North Williamsburg’s former People’s Firehouse, Engine 212, will soon be a community hall and gallery space. Dubbed the Northside Town Hall Community Center, the former fire house has already begun the transformation process and is now hosting multi-disciplinary performances on its main floor, which is visible from the street. The historic exterior will remain intact, while the interior will be renovated to support an array of community programming.
Granted occupation in 2008, the center recently received an infusion of funding to move forward on the redesign plans. The center will unite community groups Neighbors Allied for Good Growth and the People’s Firehouse Inc., who will both call the Community Center home for their headquarters. The new facility will also create both office space and meeting areas that can be used or rented by other community organizations that seek to further the Williamsburg and Greenpoint communities through the arts.
The main floor of the firehouse, which once held the fire engines, will be transformed into a sleek groundfloor gallery space, naturally lit by the original paned glass door. The gallery space will be used for exhibitions by local cultural organizations in collaboration with NAG and PFI. It will also be a venue for community meetings, functioning as a town hall forum.
There will also be a historical exhibition section that is dedicated to the original FDNY Company #212 and other Williamsburg and Greenpoint history. The Northside Town Hall has already started inserting itself in the Williamsburg cultural community, featuring dance, music, and media exhibitions in its now raw ground floor space. The space has also been used for film festivals and fund raisers.