The first tax-supported fire department was established in 1910 on 12th Avenue and Heights Boulevard, behind the Durham home. The station into the alley between Heights Boulevard and Yale Street. J.L. Durham was the first paid fire chief and his firemen were Lee Nixon, Lee Butler and Mr. Haxthausen. When Fraternal Hall, the town’s community center at 12th and Yale Streets, burned in, a combination city hall, jail and fire station was built on that site in 1914. The architect for the building was Alonzo C. Pigg. On March 1, 1915, Hugh Montgomery was appointed fire chief for Houston Heights. His new crew included Captain M.T. Robinson, Lieutenant Ed Kohlman, G.K. Parker, 0. M. Phillips, Roy Crush, S. Lowe and E. Hueboetter.
The building has changed little since its construction and is located at 12th and Yale Streets. It operated as a City of Houston fire station from annexation in 1918 until 1995. The Houston Heights Association obtained a 30-year lease from the City of Houston and immediately began restoration of this beautiful, historic building. Restoration was complete in April 1997 and includes a catering kitchen and chair lift. Subsequently, the Association purchased the facility from the City of Houston in December 2009. Downstairs renovation was completed in 2012 and upstairs completed in 2013, with the exterior and parking lot completed in 2014.
The building has changed little since this early photograph and still remains an active community center.
(Above black & white photograph courtesy of Houston Fire Museum through HMRC).