San Nicolas Fire Station

San Nicolas Fire Station
San Nicolas Fire Station | @rebirth.manila, Photos: Stephen Pamorada, Maevin Villamin Balan

San Nicolas Fire Station (Calle Madrid, San Nicolas)

While most areas of nearby Intramuros, Tondo, and Binondo were destroyed during the Battle of Manila in 1945, the core area of San Nicolas was spared and remained relatively intact. Thus preserved was a great multitude of structures from the Spanish colonial period, many of which were bahay na bato type architecture ranging from residential houses to foundries, commercial houses, and warehouses. Sadly, due to lack of protection from the government, as well as a lack of appreciation, many of these houses are now being destroyed at an alarming rate in the past 30 years. What was spared from a cataclysmic battle is now disappearing in the face of aggressive “development”.

As such, efforts are underway from heritage advocates to protect, preserve, properly develop, and promote this unique piece of Manila’s urban landscape heritage.

The fifth fire station to be established in Manila. Unlike previous fire stations, this was the first station to be built completely by the Americans. It boasted a fully functional gymnasium which later gave it the moniker of being the cradle of boxing in the city, according to renowned writer Nick Joaguin, It is also the first fire station to handle fire boats due its proximity to the Pasig River. The station has undergone several renovations in the past century but retains much of its original features.

Text: Jeremiah Inocencio, Diego Torres

You may want to read: