Saturday, July 15, 2006

home of engine #42


chicago firehouse
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo.
Just got a gem of an email from obtr32@flickr (aka Pauly) who dropped me a line a few weeks back after one of my Chicago Firehouse pics ran on the WBEZ home page (part of a larger set of a really lovely, albeit dilapidated, structure in Chicago's River North neighborhood).

He told me that he was reading a book on Chicago Firehouses and thought he might be able to find some more details about the structure.

He did.

Here's his email:

I GOT YOUR CHICAGO FIRE HOUSE.

It took me a while because it is actually 228 W. Illinois street. I was looking for a Franklin address.

Your firehouse was built in 1888. Home of Engine #42- Squad #1- Salvage squad #1. It ran for 80 years (1888 to 1968).

In 1964, Engine #42 had to be relocated to 202 E. Chicago for a short period of time due to a fire in a building next to it (it didn't say which side). The city called the building to be "in dangerous condition".

The building was fixed and stayed as a firehouse until November 1 of 1968. Engine #42 was moved to 55 W. Illinois street (and I think it is still there). The book doesn't say why Engine #42 moved. However, the building that they are in was built in 1968 (the same time as the move). I think it was just because they needed more space.

After the move, it became a garage for the streets and sanitation department. The building is now privately owned (but I don't know by whom).

There are two things that make this firehouse neat.

1. It is one of the few Chicago firehouses that had three floors.

2. There are no records of anything else built on this lot (in other words, the only thing that was ever built in this spot was the firehouse. No records of barns or houses. )

The lot itself was bought in 1860 (before the great Chicago Fire). Many of the Chicago historical people call this building a mystery because they do not know why this lot
sat empty for 20 years (1860 to 1888).

In a follow up email Pauly sent a pic from a Flickr’er who identifies the firehouse as the set for McGinty's Bar in the television show Early Edition that ran for a few short years from 1996 to 2000.

And that’s only ONE of the reasons that I love Flickr. (Thanks, Pauly!)

1 comment:

patrick said...

Wow...so cool to find that out! I actually saw this building for the first time last week from the Brown Line (very rarely do I take the Brown) and of couse thought "hey! that's suttonhoo's firehouse!" :-)

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