In the late 1960s and early 1970s the City of Houston commissioned a number of distinguished public buildings for neighborhood settings, mostly fire stations and branch libraries. Phillips's design for this fire station in the Near Northside sector of Fifth Ward is materially tough but formally lithe. He eroded the concrete-banded, brick-faced box with spatial incisions and recesses that dramatize its identity as a modern fire station. An externalized stair tower on the east side plays off its visual likeness to a fireman's pole. Fire Station No. 9 is five blocks north of what was, from 1887 when it opened until it closed in the 1990s, the economic center of the Near Northside: the car shops and repair yards of the Southern Pacific Railroad.
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Fire Station No. 9
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