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The COVID-19 pandemic is the undoubtedly the first experience of its kind for many New Yorkers. However, from the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire of 1911 to the attacks on 9/11 to the past several weeks, the firefighters and first responders of the Fire Department of New York (“FDNY”) have been there, putting their own lives at risk to keep us safe. We cannot thank them enough for their service.
It may seem like the FDNY has been around as long as New York itself, but the Metropolitan Fire Department, the city’s first organized fire department dates back to 1865. Shortly after it was given the name we know today, Napoleon Lebrun was named lead architect for the fire department and designed a total of 42 firehouses throughout New York in response to a rapidly increasing population; his designs would serve as templates for others. Over a century later, many are situated in historic districts, if not designated landmarks themselves.

“The tell tale 19th-century firehouse architecture – the arches, the red doors, the sets of windows – are easily recognizable, whether the building still functions as an FDNY firehouse, or has become a museum, a home, or a store.” – Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

78-Lafayette-Street-01 Rendering of a never-built condo proposed above 78 Lafayette Street via Lot-ek
In light of New Yorkers’ appreciation for celebrated history and eye-catching architecture alike, many decommissioned firehouses are seeing new life as residential buildings. Andy Warhol rented Hook and Ladder Company 13's Upper East Side firehouse at his first real studio. Anderson Cooper famously renovated and restored Fire Patrol Building 2 in Greenwich Village. At 78 Lafayette Street, the chateau-inspired headquarters of Engine Company 31 were restored into the headquarters of the Downtown Community Television Center, and proposal was floated for a dramatically slanted, 19-story condominium to rise above the New York City landmark in 2007.
223_East-25th-Street-03 Plan to to turn an old firehouse at 223 East 25th Street in Kips Bay into residences and a community facility (Baxt Ingui Architects)
More recently, the former headquarters of Engine Company 16 in Gramercy is set to be gut renovated to Passive House standards and then to house four apartments and a medical office. In Brooklyn, the buyer of the Fort Greene headquarters of Engine 257, which served as the headquarters of Spike Lee’s production company, filed permits to convert it to a single-family mansion.
Opportunities to live in a one-time firehouse are few and far between, but there is a small handful of opportunities to get in on this throughout the city. We take a look at the sales listings and the transformation of other firehouses throughout New York.

“If the department had an old firehouse for every interested buyer with cash in his pocket, I do not think this city would be in debt today.” – Marvin Bogner, City Department of Real Estate

160-Chambers-Street-01 All images of 160 Chambers Street via Elliman
From the listing:
Upon entering there is a foyer with a floor to ceiling closet which opens to the living/dining area.The living room has 3 large windows that allow light to pour in all day. Also featuring a working fireplace that's surrounded by beautiful built ins and bookcases for additional storage.The open kitchen has plenty of cabinet space and top-of-the-line appliances such as a Sub-Zero refrigerator, Kitchen Aid dishwasher and a Viking stove. See floor plan and full details here.

6-Hancock-Place-01 All images of 6 Hancock Place via William Raveis New York City
From the listing:
This 29-foot-wide, 10,000-square-foot (currently mixed use) Beaux Arts building is located in the heart of West Harlem. Completed in 1909 it was designed by the architect Howard E. Constable to house the Hook and Ladder Company 40. The ornamental limestone facade is flanked by 2 huge bay windows. There are breathtaking 16+ foot ceilings. The property has excellent light throughout the day. The private residence resembles a Venetian Palazzo with an interior Juliette balcony, terraces on every floor and HVAC central air. See floor plan and full details here.

78-Morton-Street-01 All images of 78 Morton Street via Leslie J. Garfield & Co.
From the listing:
This former firehouse, now with a four-car garage, has been transformed into a 7,281 square foot architectural masterpiece. This five-story home exemplifies luxury, which is showcased throughout the home's grand living spaces as well as intricate craftsmanship. The ground floor has been precisely designed to accommodate a number of uses depending on the owner's personal interests. See floor plan and full details here.

183-Concord-Street-01 All images of 183 Concord Street via Compass
From the listing:
Development site, warehouse plus office space, art gallery, company headquarters, performance space, mixed-use retail with residential, or single-family or multi-family home -- with a curb cut. This 25-foot-wide former firehouse dating from the 1930s can be reimagined as built or expanded to suit a variety of different uses. Currently configured as a warehouse on the ground floor, a sunny second story with two units, and a storage basement, this 94' deep building is built to approximately 4,600 sf, with an additional 3,900 buildable square feet as of right. See floor plan and full details here.

Firehouse Conversions Throughout NYC

159 East 87th Street, Carnegie Hill
Hook and Ladder Company 13 | Built in 1910
Art gallery and studio

84 West 3rd Street, Greenwich Village
New York Fire Patrol | Built in 1906

233 East 25th Street, Gramercy
Engine Company 16 | Built in 1900

70 Barrow Street, West Village
Hook and Ladder Company | Built in 1853

102 Charles Street, West Village
Columbia Hook and Ladder Company | Built in 1854

31 Saint Felix Street, Fort Greene
Engine Company 226 | Built in 1880

1198 Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg
Engine Company 206 | Built in 1869

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