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Old Fire Station 33


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Does anyone know the history of the old 33 station at the corner of Fannin and Braeswood? It was replaced several years ago (now at 7117 Fannin), and has been wasting away ever since. It's a neat building, and I am having a hard time finding it on HCAD...

This is all the COH site says about it:

Firehouse 33 helds the unique distinction of being one of the last stations to be housed in an original volunteer station—it being the city hall/fire station of the Brasewood section of Houston at the corner of Fannin and Brasewood and was annexed in 1950.

I'll post some pictures soon, but here's the streetview:

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source...800000000000003

Also, someone mentioned in another thread that it might be owned by the folks who own the Lanesborough apartments nearby...

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I think we've talked about this station before...is it the one that sits north of the Texas Women's Hospital, the Medical Center sits north of the station? That firehouse always caught my eye. There was even a dalmation, no lie. When was it built? 1950's? Had louvered windows, I think.

Just checked the HCAD data above, doesn't give a built date. The ownership history is always interesting to check out. In 1988 The City of Houston still owned it.

I'll be really sad if it's torn down.

Edited by NenaE
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Yep, that's where I got the Lanesborough apartment information.

I can't find anything else about the building, though, or why the hell the owner is letting it sit and deteriorate so badly. Yet another irresponsible owner's handiwork on that corner.

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Yep, that's where I got the Lanesborough apartment information.

I can't find anything else about the building, though, or why the hell the owner is letting it sit and deteriorate so badly. Yet another irresponsible owner's handiwork on that corner.

It seems like they could turn that into a cool icehouse bar for the TMC hipsters.

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I recall an article in the Chron or Houston Press that said the building was in terrible shape when it was an active fire station, and pretty much not economic to repair, hence a completely new building. The pictures with the story showed a state of disrepair that was sad, especially for the firefighters who worked there. Given the age of the building, asbestos is probably a real issue.

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I recall an article in the Chron or Houston Press that said the building was in terrible shape when it was an active fire station, and pretty much not economic to repair, hence a completely new building. The pictures with the story showed a state of disrepair that was sad, especially for the firefighters who worked there. Given the age of the building, asbestos is probably a real issue.

Conditions at the fire station when it was active were deplorable. As I stated in another post, bums living in downtown missions had better living conditions than the firefighters. There’s no way anyone will keep that building.

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Does anyone know more specifically what the conditions were like there? And why it became that way toward the end (I'm assuming) of when the HFD used/owned it?

I couldn't find any articles about the conditions of the building - I'm not surprised about asbestos, but that's not a huge dealbreaker on renovations.

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Does anyone know more specifically what the conditions were like there? And why it became that way toward the end (I'm assuming) of when the HFD used/owned it?

I couldn't find any articles about the conditions of the building - I'm not surprised about asbestos, but that's not a huge dealbreaker on renovations.

I know the roof leaked and the ac frequently went out. It was cramped and had a crappy kitchen and living quarters. At least the last time I was there, which was over 10 years ago. I had heard the City was planning on replacing it for years but kept putting it off. At the same time they did not want to dump any money into the old place. With the growth of the med center, a new station should have been built years ago. I'm sure it was full of asbestos and lead paint.

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I have an aerial shot of the Med Center-Rice U. area taken in 1958 that I have cropped to show the old fire station area. I must have traveled by that place hundreds of times on my way to work in that time-frame, and I don't recall it. I know that Braeswood stopped at Main, so it does not appear in the photo. I think that part of Fannin was called Old Main or Knight Road back then.

MedicalCenterFS33.jpg

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Yes, that's the station - thanks for posting the picture.

Not too long ago a large apartment complex surrounded it - it was demolished around 1996. It was either Smith Square apartments or Braesbrook Landing apartments (or both maybe).

Here are before and after aerials (1973 and 2002) - the red circle is the fire station:

station33_7302.jpg

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I know the roof leaked and the ac frequently went out. It was cramped and had a crappy kitchen and living quarters. At least the last time I was there, which was over 10 years ago.
my brother was stationed there for quite a while and would complain about lack of heat in the winter. i'll see if i can get more info next time i see him.
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Took a few pictures today - I like it even more after seeing it more closely, and halfway want to move it to the Houston Mod section..

Thanks sevfiv, for these pics. I have always admired this old station, too. It reminds me quite a bit of the current Bellaire fire station, which will be gone soon enough.

