News & Updates

Restored Dudley Square Fire House Opens

Oct 06, 2011

Mayor Thomas M. Menino, Historic Boston Executive Director Kathy Kottaridis, BRA Director Peter Meade and others cut the ribbon on the newly restored LEED Silver Eustis Street Fire House, the oldest remaining fire house in the City, as hundreds of other officials, neighbors, and supporters applauded. In partnership with the City, Historic Boston Inc., which invests in and redevelops historically significant buildings in City neighborhoods, handsomely restored the 1859 Fire House in a two-year, $2.5 million rehabilitation of the Italianate-style building.  The City helped finance the project with a low-interest loan, and state and federal tax credits covered almost $1 million of the restoration costs. "The rehabilitation of this storied firehouse is an investment in the past -- and the future -- of the Roxbury community.  It serves as a great complement to the work we are doing to revitalize Dudley Square, one of our city's most historic retail districts," said Mayor Menino. The Eustis Street Fire House, located at 20 Eustis St. in Roxbury’s Dudley Square, now houses Historic Boston’s staff of six, as well as a first-floor tenant, the Timothy Smith network, which provides technology to youth in Roxbury.  The building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974 and has been a part of the Boston Landmarks Commission’s Eustis Architectural Conservation District since 1982, but had been vacant since the 1950s.  The building is also one of 15 historic properties in Dudley Square, making it the most historic square in the city. “This project exemplifies the role historic preservation can play in neighborhood development,” said Kottaridis.  “We are so proud to be part of this comeback and prouder still to be part of the burgeoning community of Dudley Square.” “This is what real neighborhood development is,” Menino said today, in front of the building, festooned with sun-lit orange and white balloons, as a Grilled Cheese Nation food truck provided sandwiches nearby. The Fire House first housed a steam pumper pulled by firefighters of the Roxbury Fire Department.  A decade after it was built, a two-story stable for horses and a “hook and ladder” were added.  Boston Engine Company 10 operated there from 1889 to 1916, disbanding in 1922.  The building later housed the Spanish American War Veterans chapter and some operations of the Boston Parks Department.  The structure, adjacent to the also historic Eliot Burying Ground, was propped up to keep it from falling down in recent decades, but it was saved from demolition in 1969 and stabilized for uncertain future use in 1993.  The brick structure built in 1859 replaced a wooden firehouse in Roxbury before the town merged with Boston in 1868.  A wooden annex, added later, was torn down in 1991, but the new restoration added a wing on the same footprint. “This is a bricks-and-mortar, project-based organization,” Historic Boston Board Chairman Matt Kiefer said of the nonprofit group. “But it’s not about the buildings – it’s about the stories that buildings tell.  It’s what the bringing buildings to life does for communities.” Added along the brick entranceway only in the last few days was a two-dimensional sculpture by Boston artist John Tagiuri.  It depicts a 19th-century steam fire apparatus pulled by firefighters in a day before horses were employed and housed on Eustis Street. A restored sign over the front door, “Torrent Six,” refers to the first Roxbury company housed there. Historic Boston, Inc., founded in 1960, moved recently from the Old Corner Bookstore near Downtown Crossing, which was the first of many historic buildings that have been saved by the preservation and development organization.

Share This Article:

Subscribe to our News & Updates

*indicates required
First Name : Last Name :
Zip Code : *Email: