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So hot it turrets! The Jay Street firehouse is back on the block • Brooklyn Paper

So hot it turrets! The Jay Street firehouse is back on the block

Ain’t she a beaut?: The Jay Street firehouse is back and better than ever — except when it was first built in 1888.
Photo by Jason Speakman

Jay Street’s old firehouse is back in all its blazing glory.

Scaffolding that has shrouded the former Brooklyn Fire Department headquarters came down on Wednesday, ending a year of restoration work on the brownstone beauty. The building, which contains 18 below-market-rate apartments, has been in line for a spruce-up since 2010 when the Pratt Area Community Council got a grant to do the job. But red tape at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the city entity that owns the property, slowed progress and work did not begin until August 2013.

The restoration is supposed to bring the landmark back to its original 1888 glory, patching up the ornate brownstone facade and tiled roof, and installing old-timey wooden doors, according to the architecture firm overseeing the work. Workers have also been repairing wiring and plumbing in the building, and fixing the sidewalk vault out front.

The five-story firehouse was designed by Brooklyn architect Frank Freeman way back in the day. In 1987, as the specter of demolition to make way for MetroTech Center’s flat metal edifices loomed, the city approved a plan to save the building and convert it into housing for elderly and low-income Downtown residents displaced by the office mall.

Reach reporter Matthew Perlman at (718) 260–8310. E-mail him at mperl‌man@c‌ngloc‌al.com. Follow him on Twitter @matthewjperlman.

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