Two Brooklyn firehouses named as landmarks
Two Brooklyn firehouses, both of which are still in active use by the FDNY, are among five that were designated Tuesday as city landmarks by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
One of the Brooklyn firehouses, Engine Co. 228, at 436 39th St., Sunset Park, was built in 1891 by the Brooklyn Fire Department, which was later absorbed into the Fire Department of New York after the consolidation of 1898. The two-story firehouse, originally known as Engine Co. 28, was built during the first wave of commercial and residential development in Sunset Park.
“Engine Co. 228 retains a commanding presence that’s conveyed the reliability and strength of the FDNY for more than 100 years,” said Robert Tierney, chair of the commission. “It’s also an imposing showcase for an architectural style that had an important role in shaping firehouse design at the end of the 19th century.”
The Romanesque Revival building was constructed by William J. Moran, a successful and well-known builder in Brooklyn who helped construct the former Domino Sugar plant on Kent Avenue and the Dime Savings Bank on DeKalb Avenue in Williamsburg. Both of these were among the best-known buildings in Brooklyn until the recent building boom.
This firehouse should not be confused with the similarly-named Engine Company 278, also in Sunset Park, which was one of several firehouses across the city that were closed, amid controversy and protests, in 2003.
The second building, Engine Co. 240/Battalion 48 at 1307-1309 Prospect Ave., Windsor Terrace, was built in 1895, and originally housed Engine Co. 40/Hook and Ladder 21. Its facade is made of limestone and brick, and it features a richly decorate round turret.
The building was designed by the noted architect Peter J. Lauritzen, a Danish immigrant who designed eight firehouses for the Brooklyn Fire
Department between 1894 and 1897 before Brooklyn was absorbed into New York City. One of these firehouses, the Offerman Building at 503-13 Fulton St., is a New York City landmark.
The two-story firehouse was put into service on Jan. 20, 1896 and fought its first fire nine days later. During its early years the engine company battled several major fires in Brooklyn, including one in a stable in 1897 that resulted in the deaths of 47 horses and another in Flatbush in 1899 that destroyed a fireworks company.
“This exuberant building has served Windsor Terrace with distinction for more than a century,” said Chairman Tierney. “The quality of the building’s materials, workmanship and details set it apart from the commercial and residential buildings in the neighborhood, creating a sense of civic pride.”
The other three firehouses are Engine Co. 46/Hook & Ladder 17 at 451-453 E. 176th St. in the Bathgate section of the Bronx; and Engine Co. 73/Hook & Ladder 42 at 655-659 and 661 Prospect Ave. in the Longwood section of the Bronx; and Engine Co. 268/Hook & Ladder 137 at 259 Beach 116th St. in the Rockaway Park section of Queens.