Fire House Moved on Water Without Impeding Service
Picking up from its foundation a two-stary, steel fire house, weighing 150 tons, moving it 25 feet, placing it on a barge and towing it through the Harlem River for three blocks to its new foundation, was the feat accomplished by contractors building a part of the new Lexington avenue subway, when it was found that Engine House No. 87, at 132d street and Lexington avenue, New York, was in such a location that construction of that portion of the subway, which passes under the river, would be impeded by it. Not only did the firemen who operate the fire boat C. W. Lawrence, which is stationed at the house, continue to remain in the station during the moving process, but right in the midst of the operation, when their dwelling place was neither entirely on solid ground or on the Harlem River, a fire alarm was sounded, to which they responded, in loading the house on the barge the rise of the tide was so utilized that not for a moment was there sufficient strain on the building even to crack the plaster. As the tide rose, the house was gradually pulled out over the edge of the landing, and the rate of progress was so nicely calculated that when the deck of the barge was level with the landing the weight of the house was balanced on the barge and the landing. Not the least notable feature was that complete preparation had been made for the reception of telephone messages and fire alarms during the moving and, except for the time the house was afloat, flexible connections were made with the wires. The house was in actual readiness for operation a few minutes after it was lowered to its new foundations, for all plumbing had been placed and electric light and telephone service as well as the fire alarm cable system, had been arranged for immediate connection.