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Ahhh, nice to see it again...thnx once again for going the extra mile Sevfiv. Those cedar (or cypress) trees are nice too, they will probably be mowed down if/when the bldg falls. <_< The modern design always made me look.

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One tidbit on this station: it was the reportedly the only one in Houston with brass poles. Because it was built by another department (the volunteer department whose territory Houston annexed) it was built with the more common brass poles. IIRC, Houston poles are usually zinc.

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  • 1 month later...

Apparently the tract of land - from the existing apartments to the area with the station - is supposed to be the site of a large mixed-use development with a medical emphasis...we'll see...

station33_dev.jpg

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Speaking of firehouses, a lease listing just popped up on HAR for a former firehouse, $1900 for a 2 BR with 2 kitchens that still has the original firepoles installed at 910 Hardy.

firehouse.th.jpg

Edit: Supposedly its haunted. Here's a link to some old pictures and some new videos of alleged spirits. http://www.ghastlyghosthunter.com/haunted_firehouse.html

Edited by kylejack
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Not too long ago a large apartment complex surrounded it - it was demolished around 1996. It was either Smith Square apartments or Braesbrook Landing apartments (or both maybe).

The old apartment complex was Smith Square - it was demolished in 1996 after being vacant for a few years and the Lanesborough was finished in 1998/1999:

http://www.chron.com/CDA/archives/archive....id=1997_1428955

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  • 4 months later...

It was a piece of cr*p anyway. Just like Bellaire's old fire station that's going to be torn down in a couple of weeks. Both the same time period and style. Neither will be missed. 

Yeah, I mentioned Bellaire's old fire station upthread. And yes, I'll miss it.

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I'll miss it - and miss whatever opportunity it would have had if it wasn't so mismanaged.

And about mismanagement - was it a piece of crap from the day it was built, or is it mainly a deferred/lack of maintenance issue?

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I'll miss it - and miss whatever opportunity it would have had if it wasn't so mismanaged.

And about mismanagement - was it a piece of crap from the day it was built, or is it mainly a deferred/lack of maintenance issue?

More of a lack of maintenance issue and also, like Bellaire, these old stations are just obsolete. The job, the equipment, and the manpower has changed a lot since those stations were built. 

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No doubt - I know it was too small for current HFD needs.

It still doesn't excuse the city's (and later Lanesborough Apartments/Richdale Group/Slosburg Co./Texas SFI Partnership's) gross failure to maintain the building. The lady I spoke to at Richdale seemed oh so surprised that their cute little abandoned fire station was a homeless camp and graffiti magnet.

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It still doesn't excuse the city's (and later Lanesborough Apartments/Richdale Group/Slosburg Co./Texas SFI Partnership's) gross failure to maintain the building. The lady I spoke to at Richdale seemed oh so surprised that their cute little abandoned fire station was a homeless camp and graffiti magnet.

people should have complained yrs ago when the firefighters were in there with no working heat.

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It's so sad to read about the decline and demise of this Fire Station (and the Smith Square Apartments).  I lived in SS (7605 Phoenix) in the early 1970s while in grad school at Rice.  The fire station was the voting place for our precinct, which extended from the Astrodome (Judge Roy Hofheinz voted there) to Southampton. In 1972, I helped organize the apartment residents and we surprised and defeated the incumbent, a George Wallace supporter, as Democratic Precinct Judge. 

 

The Houston Oilers training complex was nearby, on the north side of Braeswood and south of the bayou.

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It's so sad to read about the decline and demise of this Fire Station (and the Smith Square Apartments).  I lived in SS (7605 Phoenix) in the early 1970s while in grad school at Rice.  The fire station was the voting place for our precinct, which extended from the Astrodome (Judge Roy Hofheinz voted there) to Southampton. In 1972, I helped organize the apartment residents and we surprised and defeated the incumbent, a George Wallace supporter, as Democratic Precinct Judge. 

 

The Houston Oilers training complex was nearby, on the north side of Braeswood and south of the bayou.

 

The Oilers training camp property is now owned by the Harris County Flood Control District. My guess is nothing will get built there any time soon. Metro also took a wedge of the site to install the radiused curve for the light rail. 

 

The Smith Square apartments was a massive complex, similar to the Napolean Square apartments on Gulfton.

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