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Pine Street Inn (Boston Fire Department Headquarters)

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Boston Fire Department Headquarters
1894, Edmund March Wheelwright; 1979, CBT/Childs Bertman Tseckares and Casendino. 444 Harrison Ave.
  • (Wheelwright Archive, Boston Public Library)

A landmark along the Southeast Expressway, the Pine Street Inn, the city's largest homeless shelter, originally served as the headquarters for the Boston Fire Department. Edmund March Wheelwright, as Boston city architect, borrowed the image of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence (using the 156-foot-high tower for the drying of fire hoses) for this yellow brick design. CBT's conversion of the fire headquarters and three adjacent buildings for the Pine Street Inn provided six floors of space for administration, dining, cooking and education and sleeping quarters for three hundred men and fifty women. The towered palazzo provides a powerful symbol for a network of more than twenty-five social service locations throughout Greater Boston.

Writing Credits

Keith N. Morgan


What's Nearby


Keith N. Morgan, "Pine Street Inn (Boston Fire Department Headquarters)", [Boston, Massachusetts], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of Massachusetts

Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, 135-135.

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