ARCHITECTURE OF FIRE HOUSES.
From time to time FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING has published descriptions and illustrations of new and proposed buildings designed for fire headquarters and fire stations, and in this connection the tendency has apparently been more and more to adopt designs in keeping with the surroundings. The plans for the business districts of large cities of plain, square, box-like structures, usually from two to four stories in height, are still being followed, but in residential sections the architects have made their designs more elaborate, and have in many instances produced buildings whose architecture has combined with the necessary idea of utility, a large mead of beauty of outline, in order to synchronize with the surrounding structures. The bungalow idea in fire station designs has also tome quite prominently to the fore. For instance, in the annual report of Chief Archie J. Eley, of Los Angeles, Cal., published in a recent issue of this journal, he recommends the erection of six new engine houses, and five of these he suggests should be of the bungalow type, one story in height. This style of architecture lends itself more especially to the purposes of companies in outlying and suburban sections, and has the added advantage of economy of construction, which is an important item in these days of high-priced building materials. But even in densely populated and business districts, there is always the opportunity for a wideawake architect to produce a design for a fire house which, besides being utilitarian in its character, combines distinctively artistic features that are pleasing to the eye. To cite one instance, the hose tower contains possibilities of beauty that can be, and, in fact, have been, utilized to good effect in increasing the attractiveness of the structure. The subject is one of considerable interest, and we would be glad to hear from any of our readers whose departments have erected, or contemplate the erection, of fire houses of unique or distinctive design. We will publish any illustrations or plans of the same we may receive, provided the latter are in black and white. Blue prints we cannot use.