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HISTORIC PRESERVATION REVIEW BOARD Historic Landmark Designation Case No. 02-11 Old Engine Company 26 (Chemical Company No.

3) 2715 22nd Street, NE (Square 4253, Lot 809) Meeting Date: Applicant: Affected ANC: Staff Reviewer: June 23, 2005 D.C. Preservation League 5B Tim Dennée

After careful consideration, the staff recommends that the Board approve designation of Old Engine Company 26, 2715 22nd Street, NE, as a District of Columbia landmark and forward the nomination to the National Register of the Historic Places with a positive recommendation as being of local significance. Old Engine Company 26 was erected in 1908 as a result of a petition by the Northeastern Citizens’ Suburban Association for better fire protection service for the new, mainly frame houses in the Langdon neighborhood. Because the firehouse’s service area was generally beyond the city’s hydrant system, the station received a chemical company, i.e., apparatus that carried tanks of chemical fire suppressant.1 The station was renamed to accommodate Engine Company 26 at the beginning of the automobile era. Engine 26 moved out, however, in 1940, when a restructuring of the fire department led to disposal of redundant stations. A church, The New Memorial Temple of Christ Apostolic Faith, Inc., is now the owner and occupant. The fact that this was a suburban area in 1908 strongly influenced Old Engine 26’s unique design. It is the most domestic of D.C.’s firehouse designs, essentially a half-timbered, sixteenth-century, English manor house, with obvious modifications for accommodating fire equipment. Nonetheless, at three stories and with a sizeable footprint, it was undoubtedly the most imposing building in the neighborhood at the time and a landmark in the broadest sense, in that it was a very conspicuous governmental presence in the developing suburb and one, in fact, that undoubtedly encouraged further development by allaying fears of devastating fires. Unlike some other suburban stations, such as Engine 25 (Congress Heights, 1902) and Engine Company 17 (Brookland, 1905) built outside the bounds of the electric callbox system, Old Engine 26 has no lookout tower. In addition, it has little outward expression of a hose tower except for a central cupola ventilator, the one element that seems a bit out of place on a Tudorstyle building. The building was designed by A.B. Mullett & Sons, that is to say, by the sons, Thomas and Frederick, of the deceased former Supervising Architect of the Treasury. The

The Washington Post December 21, 1906 and July 31, 1908.

exterior has high integrity, while the interior, adaptively reused for 65 years, has little of the original elements and finishes intact. • Old Engine Company 26 was constructed for the District of Columbia’s professional firefighting force. Over the years, the personnel and equipment headquartered here have fought numerous fires and effected numerous rescues. The firehouse has been a visual landmark of Langdon since its construction (Historic Preservation Review Board Landmark Criterion B and National Register Criterion A). The utility of Old Engine Company 26 was, of course, the principal consideration in its construction. Nonetheless, the District’s leadership and the building’s architect designed as one of the earliest academic expressions of the Tudor style in Washington. The design was produced at a time between the late 1890s and World War I referred to in the multiple property document on Washington’s pre-World War II firehouses as being the “Eclectic Period,” when the Municipal Architect and a variety of private firms produced a large number of high-quality buildings in a variety of styles as an expression of civic pride, with careful consideration of their contexts, and as a testament to the importance of the Fire Department. (Historic Preservation Review Board Landmark Criterion D and National Register Criterion C). The exterior of Old Engine Company 26 has high integrity (Historic Preservation Review Board Criterion B).