When MSB Architects started feeling a little cramped in their existing office, they decided to explore their options. After considering several options, including expanding at their existing location, Scott and Kim Bowen found a viable option through the City of Hagerstown’s Competitive Negotiated Sale process. The City’s firefighters had moved their larger engine to a new location, leaving the century-old Pioneer Hook and Ladder building available.
After purchasing the building, the engine bays were transformed into a large conference room and open studio. The engine bay doors were fitted with glass to replicate a garage door on one side, while the other was converted to an ADA accessible glass entrance under an edgy metal canopy. Two existing bathrooms were redesigned and updated to give them a clean, modern feeling, while adding ADA accessibility. A 250-gallon fish tank was built into the wall where the alarm panel once stood and a raised stage area replaced the risers in the old TV room. The first floor was finished with new octagonal shaped carpet that creates a river-like pattern across the floor.
A custom, secondary stair was also added to the space, which twists as it climbs, flanked by metal cable rails, to the second floor. Once a warren of halls and rooms, the second floor is now an open concept. The kitchen wall was removed to allow for a breakfast bar while the former bunk room was made into an office.
Despite all the updates, the historic façade of the fire station was preserved, as was the original fire pole. Previously tucked into a closet for safety, the firepole is now a feature of the second floor. The brass has been polished to bring back its gleam.