Firehouse 13, is a forward thinking urban project appealing to experimental artists and creative innovators. Established in an old firehouse, FH13 has residential and commercial space available connecting artists, musicians, designers, and entrepreneurs.
The first floor facilities and resources are provided for rental at affordable rates, encouraging collaboration between individuals and groups. The second floor residency program provides space for artists to live in a supportive and dynamic environment. These two programs are available and open to the public. The third floor is an open space available for long-term lease.
The building itself is in great shape and has been restored over the past six years. Brick and mortar work has been restored, new windows have been put in, and concrete floors have been repoured and the wood floors have been sanded. Some of the windows have custom made grates across them with metal flames. One of my favorite things about the firehouse was the peeling and cracking paint that was all over the stairwell and the moulding. They found a way to keep it by sealing it in with clear acrylic and it looks great now.
Historically known as the Good Will Engine Company, Firehouse 13 was built in 1856. The Good Will Engine Company was originally the Providence Fire Department’s training school for cadets. The second floor was the living quarters and the third floor was a meeting hall and tactical training room. Horse drawn fire trucks and stables occupied the first floor into the early 20th Century. Standing four stories high, including the bell tower, Firehouse 13 was a prominent building on a hill overlooking downtown when erected. A mere half century later, the firehouse was dwarfed by the construction of massive industrial mills that stand adjacent today. Decommissioned in 1950, and abandoned from the mid 1980s until 2001, Firehouse 13 is enjoying a rebirth.
mother jones I went to a party here in 2001, I think and it might have been Mahi Mahi’s first or second live show. It was still going at 4:00am when I left. The following year friends of mine from Brooklyn heard about their parties and came up for it. I hope FH13 lives up to those beginnings.
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