In 1987, the last active duty fire fighting squad pulled out of the Norwood Fire Company No. 2 after a municipal budget crunch required consolidation of the fire department in a newer, more centrally located facility, leaving the 1914 firehouse vacant. After almost 30 years of neglect, a generous donor offered to fund the restoration as the new home for the Norwood Firefighters Association (NFA), a not-for-profit organization that helps members of the community in times of need. Extensive research yielded a publication about the building from 1915, which allowed the building to be restored with details matching the original, including curved window sashes on the second floor, repair of the tin ceiling, and replicas of the original carriage doors. Throughout the building, vestiges of its earlier life as an active firehouse, such as handwritten notes, decals in lockers, and address directories, were preserved just the way they had been left nearly three decades prior. While preserving the building’s history was paramount, several new elements were also incorporated in a sensitive manner to serve the new function for the NFA, including an accessible restroom, portable ramps, and a kitchenette.
Photographer: Josh Beeman Photography