[Slideshow] The Coolest Restored and Adapted Fire Station in Houston, Texas

Posted on: July 3rd, 2012 by David Garber 7 Comments

It's the week of the Fourth of July, which means that we're dreaming in red, white, and blue, and thinking about flags, fireworks, and freedom. And maybe it's the fire engine red, or their symbol of civic heroism, but there's just something about fire houses that screams America. Add in a "rising from the ashes" story line and it's kind of the American preservation/restoration/rebuilding dream. Enter Fire Station No. 6 in Houston, Texas.

Built in 1903 (see "before" pictures above), No. 6 is located on Washington Avenue in Houston's Sixth Ward neighborhood -- a story of regeneration in itself, but still dotted with auto lots, empty storefronts, and untended buildings. When Tom Hair, founder of communications and marketing firm Axiom, was looking to buy a property to house his growing company, he wanted a space that reflected Axiom's creativity and energy. He found it in the then-dilapidated Fire Station No. 6.

Although the brick exterior was still in decent shape and structurally sound, the windows were rotten and the building needed a full roof replacement, as well as restoration work on the metal shingles and cornices.

Today, Fire Station No. 6 is a beacon for historic adaptation done right. The exterior gleams, and the interior feels fresh but still retains elements of the historic building -- like a brass fire pole that's available for use by the firm's employees. The building has marks of of the past -- exposed bricks, restored columns, and old photos splashed across the walls -- while still accommodating the needs and styles of a modern work space.

Owner Tom Hair is rightfully proud of his work: "We have one of the few buildings that has been restored to its original presence on Washington Avenue." Kudos on a job well done, and let's hope that as the neighborhood develops, the number of restorations only continues to grow.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Civic, General, Slideshows

7 Responses

  1. Calvin Russell

    July 3, 2012

    Great article on adaptive preservation! Kudos.

    I’m curious, though, about identifying the history fire station photograph as being from 1903. It appears that the firemen are standing in front of a fire truck. Given that the vehicle appears to have a long hood, that style of apparatus would not have been available quite that early.

  2. David Garber
    David Garber

    July 3, 2012

    Calvin — thanks for the tip! I’ve updated the language of the caption to reflect that observation.

  3. Chris Friedemann

    July 5, 2012

    Great job, Axiom, with the restoration. My hat is off to Tom Hair for pursuing his passion for this project over a multi-year period. The results show it was worth it in the end!

  4. Paul Loscocco

    July 11, 2012

    The restoration of the firehouse, and the gratitude the citizens must feel, should bring a great deal of pride to Axiom. Thanks for keeping history alive.

  5. laanba

    July 11, 2012

    Houston is known more for tearing down than restoring so this makes me very happy. Kudos to Tom Hair and Axiom.

  6. FS6 restoration casting a wide ‘Net presence : Restoring Fire Station No. 6

    July 16, 2012

    […] posted a Fire Station No. 6 on its website courtesy of its fellow D.C.-based content partner, the National Trust for Historic Preservation. NTHP blogger David Garber noted that the Fire Station No. 6 story he originally posted on July 3 […]

  7. En Donde Estudiar

    July 20, 2012

    Thankks by the info I’m doing the job to update languaje!!