From the Tudor Revival station in Old Algiers to this Arts and Crafts version in Holy Cross, 20th-century firehouses were built to reflect civic pride.
“(Fire houses) were designed to blend in with the neighborhood, but look a little bigger and more important (than the surrounding houses),” said Karen Kingsley, professor emerita of architecture at Tulane University. “So if you lived in the neighborhood, you could say, ‘That’s my fire station.’”
As technology evolved and fire trucks got bigger, many 18th- and 19th-century fire stations were decommissioned and converted into community centers, coffee shops, even Carnival krewe dens. And some, like this circa-1924 fire station, were renovated and turned into homes.
Because its architects intended the firehouse to blend seamlessly with the lower 9th Ward’s collection of Arts and Crafts bungalows and doubles, its former function isn’t super obvious.
“A person viewing the new engine house from St. Claude street...would never suspect it to be an engine house,” proclaimed the Times-Picayune on November 18, 1924. “A little porch, or gallery, as New Orleans likes to call them, on the left and to the right a glass enclosure resembling a conservatory entrance, with a bungalow effect overall, are the impression one gets.”
The oversized garage door, though, is a dead giveaway of the structure’s original function. That garage door leads to a large, light-filled living area. There, stained concrete floors, original casement windows, and 12-foot ceilings lend the space a utilitarian edge that’s consistent with its past.
Renovated in 2015, the three-bedroom, one-and-a-half bathroom home feels quirky and rustic throughout. A wine bottle chandelier illuminates a farm sink mounted on reclaimed wood, which also makes an appearance in the bathrooms.
Outside, find a porch in the front and a paved lot with parking for six cars in the rear—enough space for a small fleet of one’s own. Though it cost $15,000 to build in the 1920s, the firehouse is asking $375,000 in 2019.
Via: Lara Schultz of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices