Monday, April 22, 2019

Elmira’s Fire Stations

by Erin Doane, Curator

The first volunteer fire company in Elmira was created in 1830. Over the next 30 years, half a dozen more companies were organized and each company established their own fire houses. In 1867, the city built a new, large fire station on Market Street. The station housed Torrent Fire Company No.1 and Fire Company No. 2, known as Neptune Company. When the city created a professional fire department in 1878, the station became its headquarters.

Elmira Volunteer Fire Station on Market Street, c. 1870s
In 1890, the station was torn down and a new central fire station was built on East Market Street opposite Exchange Place. The new building cost $33,000 to construct, or just under $1 million in today’s dollars. The station housed firefighters and their equipment, including steamers, hose wagons, a ladder truck, a chemical engine, and ten horses.

Central Fire Station, c. 1911
In 1964, the Fire Department’s headquarters was moved to a new building at 101 West Second Street. This was the city’s first new fire station built in 52 years.

Elmira Fire Headquarters, April 2019
Shortly after the Central Fire Station was built in 1890, more stations were established throughout the city. In 1892, Station No. 2 was built at the foot of College Avenue on West Water Street. The station closed in 1935 and the building now houses the Elmira Water Board.

Station No. 2, c. 1910
Station No. 3 was also built in 1892 at the western intersection of South Main Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

Station No. 3, c. 1900
The station was torn down in 1979 when a new one was built on West Miller Street.

New Station No. 3, April 2019
Station No. 4 was built at Maxwell Place and Grand Central Avenue in 1897 on land given to the city by the Diven Family. It was designed by local architects Pierce and Bickford. The station closed in 1986 and in 2014, the building was added to the Preservation League of New York State’s Seven to Save Endangered Properties list.

Station No. 4, March 1897
In 1911, Station No. 5 was built on Roe Avenue. It is still being used today and is the oldest active fire station in Chemung County.
Station No. 5, 2017


  1. Was number 4 saved to historical society or sold for $1 as stated in google?

    I sure hope not.

    1. I am not certain who is leading the efforts to restore Fire Station No. 4, but CCHS is not directly involved.