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The Last Fire Watchtower


The Standouters - Built by Julius Kroehl in 1857, the fire tower stands 47 feet high and sits in Marcus Garvey Park. It was one of eight in Manhattan. Manned by volunteers, fire watchtowers communicated by Morse code and rang the bell to signal where the blaze was located.

However, by the late 1870s, the widespread use of fire call boxes and the growing number of skyscrapers made the towers obsolete. Many were eventually torn down but the one in Marcus Garvey Park remained primarily because its isolated location and popularity with the community.

Aside from a 1938 modification, which added the acropolis, the base the tower sits upon, it has not undergone any major renovations and has fallen into serious disrepair. With the support of elected officials, Harlem community groups are working to raise money to save this historic landmark.

For more great stories like this, "Like" The Standouters page on Facebook or check out the Youtube Channel.

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