Built in 1910, the two-story brick and mortar engine house at 317 Sampson was occupied by one of Houston’s three original volunteer fire fighting companies. Construction of Fire Station #2 in Houston’s historic East End marked the transition of the city’s fire department from a loosely structured volunteer effort housed primarily in converted private residences into a salaried organization that was trained, equipped and maintained by the City of Houston.
Purchased in 2013 by Michael Skelly and his wife, Anne Whitlock, the historic fire station at the corner of Sampson and Preston Streets underwent an extensive rehabilitation and remodel to eventually become their private residence. While planning the renovation of the building, they became aware of six vacant Victorian houses on Garrow Street nearby. They decided to move all six houses to the block on which the fire station sits, and sell them to others who share their appreciation for the intrinsic value of the houses, and desire to contribute to a historic and vital community.
On October 19, to celebrate Skelly’s birthday, a public bike repair station was installed along the sidewalk outside of the residence. The community is invited to use the repair station to air up tires or for quick mechanical bike adjustments while out enjoying a ride in East End Houston.
Skelly, an avid cyclist and BikeHouston advisory board member, suggests that other residents who are interested in installing public bike repair stations on their property contact BikeHouston for more information.