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Engine 17 / Ladder 7 Public Art project

This long-term artwork will complement the new Engine 17 / Ladder 7 Fire Station.

This project is currently in the contracting phase. 

Project details

Project Context

The City has allocated $24.7 million toward the design and construction of a new fire station. The new building will feature:

  • a sloped roof
  • a dormer stair tower, and
  • a brick façade that speaks to the historic use of masonry for fire houses.

The prominent apparatus bay canopy will provide shading and a distinctive civic presence. The large windows will introduce daylight into program spaces and create a welcoming entrance to the building. Puddingstone outcroppings will be incorporated, preserving this unique local landscape feature.

The primary theme for this commission is fire fighting and the neighborhood’s relationship with the fire station.

Engine 17 rendering
Engine 17 rendering

The budget for this public art project is $200,000. The primary theme for this commission is fire fighting and the neighborhood’s relationship with the fire station. This Call to Artists was open to all artists, national and international. There is a strong preference for artists who have a connection to Dorchester or themes of the project.

The Site

The Engine 17 Fire Station is located at 37 East Street in the Meetinghouse Hill area of Dorchester. The new site is adjacent to the existing firehouse, and is currently a parking lot. The existing firehouse will remain in operation during the course of construction. 

The original Engine 17 / Ladder 7 firehouse opened on February 15, 1928. It was built on the site of two old firehouses that dated back to the annexation of the Town of Dorchester to the City of Boston. The firehouse sits across the prominent white-spired First Parish Church. Engine 17 / Ladder 7 respond to incidents in the Dorchester and Roxbury areas, and to parts of South Boston.

Engine 17 site plan
Engine 17 site plan

The site identified for the public art project is the entrance tower, which is largely glass on the west and south sides. We are looking for artists with experience working with translucent materials in public spaces. 

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