This firehouse was opened on February 20, 1888 when Engine Company 33 and Ladder Company 15 were organized in this new firehouse. Engine 33 and Ladder 15 have remained here, excluding several brief periods of interior renovation, since 1888.
This historic building which also housed, until 1976, Boston Police Station 16 on the left (looking at) was designed by city architect Arthur H. Vinal in the Richardsonian Romanesque style made popular by famous architect Henry Hobson Richardson. From 1976 to 2007 the old police station was the home of the Institute of Contemporary Art. In 2007 it was acquired by Boston Architectural College.
The firehouse is located at 941 Boylston Street at the corner of Hereford Street, in the Back Bay section of the city.
When construction of the firehouse was complete, it could not be occupies because the street grade had not reached the apparatus doors. When the grading had been raised to a level to traverse the adjacent railroad tracks, it matched-up to the apparatus doors and the firehouse was occupied.
This landmark building is a popular destination for visitors from out of town, due to its unique architecture, location near many hotels, and fire apparatus parked just a step in from the sidewalk.
Four plaques are mounted on the exterior of the firehouse to commemorate four firefighters who died in the Line Of Duty.
Engine 33 and Ladder 15 have a large response area, covering the Back Bay, South End, Fenway, and Roxbury.
Engine 33 is always among the most active fire companies in the city and responds to approximately 4100 incidents per year. Ladder 15 is also very busy and responds to approximately 3800 incidents per year.