New firehouse blends artistry, history with sense of belonging
August 8, 1997 | The Buffalo News
Its just Buffalo’s newest firehouse, but it could be a work of art.
A brick tower-symbolic of the narrow vertical structures where wet fire hoses once hung to dry-reaches 40 feet into the air. In the Allentown night, the new Elmwood night, the new Elmwood Virginia Fire Station will be awash with light.
‘’It pays architectural tribute to the past history of firehouses and will serve as a landmark and beacon for the neighborhood’’, said Buffalo Fire Department Lt. John A. Lydon who is overseeing the $2 million construction on the site of the former Painters Union hall.
The challenge was not only to make the firefighting facility fit into one of the city’s most architecturally rich quarters but to make it a soul mate to the artsy mood and spirit of Allentown.
Inside the firehouse lobby, three stark black-painted steel panels cut and welded into the silhouetted forms of firefighters grab the attention of visitors to the newly completed firefighting facility.
Like any respectable artwork, the metal reliefs have titles-‘’Ut Vivant Alli’’, ‘’Fire and Smoke’’ and ‘’Spirit Emerges’’
“We shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us”