After several years of delays, the 125-year-old Jay Street firehouse is finally getting an upgrade.
Work is under way at the city-owned, landmarked building in the shadow of MetroTech Center that contains 18 affordable housing units and has been slated for a complete renovation since 2010.
Workers will restore the firehouse to its original, 1888 look, refurbishing the brownstone facade and tiled roof, and installing wooden doors, according to a statement by Nomad Architecture, the firm overseeing the project. The firm also plans to redo the wiring and plumbing and rebuild a damaged sidewalk vault atop the Jay Street-MetroTech subway station.
The construction has been promised since 2010, but was held up several times by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which owns the building.
The project is scheduled to take 18 months, wrapping up in early 2015.
The building at 365 Jay St. is both a national and a city landmark. The five-story Brooklyn Fire Headquarters with a seven-story watchtower was originally designed by Brooklyn architect Frank Freeman. In 1987, the city approved a plan to convert the building into 18 units of housing for elderly and low-income tenants displaced by the construction of MetroTech.
Since then, its managers in city government have come under fire for not sufficiently keeping up the building, including some withering criticism from Damon Straub, the architect in charge of the upgrade.
“It’s a shame that [the city] can’t get their act together on this building.” Straub said last year. “It and its tenants deserve better.”