The association of firefighters acquires a new building

ALBANY — The New York State Firefighters Association unveiled a new $2 million facade at its Washington Avenue headquarters on Monday.

The 11-month project included new additions to the building such as energy-efficient windows, a high-tech training room and an improved pedestrian ramp.

“To mark our 150th anniversary, the Board of Trustees decided to combine some needed maintenance work on the approximately 70-year-old building with an all-new facade facing Washington Avenue, just around the corner from the Capitol – a new face of the building that really establishes the presence of volunteer firefighters in Albany,” said Robert Leonard, spokesman for the organization. “The facade of a typical three-story mid-century metal and glass office building 20th Century has now been transformed to look like a classic red brick fire station, including a graphic of a fire engine in the bay of the fire station.

To celebrate the unveiling, association president John Farrell and other leaders gathered with state and local officials at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday evening, including the Fire Administrator of State, James B. Cable.

“We thought it was time to give our facility another facelift,” Farrell said. The project, from conception to completion, took about two years, he added.

To undertake the renovations, the association hired LeChase Construction Service in Schenectady. The name of the association, which was changed earlier this year from “Firemen’s Association” to “Firefighters Association”, is inscribed on the building’s new red brick exterior.

The structure has been owned by the association since 1984. Previously, it belonged to a bank and an insurance company.

The renovation work coincided with the association’s 150th anniversary.

“Looking back over the past 150 years, I think the leaders of those years have done a great job of building the foundation on which all officers and members stand,” Farrell said. “And the upgrade gives us a good head start for the next 150 years.”

Andrew B. Reiter