Firehouses have been in existence as early as the 1640’s, and during this period firehouse were just big tools which were used as storage points for firefighting equipment. Since the electric sirens were not present back then, firefighters had to use bells, rattles and drums to send out messages and warnings in case there was a fire breakout. They also had towers that they could look to see if there was any trouble. However, a lot has changed since then. One thing which has completely changed is the overall style of the fire house. After the end of the Revolutionary war, improved and different firehouse styles were constructed.
Most of these old firehouses are still in existence to date. Due to the manner in which they were constructed, a majority of the old firehouses are exceedingly sturdy. However, they are not used because of two main reasons; either these firehouses are too big to cool and heat or are too small to store all the modern equipment and computers. Some of these firehouses are restored and used as museums or alternatively are sold to the public in what is known as adaptive reuse.
Adaptive reuse is when a historical or old building is used for a different purpose other than what it was engineered for. Adaptive reuse is a critical component of land conservation and it also plays a key role in community restoration. With that said, here are 5 uses for a restored firehouse.
There are several examples of adaptive reuse of firehouses and also great examples of how these firehouses have been rehabilitated to create something extraordinarily amazing. One of the most common uses of a restored firehouse is fire museums. Fire museums are used to not only celebrate but also preserve the firefighting heritage of a given region. In North America, there are more than 300 museums which range from spare rooms in the basement of firehouses to state of the art first class institutions. All in all, fire museums are institutions that serve to educate, inform and inspire.
Homes and Residential Properties
Apart from being restored into museums, firehouses can be converted into homes. Depending on the property owner, the firehouse can retain some of the details that were present previously or alternatively it can undergo some serious renovation into something completely new. Restored firehouses are on high demand in the real estate market. Most firehouses are bought by real estate investors and converted into something truly magnificent. After the renovation is complete, they are sold for a fortune with some going for more than 6 million dollars.
Restaurants can be created from the existing structure. This is very possible because most of the firehouses have large kitchens already, which in turn makes it exceedingly easy to convert them into restaurants. Depending on the size of the firehouse, different types of restaurants can be created. One of the most common firehouse restaurant in the United States is the Old Engine 12 restaurant which is located in Washington DC.
Old firehouses can also be converted into commercial establishment including retail establishments and offices. Irrespective as to whether it is only one company occupying the firehouse, or multiple companies, it is still a great reuse of an old firehouse. Some of the most common uses of firehouses as commercial properties include truck garages, company offices, beauty salons and beauty parlors.
Health Care Facilities
Furthermore, firehouses have also be converted into health facilities such as veterinary facilities and health clinics. Fire stations can be used as the treatment and check-up centers for animals and also human beings. Converting a fire station into a clinic is a great way to show how an under-utilized public resource can be converted into something useful for the community. The great thing about converting fire stations into clinics is that almost every city has at least one fire station, thus it is a great way to bring health care services to the locals.
Despite the fact that old fire stations can be used for different purposes, museums and real estate still remain the most common uses of old fire stations. Converting an old fire station into a museum is a great way to preserve and celebrate fire culture while turning it into a commercial property is an ideal way to generate revenue from an untapped public resource.