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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Old Station Number 7



For those of you who aren't readily familiar with the Houston Fire Museum, we are housed in old fire station number 7. Old 7's headquarters was the first station built specifically for use by the paid fire department in 1898-1899. A majority of the photographs that the museum has regarding the station are of the outside looking towards the front of the building (as evidenced in the second to last photo here). A few show the building at an angle, as seen in the last photo, and you get a small glimpse of the surrounding neighborhood. The station was in what would have been in a relatively ritzy neighborhood. At the time that these photos were taken (probably sometime in the mid- to late-1910s), thie surrounding neighborhood was at the height of being an elite neighborhood filled with Victorian-era homes. Around the time of these photos, construction was completed of Union Station. This brought in more transient-focused businesses and eventually, after the end of World War II, the beginning of urban flight into the suburbs and the deterioration of the neighborhood. The neighborhood suffered until the early 2000s with the return of Urban Renewal and the building of condos, homes, and new businesses. The first three photos I've attached were found buried away in a file and show life at Station 7 in a way we rarely get to see firefighters from the past...the mundane day to day machinations of life. They are situated on McIlhenny, which no longer exists as a street next to the station, it's now our driveway. But the building almost the same. In the 1930s the brick was covered with stucco, but other than that, it's the same old neat building that we call home.

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