Monday, September 14, 2020

Photo of the Day: Upper Nyack Firehouse, NY

On the same Sunday afternoon walk where I took a picture of Upper Nyack’s Old Stone Church, I noticed another site: the Upper Nyack Firehouse, home of the Empire Hook and Ladder Company, No. 1. This fire station is historically notable for two reasons: its architecture and its association with the first great American tragedy of this century.

This two-story brick structure in the Queen Anne style, finished in 1887, includes a center gable above the main engine door. In its tower, manual wound bells still alert members of calls. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1982.

A plaque on the left side of the building gave me a more recent sense of this volunteer company’s tradition of sacrifice. On the morning of September 11, 2001, after the World Trade Center was attacked, one of the company’s members, Welles Remy Crowther, working for a financial company, was credited with leading about a dozen survivors to safety before he died when the towers collapsed.

Two other volunteers—Harry Wanamaker and Joseph Stach, Jr.—were FDNY lieutenants who spent considerable time at Ground Zero assisting in recovery. They died of 9/11-related cancer in 2010 and 2018, respectively.

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