The Brookline Firehouse Tower - 2011
The Brookline firehouse was built in 1910 and went into service on June 23, 1911. For many years it was known as Engine House #57, and now carries the designation Truck Company #26. The Brookline firehouse is one of the oldest active stations in the City of Pittsburgh.
Growing up as a child in Brookline includes frequent stops at the firehouse. Children get to look over the trucks and mingle with the firemen, who often show their gear and let the kids climb aboard for a thrill.
One area that was off limits was the station's tell-tale tower. Visible from all around the surrounding area, it is something that Brookliners have seen countless times from the outside, but never from the inside. For the curious few, it was always a mystery.
Many believed that the tower was a lookout, a location where firemen could spot a problem and relay a call for help. In actuality, it is a place where hoses were hung to dry. Sure, smoke could be spotted from such a high location, but the Gamewell alarm system controlled the notification and dispatch of the firefighting crews.
In August, 2011, access was granted to Doug Brendel to shoot some photos of the 30th Annual Brookline Breeze 5K fitness run and walk along Brookline Boulevard. It offered Doug a rare glimpse at the inside of the tower, and once at the top, a pigeons-eye view of Brookline.
A narrow, steep staircase leads to a small perch at the top. A pulley hangs from a hook, used to raise the hoses, and pegs are in place from which to hang them. The rafters at the peak are in remarkably good condition despite their 100 years of support.
From his perch atop the tower, Doug was able to take some nice photos of the rolling Brookline hills, showing the rows of homes that are such a part of the character of the local landscape. It may not have been the greatest place to watch a race, but the firehouse tower offered a great chance to view the surrounding area in a way not many have seen.
Click on images for larger photos
The Trip Up The Tower - August 2011
A Bird's Eye View of Brookline and The Breeze
A Return Trip Up The Tower - October 2014
<Brookline Boulevard> <> <Brookline History>