How Pittsburgh’s Fire Station Was Built

Here’s a little bit of history for the readers: back in the roaring 20s, a fire station was built in Spring Hill, Pittsburgh. This fire station was one of the most advanced of its time and featured uniquely colonial architecture within and without the entire structure. 


In 1929, the Engine and Truck Companies No. 53 was headquartered at a wooden frame structure at the corner of Rhine Street and Halsage Avenue. As a fire station, this wasn’t able to keep up with the regular maintenance needed. It was eventually abandoned and replaced with a new building a short distance away on Homer and Damas streets.


Eventually, concrete contractors in Pittsburgh, PA  finished construction on the new driveway for the new fire station. This is in line with the construction project undertaken to provide a more modern and attractive look to the local fire department building. It combines all the needs of day-to-day fire department duties as well as offering some comforts and conveniences similar to what you’d get from a house. 

Building Amenities 

The new building’s main section will contain an apparatus room and a dormitory. It will also have a one-story wing on the rear left side of the building that will have the toilets, lounge, and kitchen. 


The apparatus room is made of red tile block over a floor of arched tile and solid concrete, lined with tile wood paneling up to five feet high. The lounge and the main entrance will feature a brick fireplace and a mantelpiece measuring 7 feet 8 inches wide. A concrete floor will serve as its main surface. This lounge will be built facing Homer street and will be equipped with fire alarm instruments.


The basement will contain a bulk of the amenities. It spans the entire building and houses a hose trough with drying racks, a boiler room, coal storage, 24 large lockers as well as a toilet room and showers.


The building will also have a concrete staircase affixed to the right side of the building. This will allow entrance to the basement from the yard area.

Living Quarters

The second floor of the building will be dedicated to living quarters for the men stationed. It will include a dormitory bunk room, the captain’s office, and sleeping quarters as well as a large toilet room and shower bath.  


The bunk room will have 22 large lockers placed in two rows at the center as well as a medicine cabinet, broom closet, and a linen closet. There will be nine large windows allowing for a lot of natural light and ventilation. 


The captain’s office will be located at the rear and will include two large built-in linen closets. Next to it will be a large toilet and bath for use by the residents

Colonial Architectural Designs

The new fire station is a two-story L-shaped structure designed with Colonial architecture in mind.  It features gray limestone trimmings and red brick topped off with a roof of multicolored slate. The plot it stands on is shaped irregularly but will feature a lawn and yard extending to both sides and the rear of the building. A flag pole and a memorial will be put up on the lawn closest to the intersection of both streets. This new building will be the first and possibly only fire station to do without a hose tower on the roof. There will be racks provided in the basement for drying and storage of hose.

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