This firehouse is a landmark for many Chicagoans and suburbanites who commute to Lake Shore Drive along this busy street. The building 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 imitate large stones. Each window is framed in the terra cotta with a pediment design above the window. The windows on the façade facing Ridge 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. All the historic equipment including the command center has been moved to the firehouse on Clark Street. There was no hose tower for this station, so the firefighters had to hang the wet hoses in the stairwell. The whole interior is covered in a cream glazed brick.

Now it is the home base for Chicago Filmmakers, who have spent more than a year creating the new interior space for their activities. As you enter from the Hollywood side you will be in the box office area. The large grey limestone counter has been re-purposed from the materials in the many bathrooms in the second floor of the building.

This room opens into a hallway that leads to the main room which is now the screening room. Because the brick walls could not be changed, black curtains have been installed to make the room more theater like. The large screen is on the wall that faces Ridge Avenue so the original garage door of the station has been sealed off.

On the east side of the house is a small room that extends from the building. This room is a lounge that once had many beautiful design elements. The oak beamed ceiling has been painted as have all the trim oak around the doors and windows. The windows facing south have been changed into double doors that open out on to a small garden.

Back in the entrance hallway you may climb to the second floor. At the landing is the projection room. Further up the staircase with the original oak handrail there is an open landing that connects to two bathrooms, an office space and two classrooms.

We wish the Chicago Filmmakers all the best in their new home, which is a City of Chicago Landmark.

For more information, go to www.chicagofilmmakers.org