Thursday, July 11, 2013

Engine 46 - Say It Ain't So

Engine 46 has been in the news recently and if you've been following along - it isn't looking good for the incredible Victorian-style firehouse located on the corner of Water Street and Reed Street.

Demolition Permit for Engine 46 - photo: Dr. James Moylan
As you can see from the photo above, this building is scheduled for demolition on or after 7/30/13. Time is literally running out for a chance to save the old firehouse from the wrecking ball.

Of course, the demolition of old, historic buildings is nothing new in Pennsport (or Philadelphia for that matter) - look no further than Saint John's the Evangelist on the corner of Moyamensing and Reed Street, a stones throw from Engine 46. "Old and in the Way" is how Hidden City described Saint John's back in March. And while demolition is nearly complete on the old church established in 1867 - there is still some get the word out about Engine 46.

Dr. James Moylan, President of the Pennsport Civic Association has been doing just that recently. Multiple attempts to contact the owners of the building have gone unanswered from both Dr. Moylan and the media alike. As Dr. Moylan puts it, "You've got to try and do something, anything."

Councilman Mark Squilla is currently on the case to get some answers. Hopefully, he can find the answers needed to preserve a piece of our neighborhood's rich history and a building with such delightful character  in an area of the neighborhood practically devoid of any.

In the meantime, I urge you to stay close to this story as it unfolds, get involved any way you can, and keep your fingers crossed that Engine 46 does not suffer the same fate as Saint John's the Evangelist.

Here are some pictures of Engine 46 in it's heyday followed by links for further reading:
The iconic chimney rises over a coal yard in 1913 - via Philly History

Long before the Riverview took over, circa 1963 - via Philly History

Links for further reading:
Stalled Engine - South Philly Review looks at the uncertainty surrounding the restaurant when it closed unexpectedly in 2006- unsurprisingly, no comments from ownership on why or future plans.

South Philly Neighbors Hope To Rescue 1894 Firehouse - PlanPhilly looks at the recent developments pertaining to the demolition of Engine 46.

**Highly Recommended**
Historical Firehouse Could Be On The Line - Inga Saffron offers an interesting look in to the architecture of the building, it's fascinating past, and the failed attempt at Historical Designation

19th Century Firehouse Could Soon Disappear - Naked Philly looks at the contrast between the 19th Century Firehouse and the "gaugy" Riverview complex.

South Philly Firehouse Headed for Demolition? - David Gambacorta of gets a few endearing quotes from a neighbor with fond memories of the firehouse.

Iconic (But Not ‘Historic’) South Philadelphia Landmark Faces Demolition - CBS Philly grabs some interesting quotes from Dr. James Moylan, President of the Pennsport Civic Association.

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