Boston’s Handsome Building Ideally Situated in the Fenway—Completely Isolated and Fireproof—Future Taken Care Of

THE new central fire alarm station of the Boston Fire Department is now completed and in service. This magnificent building situated in The Fenway at the head of Westland Avenue represents the latest ideas in fire alarm headquarters installation and reflects credit upon the city, architect, builders, and the Gamewell Company which furnished and equipped the structure with the most modern wiring, instruments, and apparatus in existence.

Interior of New Boston Fire Alarm Office. Fireman Edward F. Rooney at Left; Lieut. M. J. Daley at Right

The plans for the station were first suggested by the late Chief John O. Taber, of the Boston Fire Department, who had the lacking and support of Mayor James M. Curley. The land was staked off in July, 1923. and in April. 1924, the first shovelful of earth was turned. Richard Shaw, of the firm of O’Connell and Shaw. Boston architects, prepared the design of the building. The corner stone was laid in July. 1924. and the structure was dedicated in September, 1925. At the inspection held December 16 it was announced that the station would be in operation by January 1, 1926.

New Boston Fire Alarm Office from Across the Muddy River.Superintendent of Fire Alarms Geo. L. Fickett, Left, and Assistant Superintendent Richard Donahue, Right.

Thomas D. O’Connor was the building contractor. The exterior is variegated Indiana limestone and the design is Italian renaissance. The entrances are at the sides. In the centre top of the front elevation there is a sculptured reproduction of the seal of the city of Boston.

Equipment of the New Station

The equipment of the new station includes the following: 100 box circuits, 30 primary alarm circuits, 20 secondary alarm circuits, 160 circuit storage battery switchboards, 3 box line recording sets each consisting of 6 four circuit pen shearing registers, 6 take up reels, 6 time stamps; one box line recording set consisting of 7 four circuit pen shearing registers, 7 take up reels, 7 time and date stamps, two primary alarm recording sets each consisting of 3 five circuit Nonpareil registers, 3 time and date stamps, 3 take up reels, one common recording set for secondary alarm circuit, one four circuit register, one take up reel, one time and date stamp, two 4 dial, 4 number Gamewell ball bearing transmitters, one reverse current 4 dial transmitter, gang switch for controlling duplicate transmitters, 30 circuit manual key, primary and secondary alarm circuits, gang switch for throwing in reverse current key on gong circuits, one protector board, one 800 wire terminal board, telephone jacks on all circuits, 6000 cells F. I. P. battery, two motor generators, one gasoline generator, battery cross connecting terminals in operating room, incoming cross connecting board for 260 circuits, radio set for communicating with fire boats, recording apparatus for superintendent’s office, private branch telephone exchange with 12 incoming trunk lines, and 80 outgoing telephone circuits.

Fire Alarm Boxes and Conduits

The present number of fire alarm boxes in service is 1350 and the capacity of the office is for 2000 boxes with an ultimate capacity for the building of 5000 boxes. There are 56 miles of number 16 wires used in the station. There is space in the battery room for 15,000 cells. This room is artificially ventilated and kept at an even temperature the year around.

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There arc two 8 duct conduits independent of each other leading front the station. The cost of laying the conduits and making connections outside of the station was $100,000. There are 20 gong and 20 tapper circuits in use at present with the latest style of slotting registers. The telephone number of the new station is “Kenmore 1100.”

Future Developments Taken Care of

In planning the new station, provision was made for taking care of any future demands that may be made upon the Boston fire alarm telegraph system. In the event that other cities and towns in the vicinity are consolidated at some future time to form a “Greater Boston” it will lie possible to place a gallery inside the building with space available for a large number of additional alarm boards.

Connections are to he made with the fire alarm systems of several adjoining cities so that in case of serious fires mutual aid can lie at once dispatched.

The operating room is a broad, high ceiling, spacious apartment that occupies the main and central portion of the building with hallway and offices at the rear and sides. The building contains a conference room for the fire commissioner, office for superintendent of fire alarms, office for assistant superintendent, drafting room, lockers, toilets, show’er baths, bedroom, mess hall and kitchenette. The large storage battery room is directly underneath the operating room.

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