History

The Fire station was built in 1909 as a training stable for fire department horses. It was said to be “the finest and most substantial building of its kind in the country, as every convenience for the caring of sick horses, and training of new ones… has been carefully provided for.” The architects were the father and son team of John H. and Wilson C. Ely, better known as the designers of Newark City Hall and the National Newark Building at 744 Broad St. Since then it has primarily been used for Fire Department equipment storage and repair.

Firestation Postcard of Horse-Drawn Fire Engine from the early 20th Century

Newark, New Jersey Postcard: Horse-Drawn Fire Engine Co. No. 18

Screenshot from Thomas Edison's Film "The Morning Alarm" 1896

Scene from Edison’s “Morning Fire Alarm” 1896 depicting a horse drawn carriage

Hank Przybylowicz writes about the Firehouse’s history below, in 1909:

It was reported that the new fire department training stable and repair shop, on Prospect Street, was finished and was ready to be turned over to the city by the contractors and architects. It was said to be “the finest and most substantial building of its kind in the country,” as every convenience for the caring of sick horses, and training of new ones, and the repair of apparatus, had been carefully provided for. Several days earlier, the Fire Board inspected the new building and were very pleased with it. The building was constructed of brick, steel, and concrete, and was made as near fire-proof that a building could be at the time. The building cost about $100,000 ($2.4 million). When architects J.H. and Wilson C. Ely were given the order to draw up plans for the structure, they first inspected all of the training stables and repair shops of the fire departments in the largest eastern cities, and used the best ideas from each one. The building committee of the Common Council was to inspect the structure in a few days, and if they approved of it, it would be accepted and turned over to the fire department.
(source: http://www.newarkfirehistory.com/ALookBack1909-04.htm)

The below scene from Edison’s, “A Morning Alarm,” from Maguire & Baucus catalogues of the Library of Congress shows the Newark Fire Department leaving headquarters for an early morning fire. The scene is remarkable for its natural effect. The opening of the engine house doors, the prancing of the horses, and even the startled expression upon the faces of the spectators, are all clearly depicted.