Today the Landmarks Preservation Commission will vote on calendaring two Brooklyn firehouses, among other firehouses in Queens and the Bronx. The first is the Engine Company 28 building (pictured right – and now called Engine Company 228) at 436 39th Street, between 4th and 5th avenues. It’s a Romanesque Revival building built in 1891. The architect is unknown. The second is Engine Company 40 and Ladder 21 (now called Engine Company 240 and Battalion 48) at 1307 Prospect Avenue, right off Greenwood Avenue. It’s another Romanesque Revival design built in 1895. The architect is Peter J. Lauritzen. Click through for the full historic write-up by the LPC.
Photos via the LPC
Firehouse, Engine Company 40/ Hook and Ladder Company 21 (now Engine Company 240, Battalion 48)
1307 Prospect Avenue
The Firehouse for Engine Company 40/ Hook and Ladder Company 21 was built in 1895 as part of a campaign by Brooklyn Fire Commissioner Frederick W. Wurster to replace the old firehouses housing the volunteer fire companies in Brooklyn’s recently annexed districts with new up-to-date buildings suitable for modern equipment and full-time paid professional staff. It is one of eight firehouses that the noted Danish-immigrant architect Peter Lauritzen designed for the Brooklyn Fire Department between 1894 and 1897 and is his finest in the Romanesque Revival Style, a style favored for Brooklyn firehouses of the period and one in which Lauritzen was particularly at home. The building’s imposing limestone and brick façade features an asymmetrical design, with a rusticated ground story, round corner turret richly decorated with Romanesque motifs, a round arched window set off by a drip molding with label stops, a flat-arched double-window flanked by colonettes, an elaborate arched cornice, and an asymmetric parapet. The quality of the building’s materials, workmanship, and details distinguished it from the residential and commercial buildings in the neighborhood and were intended to create a sense of civic pride. Engine Company 40, now Engine Company 240, has been housed in its present building and has served the Windsor Terrace neighborhood with distinction for over a century. Since 1978, the building has also been home to Battalion 48, which oversees Fire Department units within Park Slope, Windsor Terrace, and Borough Park.
Firehouse, Engine Company 28 (now Engine Company 228)
436 39th Street
Firehouse, Engine Company 28 (now Engine 228) was organized in 1890 in response to the growing population and number of buildings in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn. First located in rented quarters at 945 4th Avenue, this house was opened in December, 1890. The Brooklyn Fire Department was established as a paid department in 1869 until Consolidation with the City of New York in 1898. Under the reorganization at that time this house was renamed number 128 and during a later reorganization it became Engine 228, which it has remained until today. This strong Romanesque Revival style building, with stone and brick facade, large, round-arched openings and decorative moldings provides a distinctive presence on the busy streets of Sunset Park that began to be developed with commercial and residential buildings in the 1890s. The existence of this firehouse continues to provide a strong civic presence in this section of Brooklyn.