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Vintage Firehouses - Engine Company No. 33:
Engine Company No. 33

Engine Company No. 33 - 1896
117 Broad Street (mapped location)

Neighborhood: Oceanview

Company History:
1896   Engine Co. No. 33 organized and assigned to quarters
1906   Earthquake or Fire damage to the firehouse, $500
1921   August 29th, converted to motorized apparatus
1974   Engine Co. No. 33 relocated to new quarters at 8 Capitol Street
1977   Sold at a City & County of San Francisco public auction

Victorian style Engine Co.33 was built on property purchased in 1895 from Delia and Albert Hall for the price of $350.00.  Designed by Charles R. Wilson and constructed entirely of redwood, the firehouse has 20 foot ceilings on two floors.  The building facade incorporates Classical Revival architectural influences with symmetrical and geometric embellishments.  The hose drying tower is three stories tall, rising over sixty feet above the street.  Located in the Southwest corner of San Francisco in the Ocean View district, this firehouse was originally built to protect a woman's college planned for the neighborhood that was never built.  Ten years later, after the 1906 Earthquake and Fire, this area famous for its wild flowers and frog ponds, began to be developed as residential neighborhood.  In 1896 there was a fire in a munitions factory in nearby Colma, and Engine 33 was dispatched to assist in fighting the blaze.  THIS WAS THE FIRST SAN FRANCISCO ACT OF MUTUAL AID TO ASSIST A NEIGHBORING FIRE DEPARTMENT.  When the Department was converting to motorized apparatus between 1912 and 1921, Engine 33 was the last company to bid farewell to their horse drawn apparatus.  On the 29th of August, 1921, the company received a 1914 American LaFrance Type 21 2 wheel 6 cylinder 105 HP engine with an 1899 American Metropolitan, registry #2653, 1st size steam engine that had previously served at Engine 12 and Engine 17.   In 1974, Engine Company No. 33 was re-assigned to new quarters nearby at 8 Capitol Street and the firehouse was deactivated.   

Since 1977, this firehouse has been privately owned by Robert and Marilyn Katzman, SFFD Historical Society members and two of San Francisco's most flamboyant fire buffs.  The Katzmans open their 110 year old firehouse, which is a "living museum of San Francisco history” to the public by appointment.  Robert and Marilyn also provide a unique way to tour the City - in their beautifully restored 1955 Mack Fire Engine. Their famous Golden Gate Bridge tour includes authentic fire gear to keep you warm on San Francisco's foggy days.  Their 3 bedroom, 3 ½ bath firehouse is currently for sale.

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