One of the symbols that distinguishes the stately city of Ponce, Puerto Rico, is its Fire House. A beautiful wooden structure that exhibits a Victorian style with a clear inclusion of arabesque elements. It was designed by the Spanish colonel and architect Máximo Meana y Guridi and inaugurated at the end of 1882 while Puerto Rico was still a colony of Spain.
Following the custom of the organization of the buildings in the Spanish squares, the architect Máximo Meana and Guridi located the Fire House in the Town Square, just behind the Church.
Highlighted are colors of the city of Ponce, red and black, the interior is organized with a wide and open central space, on two levels and flanked by two lateral towers. The open space was used as a garage for fire trucks, and the two towers as living quarters and exhibition areas.
Our friend, the architect Pablo Ojeda, participated in its restoration in the years 1986-87. He indicated that the painting of the rose window is original from 1883 and he intervened to consolidate and refinish it.
The architect Pablo Ojeda also restored the ornaments found in the corners, which unlike the rose window, these are set in wood, painted and placed on the ceiling.
On the second floor we find a very interesting exhibition of another symbol of Ponce, the lion, present both in the flag and in the coat of arms of the city.
Each lion is a work of art and the artists who took part painted them, using as themes poems, songs and sayings among other considerations. It was a bit like the exhibition that was recently held in Madrid with “Las Meninas”.
The construction works were completed in time for the agricultural fair, serving as a platform for the exhibition of agricultural products during the event and becoming the headquarters of the farmers’ convention. The first brigade of firefighters moved to the building shortly thereafter and for 108 years the structure continued in operation as a fire station.