Fimbel Doors on the Front Line
Since the 1600's in the newly formed New Amsterdam under the ordinances of Peter Stuyvesant, brave residents have been fighting fires on behalf of the city and its evolving skyline. Today, after centuries of navigating changing governments and increasing demands, the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) remains the largest municipal fire department in the United States and a symbol of strength and honor. The world watched as these brave men and women responded to our broken buildings and hearts in the wake of the tragedy of 9/11, and we saw firsthand the level of dedication and bravery one must own to wear the emblems of this organization. At Fimbel Architectural Doors, we are proud to supply the sectional doors that give passage to their life saving efforts.
A walk through the streets of New York's five boroughs will undoubtedly bring you past one of the 197 Engine Houses associated with the FDNY. Most of the doors you will see have been manufactured by Fimbel either then or now. To bring history to life and reinvigorate the heart and soul of the city, we worked with our Sales and Service team at Thompson Overhead Door in Brooklyn, the FDNY, and the Landmark Society of New York as is required to preserve the history and integrity of the architecture. Our result is the introduction of our custom Presidential Firehouse Series finding a home in many engine houses.
Fun Fact: when we put the replacement doors in, they replace our old Fimbel Doors –some of which have been in place and operating for over 80 years.
We know that engine companies carry the burden of suppressing the fire – saving lives, and we want nothing to stand in their way. For these essential, front-line heroes, safety must always be paramount, so the operation of the door is a critical function in successful missions. Our engineering and production teams designed and built custom sections, operators and hardware equal to the demanding life of the door thus ensuring this safety for decades which gave way for the design experience.
It is no easy task to blend innovation and old-world craftsmanship, but that is indeed what we do at Fimbel ADS. We construct our Presidential Series using innovative technology and materials, and others, by hand to allow for varied sizes. This is a critical aspect in any project, but since the openings of firehouses were not prescribed when first built, there is no guarantee a standard door would suffice. Additionally, in many cases, they have been modified over time to accommodate the changing shape, size, and nature of the engines from horse-drawn carriages to self-propelled steamers to the trucks we use today.
As seen in this image of Engine 205 which was built in 1869, the architecture of the building is magnificent in its simplicity and strength. Perhaps the most centrally located of the affiliated firehouses, this building and its teams were tasked with serving the most affluent and valuable sections of the city over the course of time. Though times and modes of transport have changed, the architectural structure stands firm yet requires measurements that may typically be challenging to manufacturers. Due to the construction methods of blending custom frames with innovative materials, we knocked the obstacle of shape and size out of the way allowing the design experience to happen.
Designing the replacement door for this building required an aspiration for creativity and beauty balanced with the demand for historical accuracy. In many of our other Presidential Firehouse Series projects, you will see intricate scrollwork and glass patterns to complement the facades, but in this keystone location, simplicity shines. Thanks to the nature of our patented processes and advanced materials, the Team incorporated the shape and size of the five windows situated above the door. With the tremendous amount of light added by the new door in conjunction with the windows make it seem as though the building is watching over its people and structures: The result is a show of steadfastness and safety. And beauty.
As showcased in the June 2020 publication of International Door & Operator magazine, Engine 205 stands as a symbol of hope and strength. Remaining operational during the COVID-19 pandemic as an essential business brought with it a burden shared across the county, but it also brought with it a swelling of desire and pride. Together, we watched and admired the work done by our partners, especially the first responders. We are proud to have our door rest beneath the waving American flag adorning Engine 205 awaiting its call to action. We, the family and team, at Fimbel ADS will similarly be ready to support this effort and honor their legacy and ours.
To all the First Responders and Partners in making our world a safer, better place: We celebrate you and your families and will continue our mission of safety and quality so that you may continue yours.