The Old Ponce Fire Station at the Plaza las Delicias
Located in Ponce's main square - the Plaza las Delicias - stands a red and black candy striped building. A remarkable structure, this is Ponce's renowned Parque de Bombas, the Old Ponce Fire Station. This unusually painted building has been the subject of many a photograph taken by fascinated visitors to the Puerto Rican city of Ponce. Join us as we find out more about Parque de Bombas de Ponce.
This interesting landmark in Ponce was built back in 1882 according to the designs of the fine architect Maximo Meana. It was completed in time to host the Puerto Rican Agricultural conference and exposition. It came into use as a fire station from 1883 when volunteer firefighters started operating from the building. The fire brigade faced a huge challenge in 1883 when a massive fire seemed poised to engulf the city. The firemen of Parque de Bombas fought back the flames for several days. Photographs of these brave men can be seen in the brightly colored building. It was only in 1885 though that Parque de Bombas was declared the official firehouse of Ponce. This outstanding fire station protected Ponce for some 100 years. It was then converted into a museum and it is still frequently visited today.
One feature of Parque de Bombas de Ponce which quite obviously attracts people is its unusual architecture. Standing across from the large Catholic church on the town square, this unique building was constructed using wood. It has the distinctive feel of a Spanish mansion with a Gothic structure and Moorish tones. Inside the firehouse visitors can learn about the brave firefighters of Ponce as well as viewing artifacts related to the brigade. Also documented at the museum are a variety of fire fighting technologies. Parque de Bombas is considered one of the greatest tourist attractions in Ponce as well as one of Latin America's most important buildings. If you are fortunate you may enjoy a tour of the museum hosted by one of the local fireman when they aren't busy with an emergency call. Parque de Bombas de Ponce is open to the public from Wednesdays to Mondays between 9:30 am and 6:00 pm.