Troy Hill Firehouse

troy hill fire house

Troy Hill Firehouse #39: A Historic Landmark in Pittsburgh

The Troy Hill Firehouse #39 in Pittsburgh holds immense historical significance and is on its way to being recognized as a City-designated historic landmark. Built in 1901, this iconic firehouse showcases unique architectural design and has played a vital role in the firefighting history of Pittsburgh. Let’s delve into the rich history, architectural features, and the journey towards its designation as a historic landmark.

The Beginnings of Troy Hill Firehouse #39

The Troy Hill Firehouse #39, also known as Engine House #39, was constructed in 1901 and served as a crucial hub for firefighters in the old Allegheny City. Nestled among the slopes and twisting roads of the North Side’s Troy Hill neighborhood, this firehouse was responsible for protecting the residents and their homes.

During its early years, Engine House #39 utilized horse-drawn fire carriages, which were later replaced by modern fire engines. This firehouse holds the distinction of being the last station in Pittsburgh to use horse-drawn carriages. The architecture of the firehouse reflects the Colonial Revival style with Beaux Arts influences, adding to its unique charm and visual appeal.

Architectural Significance and Joseph Stillburg

The architectural design of the Troy Hill Firehouse #39 is a testament to the skills of prominent architect Joseph Stillburg. Known for his contributions to Pittsburgh’s architectural landscape, Stillburg left an indelible mark on the city through his innovative designs. The firehouse’s Colonial Revival style, characterized by its symmetrical facade, classical elements, and decorative detailing, showcases Stillburg’s architectural prowess.

A Hub of Firefighting History

The Troy Hill Firehouse #39 has witnessed countless firefighters dedicating their lives to protecting the community. It holds a special place in Pittsburgh’s public firefighting history, serving as a vital hub for emergency response in the area. Over the years, the firehouse has become a familiar visual feature within the neighborhood and the city, symbolizing the resilience and bravery of the firefighters who served there.

The Path to Historic Landmark Designation

troy hill fire house

The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation recognized the historical significance of the Troy Hill Firehouse #39 and designated it as a historic structure in 2001. However, Preservation Pittsburgh, a local advocacy organization, aims to secure a City-level historic landmark designation for the firehouse, ensuring its long-term preservation and protection.

The process of obtaining a City-level historic landmark designation requires a comprehensive evaluation and approval from multiple authorities, including the City of Pittsburgh’s Historic Review Commission (HRC) and the mayor. Melissa McSwigan, a board member of Preservation Pittsburgh, emphasizes the importance of this designation in ensuring the firehouse’s future.

Preserving the Neighborhood’s History

The City-level historic landmark designation for the Troy Hill Firehouse #39 would not only honor its architectural and historical significance but also celebrate the heritage of the Troy Hill neighborhood. By recognizing the firehouse as a foundational building block of the community, the designation acknowledges its contributions to the local, immediate neighborhood, the Northside, Allegheny County, and the city at large.

Joining the Ranks of Historic Landmarks

troy hill fire house

If successful, the Troy Hill Firehouse #39 will join the esteemed ranks of other historic landmarks in the area. These include the Troy Hill Incline, the 31st Street Bridge, the Thomas Carlin’s Sons Foundry property, Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto, and St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Croatian Church. The designation would solidify its significance within the larger historical context of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County.

Community Support and Public Involvement

Throughout the process of seeking historic landmark designation, the Troy Hill Firehouse #39 has received overwhelming support from the community. The positive feedback and encouragement from the residents demonstrate the deep-rooted appreciation for the firehouse’s historical and cultural importance.

The public will have ample opportunity to contribute their opinions and insights as the nomination progresses. The City’s Planning Commission will play a crucial role in evaluating the firehouse’s eligibility for historic landmark status. Any decision made will be a result of careful consideration and a commitment to preserving the firehouse’s unique heritage.

The Troy Hill Firehouse #39 stands as a testament to Pittsburgh’s firefighting history and architectural legacy. With its Colonial Revival design and association with renowned architect Joseph Stillburg, it holds a special place in the hearts of the Troy Hill neighborhood and the city as a whole. The ongoing efforts to secure a City-level historic landmark designation reflect the community’s commitment to preserving and honoring this iconic structure for generations to come.

Through recognition and preservation, the Troy Hill Firehouse #39 will continue to serve as a tangible reminder of the bravery and dedication of the firefighters who once called it home.

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