Public Building Commission, (312) 744-9277
Chicago Fire Department, (312) 745-4213
Mayor Richard M. Daley today cut the ribbon on the new Engine Company 18 firehouse, a new facility that will provide the latest in firefighting technology and communication for residents in the neighborhoods of University Village, Pilsen, Little Italy, the Near West Side and the South Loop.
The new $9.5 million firehouse, located at 1360 South Blue Island Avenue, was built by the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) and includes a modern design to accommodate better living, remote training and an office workspace.
The one-story, 16,000-square-foot facility will replace Chicago’s oldest firehouse, Engine Company 18 at 1123 West Roosevelt Road, which was built in 1873.
“We’ve come a long way since then, but as our City grows and changes, one thing remains the same — our commitment to revitalizing our neighborhoods,” Mayor Daley said. “Community anchors like this are so vital because they not only provide services and support to the community, they act as a safe haven for our children as well.”
Joining Mayor Daley at the Engine Company 18 ribbon cutting were 2nd Ward Alderman Robert Fioretti, Fire Commissioner John Brooks, PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi and other public and elected officials.
“The new home of Engine Company 18 is equipped with the latest technology and accommodations to improve our quality of service and preparedness for every community of the city,” Fire Commissioner John Brooks said. “It is a modern, environmentally friendly facility that we can all be proud of.”
The new Engine Company 18 is also a green firehouse, designed to meet the U.S. Green Building Council’s guidelines for a Leadership in Energy and Environment Design – or LEED – silver rating.
The new firehouse includes solar panels, an exhaust heat recovery system, drought-tolerant landscaping and recycled materials were used where possible, including the benches in the locker rooms, which are made of recycled wood.
“The Public Building Commission of Chicago has long been committed to incorporating the most up-to-date elements of sustainable design into every public facility we build,” PBC Executive Director Erin Lavin Cabonargi said. “Both the design of the Engine Company 18 firehouse and the construction of the firehouse incorporated environmental concerns. In fact, we share the City’s commitment to incorporating green building concepts into every public facility that we build.”
The new Engine Company 18 firehouse also features:
- A large apparatus bay capable of housing a variety of rescue vehicles
- A staff training area that allows firefighters to review training films or other educational materials
- A circular driveway that allows vehicles to exit and to return more quickly and more safely
- A fully-equipped physical training room for firehouse personnel
- Locker rooms and bathroom facilities to accommodate the needs of both male and female firefighters.
The facility is the sixth to be opened under Mayor Daley’s Neighborhoods Alive 21 program, which includes firehouses and police stations. Nearly 20 firehouses and police stations will be replaced under this ambitious program.