This firehouse is a landmark for many Chicagoans and suburbanites who commute to Lake Shore Drive along this busy street. The house was built in 1929 in a style that replicates an earlier era. It was built to look like an old fashioned firehouse. The building is red brick which has been extensively detailed in a cream terra cotta. The quoins on the corners of the building are in cream terra cotta that imitate large stones. Each window is framed in the terra cotta with a pediment design above the window. The windows on the façade are long and narrow. Above the pediment is a terra cotta emblem of the firefighters. The building is two stories high. Above the second story along the roof line there is more decorative terra cotta in classical forms of egg and dart and dentils. The roof of the building is pitched and the attic has one circular window facing west. The base of the building is granite.
This firehouse was built to hold one Truck Company - Number 47. In the late 1970s, when there was a rash of fires that were traced to arson, Engine Company 59 was added. You will enter by the main garage door, so be alert to step aside to stay out of their way if the firemen are called to a fire. Just inside the door to the right is the original cabinet with a shelf like desk top in dark pine woodwork. The clock is in the upper center. Just below it is the map of the area covered by the firefighters at this house. Below that is the shelf. On either side of the shelf are pilasters that give this work area the aura of importance that a command center should have. The area has some original equipment, such as the telegraph key for communication with downtown. This, of course, has been replace by the telephone and computers. Another apparatus is a system for locating where a fire alarm has been pulled. Just ahead on the right is a fire pole and, past it, a staircase to the second floor.
There is no hose tower for this station, so the firefighters must hang the wet hoses in the stairwell. You will see the rolled up hoses along the interior walls. The whole interior is covered in a cream glazed brick with terra cotta framing the windows. Along the east side of the building are two more fire poles.
On the left side of the house is a small room that extends from the building. This room is a lounge with many beautiful design elements. First, there is the oak beamed ceiling. There is a wainscoting around the room that is trimmed in oak. Opposite the door is a built in oak cabinet. Some of the firefighters have been working on this room, stripping the woodwork back to its golden oak color. When that is done, they will repaint the room. At the back of the area where the fire trucks wait, ready for action, is an eating area and kitchen. This room is trimmed in oak with a wainscoting around the room. The kitchen is a work area only. Off the eating area is the back door that opens onto a seating area.