MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center

MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center

In the heart of East Harlem

The MNN El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center is a hub for artists, activists, and media makers.

In 2012, MNN opened a state-of-the-art community media center at the old Engine Co. 53 Firehouse on East 104th Street in East Harlem. The facility features three HD production studios, including a three-camera studio as well as editing services. The Firehouse offers community events and media production classes & workshops.


Firehouse TV

The MNN El Barrio Firehouse broadcasts its programs on Sundays at 8:00 pm on MNN1 and Thursdays at 8:00 pm on MNN4. They feature artists, writers, poets, and filmmakers, community and social justice activists, and neighborhood residents engaged in advancing human liberation, culture, and politics for the benefit of the community. Programs are streamed on 

El Barrio Firehouse Community Media Center

Phone: 212-757-2670 x200

Administrative Offices:
Tuesday - Friday: 9 am - 8 pm
Saturday: 10 am - 6 pm

Editing & Studio Facilities:
Tuesday - Friday: 1 pm - 7 pm
Saturday: 11 am - 5 pm

Please note that the MNN El Barrio Firehouse will be closed the Saturday before any holiday that falls on a Monday.

MNN 2024 Holiday Closings
Jan 2, 2022 - New Year’s Day (Observed)
Jan 13 - MLK, Jr. Day (Observed)
Feb 17 - Presidents' Day (Observed)
May 25 - Memorial Day (Observed)
Jun 19 - Juneteenth
Jul 4 - Independence Day
Aug 31 - Labor Day (Observed)
Oct 12 - Indigenous Peoples' Day (Observed)
Nov 28 - Thanksgiving Day
Dec 25 - Christmas Day
Dec 31 - New Year’s Day 2025

Firehouse History

In 2007, MNN committed to expand its community media services and identified the East 104th Street Firehouse as a potential site for this purpose. After conducting an extensive architectural, engineering and environmental assessment of the Firehouse, MNN decided to purchase it. The historic building constructed in 1883 achieved landmark status, and MNN began a total renovation.


The MNN El Barrio Firehouse houses three television studios, editing suites and classroom spaces in the four-story building. The lobby includes a gallery space showcasing the work of visual artists, photographers and artisans. A three-camera television studio on the first floor is the site of community events, activities and television productions. The Producers’ Hub on the second floor is the center of the public access facility with two fully equipped express television studios, several editing suites and classroom. The Youth Media Center on the third floor is dedicated to workshops, classes and training for young people.

The Firehouse has an interesting history dating back to the 1800s. Designed by Napoleon Le Brun & Sons, the official New York City Fire Department architects, the Fire Department purchased the lot on 104th Street for $5,500 in May 1883, and Engine 53 moved into the brand new building on January 15, 1885.

The basement was used for coal storage and a workshop. The street level floor was roughed in squares to give the horses traction. The hose tower, which looks from the front as if it were another full floor at the top of the building, had a water tank for spare supply, hay and grain storage for the horses. In February, 1893, the building had hot water and an indoor toilet added. Horses were used as late as 1922, and at about that time a cement floors was poured at street level to accommodate the "horseless" carriages and pumpers.

In 1972, Engine 53 moved to Third Avenue and 102nd Street. A year later, El Museo del Barrio began renting the building making gradual improvements and purchased it at public auction from the City of New York in May 1980.