Fire Engine Company No. 258, Hook and Ladder Company No. 115
10-40 47th Avenue
Bradford Lee Gilbert
Today considered to be one of the most dignified firehouses in New York City, this Dutch Renaissance Revival style structure commands a strong presence with its 4½ stories and 53-foot width along 47th Avenue. Its architect, Bradford Lee Gilbert, designed only this one firehouse over the course of his career. A pioneer in steel frame construction, Gilbert gained prominence across the country for the design of railroad structures and is known locally for his design of the Tower Building in Lower Manhattan, considered New York’s first skyscraper with a steel skeleton, constructed in 1887-89 (demolished in 1913). As an important political and industrial center, Long Island City was the first part of Queens to have a professional fire department, enabled by an act of the state legislature in 1890. In 1898, after the consolidation of the boroughs, the Long Island City and Brooklyn departments merged with the Fire Department of the City of New York. Upon consolidation, officials planned an expanded fire department to accommodate a growing population and improve working conditions for firefighters. This building was one of the more ambitious firehouse projects undertaken by the department due to its size and level of architectural detail, and was built for the same company that laid claim to being the borough’s first professional fire department. Although its numbering system changed over time, the company’s first name was Engine Company No. 1 and Hook & Ladder Company No. 1, which was established in 1891. The brick structure with granite and limestone trim is a rare example of the Dutch Renaissance Revival style, which was likely employed by Gilbert in homage to New York City’s Dutch roots. The Fire Engine Company No. 258, Hook and Ladder Company No. 115 is a NYC Individual Landmark.