New York Architecture Images-Soho

Engine 55


Napoleon LeBrun & Sons


363  Broome Street Soho


c. 1890


Queen Anne




Utility Firehouse


  Rendering copyright Simon Fieldhouse. Click here for a Simon Fieldhouse gallery.
  A crumpled door from Engine 55, center, is displayed in a memorial at its Little Italy stationhouse in New York, Monday March 11, 2002. Recovery crews found the crushed fire truck Sunday while combing through debris at the World Trade Center disaster site. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
  Inside the quarters of Engine 55. Photo by Ed Kearon.
  Manhattan Engine 55 American La France 1899
  Special thanks to

It was built by Napoleon LeBrun & Sons. LeBrun built all the FDNY buildings from about 1879 to about 1892-95. Engine 55's first house was supposed to be on Grand Street but the residence put up a stink about having a firehouse on their street. It was moved to 173 Elm Street (now Lafayette Street.) The Elm Street house opened as a four story building (see page 1054 of Our Fireman). In the 1880's Lafayette Street ended at Great Jones Street. Starting in 1885 Lafayette Street was extended south bound and connected to Elm Street. Elm Street was widen on the eastside some 25-30 feet. Taking 25 feet off the front on the firehouse made the house too small for a fire company. The fourth floor was only 25 feet deep, thus eliminating that floor. If you compare the drawing in Our Fireman you will see that they dropped parts of the forth floor to the third floor. The exact date this was down I'm not sure. Engine 55 moved out in 1899 and the building was as the quarters of Division 1 until 1905. By: Mike Boucher

Doomed Fire Heroes' Rig Unburied at Ground Zero

Courtesy of The New York Post

Recovery crews combing through debris from the north tower at Ground Zero found a firetruck yesterday - buried some 40 feet below street level.

"I just think it's ironic that it's appearing now [six months after Sept. 11]," said Robin Freund, whose husband, Peter, a lieutenant, was one of five men killed from Engine Co. 55 in Little Italy.

She said members of her husband's company had been out to Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island to look for the company's missing truck - little suspecting it was still buried deep within the wreckage at Ground Zero.

The members of Engine 55 parked the truck next to the north tower before rushing in to help rescue the people inside - and when the building collapsed it apparently sucked the empty truck down with it.

"They were one of the first two companies there. That's probably why [the truck was buried so deep]," said Freund, who is raising the couple's four children.

She said her husband's colleagues called her after going to Ground Zero to look at the buried truck and told her it was "unrecognizable."

But they did manage to remove a door and take it back to the firehouse, where they included it in a memorial to Lt. Freund, 46, and the others who perished with him, firefighters Faustino Apostol, 56, Stephen Russell, 38, Robert Lane, 30, and Christopher Mozzillo, 28.

The bodies of all but Mozzillo have been recovered from the rubble.

"We're very happy we found the rig, we just hope we can find our last man," said firefighter Rich Cipoletti, at the firehouse. "We hope we can bring him back home."

Firefighter Paul Acciarito said of the find, "I'm ecstatic. It's almost like she was waiting for us to find her."

He said having a piece of the truck in the firehouse "brings back the horrible memories of that day but I'm glad its back. A part of our heart came back."

Courtesy of The New York Post