Editor: Kevin Walsh

Photographer:
Sean Colby

Writer: Sean Colby

Boston has a long and deep seated public safety history, holding the distinction of the first paid police and fire departments in the United States, as well as the first fire alarm telegraph system in the country, which is still in use today.

Over the years, many police and fire stations have closed for different reasons, including outgrowth by the department or budget cuts. Many of the closed stations still exist today, some of which are occupied for other uses.

This is the former Station 1 of the Boston Police Department. This station is located in the North End and overlooks the entrance to the Callahan Tunnel to East Boston. While it sits in the middle of the City of Boston Printing Department and the Traffic Tunnel Administration Building, nothing indicates what it is now used for, if anything. The current Division 1 station is now on Sudbury Street near Government Center.

The former Division 6 station on D Street in South Boston is completely abandoned, and not in great shape. The new station is on West Broadway. Note the use of the "V" in South Boston instead of "U," common on older building facades [partly because V is easier to carve -- your webmaster].
"Ambulance Patrol" appears above the bay doors to former Station 6, a throwback to the pre-EMS days when the police department was responsible for transporting the sick or injured to the hospital.

Boston Police Headquarters occupied this building at 154 Berkeley Street in the Back Bay from the mid 1920's until 1997, when it moved to its current building at One Schroeder Plaza, at the corner of Ruggles and Tremont Streets in Roxbury. The new headquarters is named for fallen Boston Police Officer Walter A. Schroeder, who was killed in a bank robbery on September 24, 1970, leaving behind a wife and nine children. The old headquarters building was empty for years before recently becoming the Jurys Boston Hotel.

Part of the former Division 16 station on Boylston Street near Massachusetts Ave has been a restaurant/bar for a while, but with different names. In the past few years it has gone from being Division Sixteen to Barcode until finally becoming Dillon's. It sits between the Institute of Contemporary Art (which was the rest of the Division 16 station, renovated for use in 1976) and Hynes Convention Center/ICA Station on the Green Line. Connected to the Institute of Contemporary Art is one of the oldest fire stations still in use in the city, the quarters of Engine 33 and Ladder 15, which was built in 1887.

SOURCES:

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