The former Carrick Municipal Building is a two-story stone and brick structure. It is 29 feet wide. It was a firehouse for decades. Its architecture sets it apart an historic Pittsburgh landmark.
The structure was built in the early 1900s after Carrick took on an urban flavor and was incorporated as a borough. It was situated on the most important street in Carrick – Brownsville Road. The dedication of the building was marked by a parade and fireworks, which have been woven into the fabric of Pittsburgh life for more than a hundred years.
The borough’s business was conducted on the second floor of the municipal building. There was a meeting hall. It held public records. Access to the second floor was from an outside entrance at the left of the building. The structure is also referred to as the Carrick Borough Building and Carrick Municipal Hall.
The ground floor was used by the volunteer fire department, which was said to be one of the best equipped in the state. The fire trucks took up a lot of space. The large, street-level entrance allowed them to get into and out of the building. The building is set back 10 feet from the sidewalk for fire trucks to swing around as they go in and out of the building without hitting anything. The first floor also had a gymnasium and reading room for firefighters, who washed up in the basement after fires.
The basement was used by police and held the jail. The rear entrance opens onto Dellrose Street at ground level because the structure is built on a hill. That entrance is no longer easily accessible.
A loud bell in a 40-foot high tower on the roof called out the volunteer firefighters, signaled the borough’s curfew, which was either 8:00 PM or 9:00 PM, and rang in the new year.
After Carrick voted to be annexed by Pittsburgh in the late 1920s, the building became Engine Company 23 for the next thirty years. The bell tower was removed over safety concerns. Today, the former municipal building is home to a bridal boutique and funeral garment manufacturer.
The Carrick Municipal Building was designed by Pittsburgh architect Edward Stotz. Stotz’ designs include Pittsburgh buildings that are landmarks today.
By contracting Stotz to design the building, the Carrick Borough Council was trying to show themselves off and attempt to take the steps necessary to become a more prominent town.
The style of the Carrick Municipal Building is eclectic. Eclecticism was an architectural style that reworked other historical styles to create something original. The building reflects Classical and Dutch Revival influences. Classical architectural – influenced by the archaeology of the era – tended to draw on ancient Greek or Roman architecture. Dutch Revival architecture is known for gambrel roofs, that is, each side of the roof has two slopes.
The nomination of the Carrick Municipal Building as a Pittsburgh historic landmark by Preservation Pittsburgh identifies it as the design of an architect whose work is significant in the history of Pittsburgh. The former municipal building also reflects Carrick’s progression from a rural town to an independent borough to a neighborhood within the City of Pittsburgh.
The Carrick Municipal Building is located at 1806 Brownsville Road, Pittsburgh, PA 15210.