Web Exclusive: Manhattan Firehouse Elevator Gets Classy Refurbishment
Some buildings in New York City get torn down, while others get “recycled.” The Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) El Barrio Firehouse (formerly known as the Engine 53 Firehouse) is a prime example of building recycling. Designed and built by leading Fire Department of New York architects, Napoleon Le Brun & Sons, in 1883, it remained in use until the 1970s, when the firehouse moved a few blocks.
In 2007, MNN purchased the old firehouse and converted it into a state-of-the-art production and broadcast facility housing three studios, several editing suites, a classroom and a community meeting space. During this process, an elevator needed to be modernized, so MNN chose United Elevator Cabs for the work. With consideration for the building’s past, the company restored and incorporated some old artistic sheet metal found in the building prior to its restoration, along with sea-green painted wood panels and bronze metal finishes. The elevator treatment was intended to provide a mixture of the building’s yesteryears with its bright future, representing an inevitable change.