Skip to Content
CityRealty Logo


Credit: Baxt Ingui Architects Credit: Baxt Ingui Architects
With the realization that newer does not always mean better, especially when it comes to design, building owners and their occupants have become more sympathetic in preserving elements of the city's pre-war/classically-designed structures. Countless spaces have now successfully and seamlessly adaptively-reused with the modern bells and whistles that we now demand. And since this is Earth Day, we must point out that the most environmentally conscious type of construction is one that reuses something existing and already in-place.
At 223 East 25th Street in Kips Bay, an avenue away from the all-so-important “Hospital Alley,” an adaptive reuse and gut-renovation project is planned for a former firehouse originally built for Engine Company 16 in 1879. Building plans approved in July 2019 show the design team led by Baxt Ingui Architects will preserve the Classically-informed facade, add two floors to the existing three, and carve out spaces for four apartments and a ground-floor medical office.
via Dayton in Manhattan
According to the always-reliable Daytonian in Manhattan, the station house was originally designed by Napoleon Le Brun who served as the official architect for the city's fire department. At a cost of $18,000 (approximately $436,000 today), Le Brun fashioned the building with a cast-iron ground floor with bays framed in Corinthian pilasters. A rosy red brick adorns the upper floors with dog-toothed patterns filling spandrel sections above the windows. "Above a frieze of floral terra cotta tiles was an unusually deep bracketed cast metal cornice," notes the blogger.
The building was renovated in 1906 when reinforced concrete floors and iron staircases were introduced. As the need for more modern equipment and facilities became more apparent, the station was decommissioned in the 1960s when Engine Company 16 moved into a newly-built firehouse at 234 East 29th Street with Hook and Ladder Company 7.
The company's former building was sold at auction by the city to the tune of $217,000 (approximately $1.45M today). The winning bidder was The Ninth Church of Christ, Scientist who according to Daytonian made relatively minor alterations that removed the truck bay doors but kept tin ceilings intact.
Enlarge Image
Enlarge Image
Enlarge Image
Enlarge Image
The building's latest chapter began when the church sold the building to 223 East 25th Street, LLC in February 2018 for $6 million. Permits filed by the same LLC show the there will be two apartments on the second floor, one apartment on the third and a triplex spanning the third to the to-be-built fourth and fifth levels. The building will seek Passive House certification.
The project team's preservation and sustainability efforts were recently rewarded in January by NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority). The project was named one of the winners of their Buildings of Excellence competition for their work in celebrating the building's historic features while adapting a new use as a multifamily residential building with a community facility. "As a certified Passive House with renewables, Engine 16 becomes a potential beacon project in New York City," explains Baxt Ingui Architects.
NYC DOB section Section drawing of proposed project via NYC DOB

Additional Info About the Building