Fire Alarm Headquarters – Washington DC


On March 14th, 1939, the Washington Post reported the allocation of funds by the Public Works Administration (PWA) for the construction of a fire alarm headquarters for Washington DC:

“Construction of the new District fire alarm headquarters building in McMillan Park, near Fourth and Douglas streets, at a cost of $183,994 was approved yesterday by the PWA.

The building contract was awarded to Jeffress-Dyer, Inc., of 1719 K street northwest. Funds will come from a $500.000 combined loan and grant in PWA funds authorized last fall.

The building will house the fire alarm system, storage room. repair shop and offices for H. A. Friede, fire alarm superintendent, and his staff. Power conduits already have been completed. Officials said the new system would be in use by June next year.

The National Board of Fire Underwriters has long recommended that the municipal fire alarm system should be in a building devoted to that one purpose, at least 150 feet from any other structure.”

The structure still stands, and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.

Source notes

“PWA assures headquarters for DC fire alarm system,” Washington Post, March 14, 1939, p. 3

National Park Service NRHP site

"1940: Fire Alarm Headquarters at McMillan," The Bloomingdale Neighborhood History Projectblog, February 23, 2014

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee -, Kent Boese on March 4, 2015.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

5th St. NW at McMillan Dr. NW
Washington, DC 20001

Coordinates: 38.9231, -77.0178

2 comments on “Fire Alarm Headquarters – Washington DC

  1. The photograph here is not of the Fire Department Headquarters-Fire Alarm Headquarters, but rather of the pump house for the Washington City Tunnel. The headquarters building is on the east side of the reservoir, and pictured at the following link:

    • John Stehlin

      Thanks for the attentive eye, Kent! We’ve really been appreciating your contributions here at the LND.

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