The hose towers and distinctive bracketed eaves of these Craftsman-influenced fire halls were once features of pre-WWII neighbourhoods across the city.
These Eastside landmarks are the last two of their kind still in use (one other, in Marpole, is now a seniors’ centre). The interiors feature extensive woodwork and ornate pressed-metal ceilings. Destruction is imminent.
Update June 27, 2005: Firehall No.13 was torn down in 2002, No.15 is still threatened.
Update May 19, 2006: Council is now considering options for a replacement hall, and Firehall No.15 is now under serious threat of being demolished. HV has sent a new letter to city hall.
Update August 3, 2006: On July 20, 2006, Vancouver City Council approved the retension of the firehall No.15 on the current site, for incorporation/attachment to a new fire hall facility, and funds will be allocated for a full restoration of the building.
Update February 26, 2007: In a sudden backtrack of last year’s vote to save the firehall, city hall is once again voting on it’s fate, on Thursday, March 1. The internal recommendations are to demolish the building, and build new. As of Wednesday evening, the online petition to save the building has received 361 signatures in favour of retention. We await the decision…again.
Update May 9, 2009: Council has approved retention of one of Vancouver’s last Edwardian-era firehalls. Despite our support of this initiative, we wish to express grave concerns about the potential approach to this restoration as described in the Staff Report. The description of the exterior work indicates a serious disregard of Heritage Standards & Guidelines, specifically the destruction of exterior features and their replication through the application of a new rain screen façade. It is too early in the project to make sweeping decisions about the approach to restoration. We strongly suggest that before any decisions are made, that there be sufficient investigation of the condition of exterior materials, and that every effort be made to retain, rather than replace, the historic exterior fabric.
Update May 12, 2012: Success! After appearing on our Top 10 Endangered Sites list for five times over the last dozen years, starting in 2001, the grand old lady Firehall No.15 has a fully new lease on life, restored, looking better than original (if possible!), and incorporated into a new firehall. Its grand re-opening was held May 12, 2012, just shy of its 100th year birthday.