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Photos: Historic Atlanta firehouse’s conversion to BBQ joint is complete

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Marietta Street eatery is company’s first location outside Florida

Firetruck bays have been swapped for multi levels of patio seating on Marietta Street.
Firetruck bays have been swapped for two levels of patio seating on Marietta Street.
All current images courtesy of 4 Rivers Smokehouse

The purpose of a century-old building on Atlanta’s burgeoning Westside has officially changed from putting out fires to smokin’ butts.

4 Rivers Smokehouse, a Florida-based barbecue chain, has transformed the two-story Fire House No. 16 on Marietta Street into its first restaurant outside the Sunshine State.

A grand opening was held last week, and company heads have sent over images of an adaptive-reuse project that employed “an extensive amount of care in maintaining the integrity of the original building while modernizing it with today’s conveniences,” per the company.

Recognized by the Georgia Historical Society, the 822 Marietta St. building stands next to Thumbs Up Diner, near Georgia Tech. It was in service as a fire station from 1915 to 1963 and was most recently used as offices.

The firehouse property in November, prior to renovations.
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Some have claimed the building was home to Atlanta’s first African-American firefighters, but other sources (including the firefighters themselves) indicate that barrier was broken in 1963 at a different Station No. 16 in northwest Atlanta.

Now, the 5,300-square-foot structure offers 166 seats with garage doors downstairs and an upstairs patio. Up there, the skyline views aren’t too shabby.