MANHATTAN’S ANCIENT FIREHOUSES

Share on Twitter

Firehouses have been in the news in 2003, as many have been closed or have had closing threatened by a cash strapped New York City, infuriating residents who fear inadequate protection from disaster as well as the sense of helplessness in the face of a seemingly uncaring bureaucracy.

This isn’t the first time the city has closed firehouses for whatever reason, however; on this page, we’ll see others that have succumbed and now serve other purposes.

 

160 CHAMBERS STREET

Engine 29 from 3/29/1897 to Jan 1, 1947.

 

70 BARROW STREET

Was built in 1851 for Empire Hose Volunteer and was used until they disbanded in 1865. It is now an apartment building. A spiral staircase from its firehouse days can still be seen through its front window.

 

78 MORTON STREET

From 1864-65, it was used by Howard Red Rover Engine Volunteer. It then became home for Engine 24 until Nov. 1975.

 

96 CHARLES STREET

First opened in 1857 as the home for Vol. Fire Co. Columbian and became home to Hook and Ladder 5 on Sept. 25, 1865. It was in use until Nov. 1975. One member of Columbian, James R. Tappan, was killed at Bull Run.

 

 

604 EAST 11th STREET

In service as Engine 28 from Oct. 1880 to 1959. The present owners keep it painted red.

 

243 WEST 20th STREET

Originally home to Vol. Engine 50 Liberty from around the mid 1850s. Became home to Ladder 12 on Sept. 1, 1865 where they stayed until Feb. 1967. It is now a women’s center.

 

165 WEST 29th STREET

Home of Engine 1 from 1873 until Nov. 1946. Currently retail. Plaque on exterior of 165 West 29th. Photo: Peter Hack

 

766 AMSTERDAM AVENUE (between West 97th and 98th)

Damon Campagna, Curator/Director, NYC Fire Museum:

The 766 Amsterdam Avenue house originally quartered Ladder 16 from 1876 to 1882, when they were reorganized as Combination Engine Company No. 47 (steam engine, plus hose wagon, plus ladder truck). In 1891 CEC-47 was re-organized as a standard engine company (E-47) and moved to their current quarters on West 113th St. Ladder Company 22 was organized and quartered at 766 Amsterdam when E-47 moved out and worked there until 1960 when they both 145 W. 100 Street (with 76 Engine, also at 766 Amsterdam from 1957-1960). As an aside, Ladder 16 was reorganized in 1887 and quartered at 157 East 67th Street, where they remain today.

Thanks to Forgotten fans Anthony Pisciotta and Dominick Salerno for research and photography for this page. 

New photos from Google Earth.

Unofficial FDNY page

6/25/2003; revised 2012

 

 

 

 

 





Share on Twitter

Categorized in: Street Scenes Tagged with:

17 Responses to MANHATTAN’S ANCIENT FIREHOUSES

  1. antfaber says:

    Is the old home of Engine 3 still there on the other side of 20th street from Hook & Ladder 12? My guess is that it was at 216 W. 20th because we were next door at 218.

  2. David says:

    I pass by 604 E 11th St a couple times a week and always guessed it might have been a firehouse. Thanks for this great post!

  3. Jim says:

    Great pictures! One interesting thing about that house on Amsterdam Ave. is that it is…or was..one of the deepest firehouses around. The original company, Ladder 22, was a “double company” and two very long hook-and-ladder companies occupied the first floor. When one walks by it today, you can see how deep it is by looking through the glass in the door, as well as some indications that it was a firehouse.

    There are several former firehouses in NYC that were not owned by the City. They were owned and operated by the New York Fire Patrol, also known as the “insurance Patrol,” which was operated by the New York Board of Fire Underwriters. One house, at 240 West 30 St. in Manhattan, was recently renovated for commercial use. Another one, on West 3rd Street in Greenwich Village, has been renovated as a private residence, presently owned by CNN news reader, Anderson Cooper. The Fire Patrol was recently disbanded by the Underwriters.

    There are a number of other former firehouses thoughout the city.

  4. Hi, thank you for compiling this list!

    I’d like to add a little information and a couple corrections:

    The house at 160 Chambers Street was built for Engine Co. 29 and they moved in on March 29, 1897. When E-29 organized in 1865 they were quartered in an old volunteer fire house at 304 Washington Street, and were quartered in several houses. They were at 193 Fulton with Ladder 10 from 1876 to 1897, when the Chambers Street house was finished. Engine 29 was disbanded by the FDNY in 1947.

    The 604 East 11th Street house was never home to Engine 25. It was Engine Co. 28′s residence from 1880 to 1959 (when they moved in with Ladder 11 at 222 E. 2nd Street). There was a volunteer house on that lot which served as E-28′s quarters until it was torn down around 1879-1880 to build the structure there now.

