An Old Fire House in South Philly Caught Our Eye

Even though we once lived just a few blocks away, we somehow never encountered 808-10 Morris St., a handsome old building that was once home to the Engine 10 Fire Company. According to legeros.com, the building was constructed in 1874 and was home to the fire company until 1953, when they moved to their current location on 12th Street between Wharton and Reed. Thankfully, the building has survived for more than half a century since its original use was discontinued.

The building

As for what happened to the building between the 1950s and the 1990s, we surely don't know. We can tell you that in the last fifteen years or so, the building has gone through some drama, changing hands repeatedly. The original garage opening has been partially filled in, with steps leading up to a door. Sometime between 1998 and 2009, one of the owners converted the building into a single-family home but they weren't able to finish the job. In 2010, the finished product was listed for $525K but the owners never did finish the construction. In 2012, new investors stepped in and listed the building back on the market in 2014. Today, there's a dreaded Stop Work Order on the front door.

Looking west on Morris Street

On the plus side, it seems unlikely that the building will be demolished anytime soon, as many parties have been interested in it over the years and in theory, with some investment, the property seems like it would be one of the more impressive homes in the area. On the other hand, it seems some properties are just cursed to to struggle for years and never seem to meet their potential. We'll cross our fingers and hope that these investors will be the ones who can finally finish the job here and that soon the former fire house will have proud inhabitants. Sadly, we'd wager the fire pole has been removed. Bummer.