Forest Hills firehouse named landmark


| RubenMuniz@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/photos by Sana Karim-Noori
THE COURIER/photos by Sana Karim-Noori

The “Pride of the Hills” is now the pride of the city.

Engine 305 and Ladder 151 in Forest Hills, located at 111-02 Queens Boulevard, was one of six landmarks named by the city recently.

The firehouse, whose motto is “Pride of the Hills,” has been in operation since 1924 and is one of the oldest operating firehouses in the city.

The building resembles a fortress with its neo-medieval style design. The two-and-a-half story firehouse was built under John R. Silney, the Fire Department’s head building inspector from 1906 to 1933.

The firehouse is an anomaly compared to others around the city. It is asymmetrical in its layout, has a stair tower, a hose-drying tower and a working fireplace and chimney. It features a copper roof as well as arched windows. The architecture is a far cry from the square roofed firehouses that were being built elsewhere around the city at the time.

Firefighter Barry McWilliams was glad to hear of the building’s new landmark status.

“We have made some modifications, but a lot of things are still the same. We keep a lot of history all over,” said McWilliams, referring to the vintage, yet still functional, infrastructure of the building, as well as old photos and memorabilia of the house.

“Look around. It is historic and should definitely be a landmark. It’s been around here forever,” McWilliams said.

- Additional reporting by Greg Giaconelli