Elmira's Maxwell Place Fire Station gets a new lease on life


The Preservation League has been working with local advocates to develop strategies to breathe new life into the Maxwell Place Fire Station since 2014, when the building was placed on the Seven to Save list of endangered places.

The Maxwell Place Fire Station served Elmira’s South Side neighborhood from 1897 to 1986. Designed in the Flemish Renaissance Revival style by the prominent regional firm Pierce and Bickford Architects, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1988. However, after decades of vacancy, the building has suffered serious structural damage. The community stepped forward to support emergency repairs and halt further deterioration.

They launched a fundraising campaign to cover emergency roof repairs, but more funds are needed to fully stabilize the building. Maxwell Place Fire Station supporters also began to look for an organization to develop a use for the building, seek grants, and raise funds for repairs.


On Tuesday, June 13, the Elmira Fire Fighters Local 709 Union approved a motion to seek grants to make The Maxwell Place Fire Station No. 4 their Union Hall. 

With the union now on board, the City of Elmira can apply for an Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grant from New York State, which funds capital projects that protect the environment and enhance communities. If approved, the EPF grant will require a 25% match. The union has plans for more community-driven campaigns and fundraisers to help cover the match.

Since the campaign started, many community members have come forward to share the significance of this building in their lives. “I grew up in this station, living across the street. Many fond memories of all the firemen and how great they were to all of us kids,” wrote Susan Lynch after donating online. 

The best news of all that in addition to stabilizing the building, the Firefighters union has plans to open the Maxwell Place Fire Station as a space for community gatherings. We’re looking forward to seeing this neighborhood anchor return to serving the needs of the 4th District and the entire city.