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History and Heritage / MANHATTAN COMPANIES



Ladder 20

Firemen's Hall was an outstanding civic building with ornamental facade, high ceilings and windows and meeting rooms on the top floor, It was built in 1853 on Mercer Street, just south of Houston Street, as the headquarters and center of all administration and official activity for the Volunteer Department. In 1865, it became the headquarters of the new Metropolitan Fire Department.

The new commissioners of the paid department set up their offices in the front portion of the second floor. The Fire Alarm Central Officer was installed in 1878 after being moved from the basement of City Hall and took up offices in the rear of the second floor. There were two apparatus rooms on the first floor with a central hall and stairs. One apparatus room was used for the rigs of the commissioners. The other housed a hand-drawn hose cart to be manned by clerks and fire alarm personnel in case of a fire in the building.

In 1879, after two very bad fires in the area, the commissioners decided to move the headquarters and alarm system to a fireproof building in a less hazardous location. On January 1, 1887, headquarters and the alarm system moved to East 67th Street.

The first paid company, Ladder 20, was assigned to Mercer Street on April 1, 1889. The interior of the building was altered and wide apparatus doors were installed in the 1920s. Engine 13 moved in on November 15, 1948, Battalion 5 on April 1, 1959. E-13 and L-20 moved to Lafayette Street and Battalion 5 to 42 Great Jones St 1974. 155 Mercer Street later was sold and today, is an art center.

Ladder 20 1923 Mack 85' Wooden Aerial in Front of Quarters. [Photograph] New York; 8" x 10".
Note: Three copies of photograph on file.
Ladder 20.

Ladder 20 Company Portrait Ladder Company 20. [Postcard]. New York: Hastings & Miller; 3" x 4".
Note: Members are pictured in front of quarters.
Ladder 20.

Ladder 20 Dederick Aerial Ladder. [Photograph]. New York: FDNY; 1910; 5" x 7".
Note: Two copies of photograph on file. Members are pictured raising ladder.
Ladder 20.

Ladder 20 Both Sections, 85' Seagrave and 85' Dederick Aerial Ladders. [Photograph]. New York: FDNY; 1906; 5" x 7".
Note: Six white horses are pictured along with members of company.
Ladder 20.

Lerch, Jack. Ladder 20 100' Seagrave 1987 Tiller.[Photograph]. New York: Jack Lerch; 1987; 4" x 6".
Note: Photograph taken at the FDNY Bureau of Training.
Ladder 20.

Lerch, Jack. Ladder 20 Seagrave 1987 Tiller. [Photograph]. New York: Jack Lerch; 1987; 4" x 6".
Note: Photograph taken at the FDNY Bureau of Training.
Ladder 20.


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