Created By: Upper Madison Improvement Group
Steamer 10, designed by prominent Albany architect Albert Fuller, became part of the Albany Fire Department in September of 1892. That the neighborhood had earned its own fire station by the early 1890s reflects its growth – and the growth the city expected in the future.
At first, the Steamer 10 firemen fought blazes with the help of a steam-powered engine pulled by horses. Thanks to an apparatus called a quick-hitch harness, which hung from the ceiling and could be dropped onto the horses below, the men could be ready to answer a call in less than ten seconds. The department switched to motorized trucks in the teens. A police precinct house, added on to the back of the firehouse, opened in 1928.
In 1988, the company – by then known as Engine 10 – moved west to Brevator Street at Washington Avenue. City officials made plans to convert the old firehouse into a neighborhood library, but engineers determined the structure couldn't handle the weight of the books. Instead, the library went into the former New York Telephone Co. building on Western Avenue, across the street; and the firehouse became Steamer 10 children's theater in 1991.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Pine Hills