Forest Hills Firehouse Named New York City Landmark

By Nigel Chiwaya on June 14, 2012 2:40pm 

Engine 305/Hook and Ladder Company 151 has served Forest Hills for almost 90 years.
Engine 305/Hook and Ladder Company 151 has served Forest Hills for almost 90 years.
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DNAInfo/Nigel Chiwaya

QUEENS — Times change and buildings come and go. But for 89 years the firehouse on Queens Boulevard and 75th Avenue has been a staple of Forest Hills.

On Monday, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission officially honored Engine 305/Ladder 151, granting the building landmark status.

"It's a prestigious honor," said Jeff Gottlieb, founder and president of the Central Queens Historical Association. "The firehouse has a great history."

Built by FDNY head fire inspector John R. Sliney between 1922 and 1924, the firehouse was constructed in neo-Medieval style with red brick.

The firehouse, whose motto is "pride of the hills," features a distinctive roof that is a departure from the flat roof firehouses that were being constructed during that era.

LPC spokesperson Elisabeth de Bourbon said that Engine 305/Ladder 151 was selected from a survey by LPC members of firehouses across the city conducted between 2007-2008.

"The design of this unusual firehouse is more suggestive of a church than a civic building," LPC Chairman Tierney said in a release announcing the landmarking of the building.

For Forest Hills residents, the landmarking of the firehouse is significant, especially in light of the FDNY's budget woes.

"During a time when the Bloomberg Administration has proposed firehouse closings due to budget cuts, Engine Company 305 has proudly served the community for nearly 90 years," Michael Perlman, chairman of the Rego-Forest Preservation Council, said in testimony before the LPC in May 2012.

"The firehouse is an example of a community building that is few and far between. It's truly one of a kind."

The firehouse becomes Forest Hills' third landmark. The Remsen family cemetery, located between Alderton Street and Trotting Course Lane, was landmarked in 1981, and the facade of the Ridgewood Savings Bank on 71st Ave and Queens Boulevard received the honor in 2000.

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