A historic firehouse located at the corner of Jersey Street and Plymouth has been sold. Attorney Steve Weiss of Cannon Heyman and Weiss, LLP, along with two partners, purchased the property for $325,000 last week. The team intends on converting the upper floors into 11-12 apartments, while creating a restaurant space on the first floor.
The partners are already in discussions with at least a couple of restaurateurs from the suburbs that have expressed an interest in having an urban presence. The former engine #2 and ladder #9 is an impressive building and boasts a whopping 12,000 square feet. The building was constructed in 1875, and was converted into a private residence in 1999. A replacement firehouse was built at the corner of Elmwood and Virginia.
Kleinhan’s Community Association provides the building history:
The fire house was complete by the end of 1875 its grand opening was December 14, 1875, when the building was hailed as the being the handsomest of its kind in the City and among the finest in the United States.
The building was designed by Cyrus K. Porter and George Watkins. In the 1890s it was expanded by the architectural firm of Eckel and Ackerman in a way that closely emulated its original design. Porter’s design, a three-story brick Second Empire building, is an excellent example of the style that was so popular during the 1870s. The straight-sided mansard roof still retains its hexagonal slate tile and is pleasantly interrupted by dormers with pedimented windows.
The second story windows on the front of the building are decorated with stone lintels and pediment-like stone heads in a carved foliate pattern. The second story also has a series of nine brick pilasters capped by stone with a scroll and foliate pattern. The first floor originally had highly ornamental entrance doors with stone decorations that were similar to the adornments crowning the second story windows. On the Plymouth Avenue side of the building the first floor windows are of the round arched variety while the second story sports segmental arched windows.
Originally, Weiss was looking to potentially move his offices into the firehouse from Larkinville. Ultimately the building appeared too small to move the firm. By that time, he had fallen in love with the firehouse and decided that he wanted to purchase it to create a unique destination in the neighborhood. He also says that he was remiss to move his offices out of Larkinville, where he has set up shop at 726 Exchange Street.
As for the restaurant, Weiss tells me that it will retain the character of the building no matter what restaurateur they decide upon. The inherent charm and beauty of the space should ultimately be one of the most impressive eating spots around, especially with the inclusion of a charming courtyard located off to the side of the building.