Extreme Real Estate: Converted Firehouses


Restoring and re-purposing outdated and historic buildings, such as old firehouses is not only popular, it also helps to preserve the integrity and historic continuity of a community. And who doesn’t like that?

A Four-Alarm Firehouse in San Francisco

If your pockets are deep enough, you can extinguish that burning desire to live in a converted firehouse with Chemical Engine House 44. Located in San Francisco’s Noe Valley neighborhood, this treasure was built in 1909 and functioned as a firehouse until 1959 after which it became one of the city’s many notable and most unusual private residences. The historic building recently underwent a massive renovation that meticulously preserved the original front façade while transforming the interior spaces into a blast furnace of architectural chutzpah with a bank account burning asking price of $5,175,000.

Many original details on the inside have been maintained including a brass fire pole (nonfunctional) and a spiral staircase that climbs from the ground floor all the way up to the observatory tower with eye popping 360 degree views of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

The central hub of the four-floor tour de force is a soaring atrium space with a series of interwoven glass and reclaimed wood staircases. There are 4 bedrooms, 4 full and 2 half bathrooms, a 2-car garage with direct entry, 2 fireplaces, a large living room, office, family room and loft-style eat-in kitchen with all the gourmet bells and whistles as well as a catering kitchen for parties.

In addition to a small front courtyard, a landscaped terrace is accessible from the lower three floors at the back of the house and a large roof terrace with cushioned built-in seating provides the perfect spot to take in the panoramic view of the glittering San Francisco Bay.

Somewhat surprisingly, there is a bit of a glut on the market for fancy former firehouses in San Francisco. In posh Pacific Heights, one-time Engine Company Number 23 was converted to an opulent and unique private residence in 1964, and was later owned by controversial California politician Jerry Brown and is now listed at $3.9 million.

For additional information on Firehouse No. 44, contact Joe Marko (415)378-4651 & Rafael Acevedo (415)577-6272 at Paragon Real Estate Group in San Francisco.

San Francisco Firehouse.

A Hot Condo in Lynn

Just a bit north of Boston in the historic town of Lynn, Mass., 15 luxury loft condominiums have been carved out of what was once the Franklin Firehouse. A 2 bedroom and 1 bathroom unit on the second floor of the 19th century brick built building, now known as the Ladder 3 Lofts, is currently available with an asking price of $239,000.

Massachusetts Firehouse.
Although the building is rumored to have originally been wired by Thomas Edison, all new wiring and services have been installed as well as hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, custom kitchens with maple cabinetry. The available unit features a corner living room with huge window and one deeded parking space.

For additional information, contact RCG Properties (617) 284-2150 in Lynn, Mass.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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