Five years after they were closed, two firehouses in Brooklyn have found new purposes: classical music and firefighter advocacy. Engine 204 house at 299 DeGraw in Cobble Hill is being taken over by the Brooklyn Philharmonic. The orchestra has pledged to invest $2.6 million converting the building into administrative offices for the group as well as creating performance space.
A group called Friends of Firefighters had hoped to turn 299 DeGraw into a space for firefighter counseling and therapy, but was gracious in defeat. Executive director Nancy Carbone told the Times “It’s a disappointment for firefighters. It’s a disappointment for the community. However, I don’t want to disparage any use the winners will be using it for.”
The second firehouse, on Wythe Ave. in Williamsburg, is being handed to the community group that protested Engine 212's closing the loudest. People's Firehouse is the group that attempted to thwart their neighborhood firehouse's closing with sit-ins and barricades. Ultimately they were unable to prevent the closing, but they now get to run the building, where they will hold anti-arson and fire safety programs, as well as use the building as a community center with another group.