Shiny and Restored, 'Ghostbusters Firehouse' to Reopen This Month

After two-and-half years away, Ladder 8's apparatus is expected to return to its home late this month. File photo: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Jun. 17, 2018

Later this month, firefighters from Ladder 8 are expected to ease their 70,000-pound rig back into the company’s freshly refurbished home on North Moore Street, signaling a return to Tribeca after nearly three years of exile in shared Soho quarters. Their arrival also means the reopening of a city designated landmark, famously known as the “Ghostbusters firehouse.”

The last workers will clear out of the three-story building at 14 North Moore St. by the end of the day on Monday, June 25, and the Fire Department is due to move in the next day, said Holly Pratt, a project manager working on the restoration. The company will be ready to respond to calls on June 27, according to other sources. An FDNY spokesman would say only that the return date is “this summer.”  

(Ladder 8 firefighters reached at their temporary quarters with Ladder 20 on Lafayette Street declined to comment, saying they don’t have authorization to speak to the press.)

The station has undergone a top-to-bottom restoration, from a new roof down to a stronger floor to support the company’s massive apparatus.

Along with the new floor, the original scope of work included adding a womens bathroom and locker room, and upgrades to the mechanical, plumbing and electrical systems. But additional requests by the FDNY added months to the completion time and $3 million to the original $6 million cost of the project, according to Ian Michaels, spokesman for the citys Department of Design and Construction, which is in charge of the project. Those improvements, Michaels said in an email, included a new boiler, windows, roof, air conditioning on the second floor, and staircase and masonry repairs.

Hook & Ladder 8 at its current site goes back to 1866, where a school once stood. Its current building, constructed in 1903, was originally twice as wide, with two vehicle bays rather than one. With the widening of Varick Street in 1913, the house was sliced in half.

Even as the building stood obscured by construction netting during much of the restoration, it remained a magnet for fans of the 1984 movie classic. (The house returned to the screen in 2016 with the “Ghostbusters” remake.) Along with its cinematic spook fighting connection, the firehouse also had roles in the 2004 film “Hitch” and a “Seinfeld” episode. Lego reproduced the building in a 4,634-piece “Ghostbusters Firehouse Headquarters” set.

In 2011, the beloved structure as a firehouse came under threat. The Bloomberg administration put it on the chopping block, one of 20 fire station sales proposed to raise revenue for the city. In June of that year, more than 100 residents, community leaders and local officials as well as firefighters protested at the firehouse to oppose the sale. A revised city budget eventually allowed all the houses to stay open.

“We’re part of the community,” an off-duty Ladder 8 firefighter said at the rally. “And it’s just nice to see that the community is there for us.”

In a couple of weeks, the Ladder 8 company will be part of the community once again.