Monday, July 2, 2012

Mystery Building of the Week-- July 2nd

Evangelistic Temple of I Am

1026 Belmont Ave.

What a sad-looking building.
                     Check this shit out. Way out on the 1000 block of Belmont Avenue, this ancient ruin of a firehouse is just sitting there, looking like shit. Where the fuck did it come from? What the fuck happened to it? This one is ridiculously mysterious.
                     The building looks like it once kicked ass and boiled balls. The highly detailed facade has a great relief of the city seal along with a crazy arrangement of doors and windows. What's with those tiny little windows on the ground floor? Were they shooting arrows out of this thing? This old-ass motherfucker is nice enough to have its year in Roman Numerals written out-- 1895. The only reason anyone knows its a firehouse is because its labeled as such on some old maps of the city. Other than that, there's very little else out there about this little building.

                     From what I can tell, this place was known as Engine Company #16 or the Number 16 Fire House. Sixteen grew out of the Monroe Engine Company that used to be at 50th and 52nd/Lancaster. Though the building says 1895 on it, the official opening date of the Engine Company #16's new fire house on Belmont Avenue is officially recorded as June 17th, 1896.
                    That's pretty much it. This place is a total conundrum of a building. Its looks fucking awesome but sits there going underutilized and falling apart. The building is currently owned by the Evangelistic Temple of I Am. On their myspace page, they say that the building was donated by the city to a pastor in 1987. The tax records say that the building was given over on March 19th, 1981. They call it "the old firehouse", so the people using the place definitely have to know SOMETHING about this crazy motherfucker. On their page, there's pictures of their alterations of the interior.
                 Does ANYONE out there know anything about this building? The architect maybe? Similar firehouses from the same era elsewhere in the city or in other cities? SOMETHING? ANYTHIZNG? BAHH!!!!

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