Interview with Wilking Vega, Fireman

Interview by: Elmer Rodriguez & Adam Schwartz

Academy Of Urban Planning
Bushwick’s Building Historical Preservation

Interviewed: Wilking Vega

Wilking Vega is 29 years old man. He is of Puertorican background, but most of his life he has lived in New York. He is a firefighter in the NYC Fire Department and a paramedic in different hospitals in NYC. He has been serving as a paramedic since he was 18-years-old and as firefighter for around two years. He answers the questions based on his work and life experience.


1. Do you think that preservation of buildings is important, why?
Yes, I think that the preservation of buildings is important because they are records of important events.

2. What buildings do you think are important for preservation in Bushwick, why?
The Masonic Temple should be preserved because it is a very complex building that had a very defined original purpose. It was also an expensive building.

3. What roles do you think these buildings played in the past in Bushwick?
I think that the Masonic Temple was the home or central location for the Masons of the past. This was the home of a secret society (if we could say it like that) that influenced, in part, the development of Bushwick and Brooklyn.

4. What roles do you think these buildings play today in Bushwick?
These buildings are reminders and could be considered stakeholders of the original Bushwick.

5. How do you know about the existence of these buildings?
I know about the existence of this building because it is very different from the others and we had to studied these kind of buildings (for their structure and composition) to know what to do if a fires happen.

6. How you did you know that the buildings were historic or important?
Sometimes for their old look and old compositions, but mostly when I make revisions for the Fire Dept.

7. Do you think they are safe for people, why?
Definitely, this building is safer than other recent buildings in Brooklyn because of its elements and compounds in its structure. But with all that, this building still needs some improvements or changes to make it safer.

8. How many buildings do you think should be preserved in Bushwick, why?
I can’t really tell you numbers, but I think that around 10%-20% of Bushwick’s buildings should be preserved. Most of the old buildings in Bushwick are made or composed of wood and that makes it more susceptible to fires.

9. Do you think that the community of Bushwick could help with the preservation of these buildings? How?
Sure, why not? The community of Bushwick could help with their opinions about this. Their worries and their voice that would let the government know what they want in the community or neighborhood–with this you could have a strong Pro-preservation movement.