Henry Street Settlement Breaks Ground on New Firehouse Facility it Acquired for $1

Posted on: November 13th, 2017 at 5:00 am by

The Henry Street Settlement just entered the next phase of its push to redevelop an iconic Lower East Side firehouse.

Work is now unofficially underway at the long-vacant, yet historic, 269 Henry Street. The nonprofit organization held a ceremonial groundbreak to mark the occasion on Friday afternoon.

Actual construction is set to commence sometime in the coming months – there are no building permits on file with the Department of Buildings – and will conclude in 2020. When the smoke clears, so to speak, the remodeled firehouse, designed by Beyer Blinder Belle, will add some 6,700 square-feet of space dedicated to the Neighborhood Resource Center/Parent Center (moving from 281 East Broadway). The program will offer free walk-in services such as crisis intervention, financial counseling, legal services, parenting support, and access to benefits like low-cost health insurance, food stamps, and social security. The building itself will be renamed the Dale Jones Burch Neighborhood Center, thanks to “generous gifts” from the Burch Family that helped the organization secure this property.

Photo: Henry Street Settlement

Included here are the latest renderings of what the new facility will look like.

As previously reported, the effort to annex the firehouse next door is a decade in the making. Indeed, approval for a community facility at 269 Henry was actually handed down by City Council in April 2007. At the time, Congresswoman Maloney even noted that the “firehouse was built as a community resource, and so it should remain,” a reference to the potential alternative of developers snatching the property. The city officially transferred ownership to the Henry Street Settlement in exchange for $1.

Photo: Henry Street Settlement

“We are eagerly anticipating this critical addition to the Settlement,” Executive Director David Garza noted in a recent press release. “Traditionally an anchor for the community, the firehouse will again play the role of ‘first responder’ for families in crisis – this time ADA-compliant and accessible to all.”

The historic firehouse at 269 Henry Street – built in 1884 and previously owned by the city – had been sitting dormant since shortly after 9/11. It once housed Engine Company 15 which subsequently folded into Ladder 18 a few blocks north on Pitt Street.

Recent Stories

Uncapped: Beneath the Paint with the Legendary AUDIE U5

This latest installment of Uncapped is more than a year in the making, and we are stoked to have Audie U5 join us. BOWERY BOOGIE: Audie U5. Welcome to the series. Instead of the cherished and/or default “what do you write?” how about, why do you write “Audie?” Audie U5: Always Undeniably Dope In Everything!  Nah, […]

Man Jumped to His Death from Ludlow Street Rooftop

A man jumped to his death from a Lower East Side tenement rooftop Wednesday night. The unidentified man, believed to be in his twenties, took the plunge from atop 175 Ludlow Street at about 11:45pm. The suicide victim reportedly lived alone in a studio apartment there, according to a report in the Daily News. An […]

Here’s a Map Showing How the Lower East Side Voted in the City Council Election Last Week

With more than a week having elapsed since the general election, the above map plots the results of the City Council District 1 race. It was a heated campaign that saw incumbent Margaret Chin fighting for her life against the upstart Christopher Marte. Chin defeated Marte by nearly 3,000 votes to secure a third term […]

Cafe Henrie Shutters on Forsyth Street After 2 Years

Cafe Henrie, the artsy eatery founded by nightlife maven (and street artist) Andre Saraiva on Forsyth Street, closed earlier this week. Thus capping two years on the block. All elements of the establishment are gone, replaced with token brown paper in the windows. In retrospect, the writing was on the wall back in the summertime […]

What’s it Like Living or Working in Hell Square? [SURVEY]

What’s it like to live and work in Hell Square? That’s the question behind the second phase of the Hunter College graduate program study that analyzed public health and safety risk of liquor density on the Lower East Side. No, this isn’t a farce. It’s a legit effort to figure out a way to make […]