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ACTIVE FIRE HOUSE

941 Boylston Street, Back Bay

Engine Company 33 / Ladder Company 15

Interior of the firehouse at 941 Boylston St., with Engine 33's hose wagon, circa 1900.
Interior of the firehouse at 941 Boylston St., with Engine 33's hose wagon, circa 1900.

The firehouse at 941 Boylston St., Back Bay, corner of Hereford St., October 27, 1911.
The firehouse at 941 Boylston St., Back Bay, corner of Hereford St., October 27, 1911.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cityofbostonarchives/ / CC BY-NC 3.0
The firehouse at 941 Boylston St., Back Bay, and the Boston & Albany RR yards, October 4, 1912.
The firehouse at 941 Boylston St., Back Bay, and the Boston & Albany RR yards, October 4, 1912.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cityofbostonarchives/ / CC BY-NC 3.0
Engine 33/Ladder 15 Firehouse at 941 Boylston St., Back Bay, circa 1940's.
Engine 33/Ladder 15 Firehouse at 941 Boylston St., Back Bay, circa 1940's.

Engine 33/Ladder 15 Firehouse in the 1950's.
Engine 33/Ladder 15 Firehouse in the 1950's.

Engine 33 and Ladder 15 pulled out on the apron of the firehouse, circa 1972.
Engine 33 and Ladder 15 pulled out on the apron of the firehouse, circa 1972.

Engine 33/Ladder 15's firehouse, draped in black bunting for Fire Lt. Stephen Minehan, June, 1994.
Engine 33/Ladder 15's firehouse, draped in black bunting for Fire Lt. Stephen Minehan, June, 1994.

A painting of the firehouse at 941 Boylston St., for the NFPA Centennial, c.1996, courtesy NFPA.
A painting of the firehouse at 941 Boylston St., for the NFPA Centennial, c. 1996, courtesy NFPA.

HISTORY

This firehouse was opened on February 20, 1888 when Engine Company 33 and Ladder Company 15 were organized in this new firehouse. Engine 33 and Ladder 15 have remained here, excluding several periods of interior renovation, since 1888.

This historic building which also housed, until 1976, Boston Police Station 16 on the left (looking at) was designed by city architect Arthur H. Vinal in the Richardsonian Romanesque style made popular by famous architect Henry Hobson Richardson. From 1976 to 2007 the old police station was the home of the Institute of Contemporary Art. In 2007 it was acquired by Boston Architectural College.

The firehouse is located at 941 Boylston Street at the corner of Hereford Street, in the Back Bay section of the city.

When construction of the firehouse was complete, it could not be occupies because the street grade had not reached the apparatus doors. When the grading had been raised to a level to traverse the adjacent railroad tracks, it matchedup to the apparatus doors and the firehouse was occupied.

This landmark building is a popular destination for visitors from out of town, due to its unique architecture, location near many hotels, and fire apparatus parked just a step in from the sidewalk.

Four plaques are mounted on the exterior of the firehouse to commemorate four firefighters who died in the Line Of Duty:

The memorial plaque honoring a firefighter from this firehouse who lost his life in the Line of Duty.
The memorial plaque honoring a firefighter from this firehouse who lost his life in the Line of Duty.
The memorial plaque honoring a firefighter from this firehouse who lost his life in the Line of Duty.
The memorial plaque honoring a firefighter from this firehouse who lost his life in the Line of Duty.

Engine 33 and Ladder 15 have a large response area, covering the Back Bay, South End, Fenway, and Roxbury.

Engine 33 is always among the most active fire companies in the city and responds to approximately 4100 incidents per year. Ladder 15 is also very busy and responds to approximately 3800 incidents per year.

1922 map shows the location of the firehouse at 941 Boylston Street, Back Bay.
1922 map shows the location of the firehouse at 941 Boylston Street, Back Bay.

Aerial photo of the Back Bay area shows the firehouse outlined in red, in 1925.
Aerial photo of the Back Bay area shows the firehouse outlined in red, in 1925.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/boston_public_library/ / CC BY-NC 3.0

The firehouse of Engine 33/Ladder 15 at 941 Boylston Street, Back Bay, circa 2002.
The firehouse of Engine 33/Ladder 15 at 941 Boylston Street, Back Bay, circa 2002.

The firehouse of Engine 33/Ladder 15 at 941 Boylston Street, Back Bay, circa 2007.
The firehouse of Engine 33/Ladder 15 at 941 Boylston Street, Back Bay, circa 2007.





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