MNN El Barrio Firehouse

Some buildings in NYC get torn down while others get “recycled.” MNN El Barrio Firehouse or as it was formerly known Engine 53 Firehouse is a prime example of the recycling of buildings. Designed and built by the then leading FDNY’s architects, Napoleon Le Brun & Sons, in 1883. It was kept in use up until the 1970’s when the firehouse moved a few blocks over. In 2007 the Manhattan Neighborhood Network (MNN) purchased the old firehouse and converted it into a state-of-art production and broadcast facility housing three studios, several editing suites, a classroom, and a community meeting space. During this process an elevator needed to be modernized so MNN chose United Cabs. With consideration of the buildings past we restored and incorporated some old artistic sheet metal found in the building prior to its restoration along with sea green painted wood panels and bronze metal finishes. The elevator elegantly provided a mixture of the buildings yesteryears with her future, perfectly representing an inevitable change. 


The materials involved include the following

  • Drop Ceiling: faced with bronze.

  • Upper Panels: Restored existing artistic sheet metal.

  • Lower Panel: raised removable Benjamin Moore painted bead board slats.

  • Fronts & Doors: Transom, return wall, two speed doors faced with bronze.

  • Handrails: Flat bronze.