“Fire Houses of Houston” Exhibit Opens at Houston Fire Museum

HOUSTON  – The Houston Fire Museum is launching a new exhibit series beginning in January 2014. This special exhibition, “Fire Houses of Houston”, will feature a short history of each fire station from the Greater Houston Metropolitan area. Each station will rotate throughout the year with a new station highlighted every other month. In addition to each station’s history, the exhibit will also have a segment honoring the firefighters, from their respective station, who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

While the function of fire stations throughout history has remained relatively the same architecturally – parking space for vehicles (hand-drawn, then horse-drawn, and finally motorized), storage for equipment and quarters for the fire fighters – the range of building styles is extremely diverse. Yet fire stations, along with the equipment, vehicles and firefighters themselves, were not only fixtures in the community but many times mirrored the social make-up of a neighborhood and the technological and architectural trends of the time. As Houston grew denser and began to expand, many of Houston’s fire stations were modified until they could no longer be utilized as a fire station. Once the station became too old or difficult to retrofit, they were often replaced or destroyed; although there are a few that have survived and been repurposed.

“This exhibit, while small in size, will be broad in its overall scope. There have been over a hundred fire stations within the Houston Fire Department since it became a paid city service in 1895,” said museum director Tristan Smith. “Many current stations have replaced older HFD stations, various volunteer fire department stations, or have been constructed as the city has grown. On top of that, there are a number of other fire fighting units and departments throughout the greater metropolitan area that are not a part of the Houston Fire Department. Their story and place in our communities is just as diverse and interesting.”

Following the history of their construction, the “Fire Houses of Houston” will feature the following stations throughout 2014:
January-February: Station 7
March-April: Station 10
May-June: Station 3
July-August: Station 6
September-October: Station 1/Central Station
November-December: Station 9

The Houston Fire Museum, located in Midtown at 2403 Milam Street, is housed in the historic 1899 Fire Station Number 7, the oldest standing station in Houston. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 4pm. Admission to the museum is $5.00 for adults, $4.00 for seniors, $3 for children; infants under two and all museum members are free. Proceeds from admissions, memberships, gift shop sales and donations benefit the museum’s fire safety education programming and the creation of interpretive exhibitions.