Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Fire House - 1910

Boston Daily Globe July 29, 1910

Forest Hills Gets First Auto Chemical Machine. New Fire Station at Walk Hill and Wenham Sts Will Be Placed in Commission Today.

Automobile chemical engine 13 will be placed in commission this morning by Acting Commissioner Carroll in the new fire station erected at Walk Hill and Wenham sts, Forest Hills. The machine was built last year at Springfield and is the first piece of motor apparatus to be permenently installed in the departmental service.

The new commissioner is a great admirer of motor fire apparatus and intends to establish a flying squadron at Grove Hall. For 20 years residents of Forest Hills have sought additional fire protection, but it was not until Benjamin W. Wells took charge that definite arrangements were made to respond.

Mr Wells selected a site for a fire station at Forest Hills shortly before he was removed. After Samuel D. Parker became commissioner the city council appropriated money for a fire station and last winter the auto-chemical was built at Springfield at a cost of $5450.

The new fire station is of brick, 2 1/2 stories high and is regarded as one of the model fire stations of the country. The floors and ceilings are supported by massive steel girders. A feature of the house will be that the patrol desk and stairways will be in an L.

The main floor is of vitrified brick and in the rear is a provision for stalls should the fire leaders decide to place horse-drawn apparatus at the house. Even with the auto-chemical in service, there will be ample room for horse apparatus.

The house is finished with Carolina pine and well sheathed, ensuring a comfortable house in winter. On the second floor are quarters for three officers, while back of those are the dormitories and lounging rooms as well as shower baths and drying rooms. Moller and Smith designed the house and it cost the city $25,000.

The new chemical is equipped with two 35-gallon chemical tanks, several hundred feet of chemical hose, 1000 feet of hydrant hose, a small extention latter, two hand extinguishers, a life line, axes, door opener, hose jackets and other equipment that will make it an up-to-date a piece of fire apparatus. The machine will carry a large searchlight and two large fixed lights on front.


  1. Was this Engine 13/Ladder 12 before it was transferred to Dudley Square? When was this particular fire station closed (and it looks like it was converted to condos)?

  2. Never mind...it was Engine 45 that originally occupied the house, and moved to Canterbury St in the early 1950s, and then Engine-Squad 53 was based there until 1969, according to the city of Boston FD home page. Then Engine 45 and 53 shared the same house until 1981, when Engine 45 was disbanded.

  3. I remember it being open in the 1960s-70s, and hearing about the condo conversion much later, so that sounds right.