10 December 2009
A Fire House That Stands Out in a Dreary Streetscape
This isn't a modern house, it's a modern fire house, and I include it here for no better reason than I like it, I knew I was going to be passing it yesterday so I brought a camera with me, and there's a description of it in Frank Sanchis's book, American Architecture, Westchester County, New York:
The cubistic forms of the 1950s appear in Mount Kisco's Independent Fire Company .... The Mount Kisco building, designed in 1955 by Howard Battin, combines steel framing and brick bearing walls for its structure, but is faced on the street elevation with stucco, smoothly finished and scored in square blocks. The simple, rectanglar block of the main mass of the flat-roofed building is relieved by the extension of a square block that overhangs the entrance to the office part of the structure, on the right-hand side of the elevation. The thinness of the flat roof edges extended beyond the face of the walls is another feature evocative of the fifties.
The fire house is at 322 Lexington Avenue, maybe a mile from downtown Mount Kisco, and in a part of town that's far from beautiful, which is why I've always liked it. As you're driving along the dreary village street, it's a surprise -- sharp, almost shiny, different and at least interesting enough to bring a smile.
Battin, who the Times described in his 1976 obituary as "a leading Westchester architect," designed the Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial Library in Hyde Park. -- ta