Tax Credit Program Highlight: City of Houston Fire Station No. 3

Houston, Harris County



Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Historic Use

Fire Station

Current Use

Events Venue

Date Certified

March 11, 2019


Also certified for federal tax credits.

Project Contact

H4 Architects; Mario Sanchez Drafting Services.


With nearby oil discoveries and improving shipping channels at the turn of the twentieth century, the city of Houston organized a professional citywide fire department. Built in 1903 in Houston’s historic First Ward, the City of Houston Fire Station No. 3 is an intact example of the work of esteemed local architect Olle J. Lorehn. His interpretation of the Romanesque Revival style was applied to multiple fire stations across the city including this one. The crew at Fire Station No. 3 drove steam-powered horse-drawn fire engines until the 1920s, when the city invested in gas-powered engines. Fire Station No. 3 served the community until 1937, when the fire crew relocated to a larger new building that was better suited to house the large motorized engines.

Rehabilitation Project

This project involved adapting Houston Fire Station No. 3 into a special events venue space. The rehabilitation included, but was not limited to, the installation of a new roof, mortar repointing, brick repair, replacement of the non-historic aluminum storefront and glazed door systems, replacement of the non-historic stair with a code compliant metal stair, removal and selective replacement of non-historic finishes and partition walls, restoration of the hardwood floors, construction of bathrooms within the rear addition, along with major updates to the mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • The large arched openings at the front of the building historically were the entrances for the fire wagons. New infill storefront systems are dark-colored to preserve the sense of an open garage bay.