Out of the Firehouse into The Frye

Photo by thefryecompany.com
The Frye Company
The Frye Company

"What attracted us to this spot is that our heritage matches that of the building. Frye is celebrating its 150th anniversary and this building has so much history," a Frye Company spokesperson told The Georgetown Dish. The building where the iconic American boot company plans to open in the summer of 2013 will be celebrating 150 years in 2014.

Vigilant Firehouse — at 1066 Wisconsin Ave., NW  Built 1844 — the oldest extant firehouse in DC (Photo by: 1964 Image courtesy of Historic American Buildings Survey—HABS.) Vigilant Firehouse — at 1066 Wisconsin Ave., NW Built 1844 — the oldest extant firehouse in DC

That historic building at 1066 Wisconsin Avenue is the site of the Vigilant Firehouse, the oldest extant firehouse in the District of Columbia. Until May of this year, it was better known as Papa Razzi restaurant. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

In 1863, John A. Frye opened a small shop in Marlboro, Massachusetts to make shoes designed "to ease the daily working lives of the hundreds of factory workers in that small New England town."

Papa Razzi (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Papa Razzi

With each generation, the company expanded. As the company explains on their website, "During a 1938 trip to Washington, D.C., John A. Frye’s grandson and namesake met a U.S. Navy Admiral who noted his difficulty in finding the Wellington styles he liked so much. As a favor, John agreed to make him a pair. Frye continued to fill these requests for boots through World War II.

Frye Harness Boots (Photo by: thefryecompany.com) Frye Harness Boots

By mail order, the company supplied thousands of brave soldiers and pilots with Frye Wellingtons, known as Jet boots. Our boots traveled the world on the feet of American servicemen, from Normandy to Okinawa – even General Patton wore a pair."

Their line still includes many styles based closely on their 1860 originals.

The Georgetown Frye is part of the company's current retail expansion plan. Their flagship store is on Spring Street in New York City.