    The 766 Amsterdam Avenue house originally quartered Ladder 16 from 1876 to 1882, when they were reorganized as Combination Engine Company No. 47 (steam engine, plus hose wagon, plus ladder truck). In 1891 CEC-47 was re-organized as a standard engine company (E-47) and moved to their current quarters on West 113th St. Ladder Company 22 was organized and quartered at 766 Amsterdam when E-47 moved out and worked there until 1960 when they both 145 W. 100 Street (with 76 Engine, also at 766 Amsterdam from 1957-1960). As an aside, Ladder 16 was reorganized in 1887 and quartered at 157 East 67th Street, where they remain today.

    Damon Campagna, Curator and Director,
    New York City Fire Museum (former quarters of Engine Co. 30, 278 Spring Street)

  5. Jack ex l-3 says:

    Engine 25 closed to soon 1947. If they waited till the mid 60s they would be very busy in alphabet city and probably lives would be saved.

  6. ed says:

    Cool, but how about all those racist drunks on http://www.thebravest.com ?

    • Paul Mannix says:

      Ed – give me a call and you can tell me what you know about this. Racism has no place in the FDNY (or anywhere else), and we do all we can to eliminate it. We want everyone to be treated equally, which is why we oppose race-based hiring quotas with such enthusiasm. I’m sure you do too, but call and we can talk.

      Paul Mannix
      516-848-9847 cell

  7. Steve Whalen says:

    My grandfather was appointed to E-29 on Chambers St. (First Picture) in 1908. My father was DAC when I came on in 1968 and put me in L-105. (study house) And My great grandfather drove the horses in Steamer 5 in Middagh Street (after two tours in the US Cav.) from 1882 until it became Engine 205 FDNY in 1915. Grandpa was caught racing home against another fire engine down West Street coming home to E-29 after graduating from the first Motor Pump Opp. School. He died in his sleep when I was 10 in 1957, still the senior Lieu. in l-148 in Bklyn. May the Gods Bless All of us smoke eaters.

    • Jack Kleehaas says:

      Steve i came OTJ along w/you & Mike C…..i went to 108 i got out in ’09….the last Man from our class BC Frank R. BN*13 just got out last Sept…….. Jack K. Ret BN*46.

  8. Terry Cashin says:

    Where was E-25? My father was assigned there in 1938 & transferred when they were disbanded. I thought it was on E-5th & Ave. C but was recently told this was not accurate. Any info? Thanks

  9. Steve Whalen says:

    Guys, there is a great site called, ‘The Unofficial Home Page of FDNY’ I just sent the web guy a pic of my great grandfather sitting in ‘the Seat’ on the apron of Steamer 5 in Middagh St. in the Brooklyn Fire Dept. He did two tours in the US Cav. and was discharged at Ft. Hamilton B’klyn. He became a Sarg. under Gen. Reno. out in the Nebraska Terratories. I wouldn’t be here if Reno had listened to G.A. Custer. He was Michael O’Neill (my father’s maternal grandfather. My grandfather went on in 1908 and died in his sleep, at home, when I was 10 in 1957. 49 years and the senior Lieu. in 148 Truck for probably 30 years. My father went on in 1936 and retired in 1972 as DAC. I wrote 100% on the exam when I was 20 in 1968 and was sworn in in Sept. of that year at 21. Am I the only living 4th Generation FDNY guy? I have my great grandfather’s badge from the Brooklyn Fire Dept. and my cousin Jimmy Higgins (his dad was a BC in the war years) has his sword. Micheal O’Neill drove the horses after Steamer 5 became Engine 205 either in 1989 or 1913., he drove them until he died in his sleep in 1915. E- 205 made the last run with horses in April of 1922. They pulled the box at Borough Hall (arranged) and as the horses flew up on the plaza their new motorized rig was waiting for them. I have so much FDNY stuff that I tell people that I live in a museum.

  10. Steve Whalen says:

    My first comment has a mistake in it. My great grandfather drove Steamer from 1882 until he died in 1915 Sreamer 5 became Engine 295 in 1898 ( when Bklyn was annexed) or in 1913

  11. Bb Schildhorn says:

    Old Firehouse of L13 on 87th. Street between 3rd. and Lex. Aves. still has “Hook and Ladder 13″ on it’s facade.

  12. Jack Kleehaas says:

    Steve a Fourth generation Tracy still works in 108 his Dad (still alive but Ret) & his Grandfather & Great Grandfather all worked there going back to the horse drawn days.

  13. samuel morell says:

    when will the current propose closed fire houses be put up for bidding, [ may 2013 ] I am interested in trying to aquire an old fire house, to live in ? [212] 861-0805

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>