The Tenleytown Firehouse was the first major public structure built in Tenleytown. Its erection in 1900, when the area was still at the edge of the countryside, followed soon after the platting of the residential subdivisions of Armsleigh Park (1892), American University Park (1897), and North Cleveland Park. By enabling full-scale housing development, the firehouse both signaled and hastened the absorption of the former crossroads settlement into a growing metropolis.
Officially Engine Company 20, the firehouse was designed by noted architect Leon Emile Dessez, Jr., in an Italianate Revival style. Facades are glazed buff brick and terra cotta, with overhanging scrolled eaves, terra cotta tile roof, and an expressed hose tower. In 1913, with the addition of Municipal Architect Snowden Ashford’s one-story annex on the site of the former horse yard, it became the second motorized station in the city. The firehouse retained most of its exterior and interior features prior to rehabilitation, in which only the facades are to be retained.
DC designation February 7, 2002