Firefighters have been fighting to keep the oldest firehouse in Elmira standing. 

The former fire station was built in 1897 and was an active firehouse until 1986. 

Now it’s a vacant building on the corner of Maxwell Place and Grand Central Avenue.

The City of Elmira approved a grant to help restore the empty firehouse, which needs a lot of work. 

Joe Heverly, an Elmira firefighter, says the grant is a big win for the city. 

“It’s a sense of pride for everyone to know you were part of saving something this historical in this town,” Heverly said. “Too many buildings have been taken down and gone and if we can save this it’s good, not only for the community, but for us as well.” 

Chris Putney, the President of the Elmira Professional Firefighters said the buildings history is far too important to be knocked down, and goes back generations. 

“A lot of men and women have fathers and grandparents who once worked here, so we all have connections to this station,” Putney said.

The grant money will be utilized for restoring the building, while still keeping pieces of its history. 

Putney says they hope to preserve some of the buildings original architecture and in talks of eventually turning the firehouse into a museum.