Sunday, June 19, 2016

The State Street Station

In 1890, not long after the completion of City Hall the city council was considering the construction of a new Fire Department “Truck House” for State Street, even though Company No.1 was housed just three blocks to the north at the Phoenix Fire House.  The process moved quickly with the purchase of a vacant lot just north of City Hall.  William Waters drew the plans and a construction contract was let to Louis Houle with work started on the twenty first of July.  Waters specified the same types of building materials as used in the City Hall. 
The foundation and trim was of Oshkosh Blue Limestone and the brick was red pressed brick.  There were many terracotta plaques decorating the exterior walls.  The original building was a display of symmetry; with a lime stone foundation there were two large limestone arched door at the center flanked by entry door.  Above the entry doors were decorative rectangular terracotta plaques and between the equipment door was a circular plaque.  A course of limestone formed the lentils of the entry doors and more limestone delineated the first and second floors.  At the center of the second floor front elevation was a large terracotta plaque inscribed with O. F. D. surrounded by floral flourishes, either side of which were large windows.  Above the entry doors were narrow window capped the lentils of limestone and across the whole of the building was decorative brick work like a window pane lattices, divided by pilasters at either end and to the inside of the narrow windows.  The front of the structure was topped off by two more courses of limestone.           
It's unclear when, but not long after the fire house was finished an addition was proposed.  It is clear that William Waters was the architect because the extension was a seamless match to the original building.  About a third more was added to the south side of the structure using the same building materials and deign motifs.  On the first floor there was a limestone arched equipment door and to the left an entry door above which was a decorative terracotta plaque.  On the second floor was a single large window centered over the arch below it.  To either side of the widow, like book ends were inscribed terracotta plaques.  At some point the arched equipment door were altered to accommodate larger apparatus and the building continued to serve until 1970 when it razed and replaced by a parking lot. 


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