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Thornton Tomasetti Completes Restoration and Reconstruction of Historic Cast Iron Fire Watchtower in

Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, has completed the restoration and reconstruction of the Harlem Fire Watchtower in Marcus Garvey Park, which was unveiled to the public by the New York City Parks Department on October 26th. It is a unique historic preservation project for one of America’s early cast iron structures.

The Harlem Fire Watchtower was constructed in 1856 as one of a series of cast iron towers built throughout New York City designed to give firefighters a perch from which to watch over the community, and alert local fire companies by ringing a bell. When pull boxes rendered the fire watchtowers obsolete in the 1870’s, the system was discontinued, and the other towers eventually were torn down. Harlem residents rallied to protect the tower, which endured and is now the last remaining fire watchtower in the city.


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