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Engine Company 23

Exterior and interior renovation of a firehouse in midtown Manhattan.

Project Date
2014- on-going
Location
New York, US
Role
Lead Architectural Designer
Organization
Belmont Freeman Architects
Client
NYC DDC & FDNY
Budget
$3.4 million

Commissioned as one of 20 firms on NYC DDC's Design + Excellence program, Belmont Freeman Architects was selected for the renovation of this historic firehouse.

Interior and exterior renovation of Engine Company 23, a Landmark, Beaux-Arts fire house in midtown Manhattan. The program includes new kitchen, dining, lounge, and living quarters as well as restoration of the histroric masonry facade.

Primary Responsibilites:

  • Design development and project management from SD to CD (project lead).
  • Production / preparation of biddable design documents leading to contract award. Preliminary CA.
  • Coordination with client agencies, MEP engineers, and specialist sub-consultants.
  • Leading DDC / FDNY client meetings; Preparing agendas and meeting minutes.
  • NYC DOB Building Code / Zoning Resolution research to achieve regulatory approvals. LPC filing.

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Location

A modest firehouse on 'Billionaires' Row'

Located at 215 West 58th Street, Engine Company 23 sits just east of the future driveway for 220 Central Park South, which will eventually rise 950 feet, and across the street from the back of the future Nordstrom Tower, which will eventually rise 1,550 feet. To put this in context, our little fire house is 60 feet tall.

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Existing Conditions

Preserving the integrity of the interior while bringing it up to modern standards.

Over 100 years old, the existing firehouse certainly shows its age. But there are many beautiful origninal features that should be preserved.

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An Historic Landmark

Presentation to the Landmark's Preservation Commission

Engine Company 23 was listed as an historic landmark in 1989, which means that any exterior work undertaken needed to be approved by the Landmark's Preservation Commission. In this case, we were proposing new mechanical equipment on the roof, as well as the restoration of the front facade. These design proposals necessitated a full public review by the LPC, as well as Manhattan's Community Board 5.

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Facade Restoration

Repairing the century-old facade

In the the design phase, during a routine roof inspection, it was discovered that the facade's upper cornice, contructed of solid limestone blocks, was showing signs of structural failure. After consulting with the structural engineer and a masonry conservation specialist, it was decided that the entire upper portion should be rebuilt. I worked with both sub-consultants to draw up a strategy that was both structurally sound and respected the facade's original character.

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Proposed Work

The project brief called for:

  • New Kitchen and Living Room.
  • New bathrooms thorughout. Designated ADA bathroom and Female bathroom.
  • New / restored fixtures and finishes throughout.
  • New central air system and lighting throughout.
  • Replacement of roofing throughout.
  • New / replacement skylights.
  • Rebuilding of upper portion of facade and extensive masonry repairs.
Shown opposite are select drawings from the final CD set. The project is currently under construction.

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