovation has been widely acclaimed, receiving numerous preservation awards over the years. In 1988, at the time of its completed renovations, the building was recognized by the city as an historic-cultural landmark. 100 years since its original construction, and thanks to the preservation efforts of many including the late mayor Tom Bradley, Engine Co. No. 28 remains a vibrant part of downtown Los Angeles