Engine Company No. 22 was built in 1897 for Chemical Engine Company No. 2, and expanded in 1907 and again in 1911. Chemical companies were established in new suburbs lacking public water service, instead using engines that pumped chemical fire suppressants. The firehouse was probably designed by Leon Dessez, one of a small group of local AIA chapter members who received multiple public building commissions during the “Eclectic” period of firehouse design. Congress’s acceptance of private architects ushered in an era of architectural experimentation and individuality. In this design, as in many others, Dessez drew heavily on Italian Renaissance classicism. A pioneer in the use of concrete and steel construction, Dessez was also well-suited to the creation of hard-wearing functional buildings.
Nominated by the Capitol Fire Museum, and designated on January 27, 2011.