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Parks Dept says it has plan to revive the city's last fire watchtower and bring it back to Harlem

The city's last fire watch tower, located at

The city's last fire watch tower, located at Harlem's Marcus Garvey Park, pictured on Jan. 6, 2012. Photo Credit: Emilio Guerra

Long before a fire could be called in to 911, Manhattan relied on a series of fire watch towers throughout the borough to sound the alarm if a blaze was spotted. 

Now the city is planning to restore the city's last remaining fire watch tower, a four-story octagonal iron structure at Marcus Garvey Park in Harlem. 

Curbed New York reported Wednesday that the city's Parks Department presented a plan to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to rehab the watchtower. The Parks Department has dismantled the structure and is restoring with a goal of bringing it back in the summer of 2007.

The goal is to restore the structure "while making it  accessible to the public and providing security as a park element," John Krawchuk, the director of historic preservation for the Parks Department, told Curbed. 

The landmarks commission lauded the plan. 

Originally known as the Mount Morris Fire Watchtower, its construction was completed in 1857 and it was in service for 21 years.


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