08/18/13 455 W, 1 I - + 3 - 2 Historic and Former Firehouses of Springfield, IL


Eight fire station buildings in the birthplace of Honest Abe. Also the State Capitol of Illinois. Also, maybe, the hometown of the Simpsons. Shot these in May 2010. How did that happen? Was visiting my wife's family, who live in Bloomington, IL1. Needed something to do, so took a day trip to Springfield, which is 85 minutes south. Figured they'd probably have a few historic firehouses that I could find. Best as recalled, my first stop was the local library. Found one or more fire department history books, or maybe also old city directories. Then probably used a library computer and Google Street View to find those fire station buildings still standing. (Really can't remember, but it's a safe presumption.) Used GPS to locate these eight structures2. Now here's the kicker. Never kept a copy of my notes, it seems. Forgot about these shots until this week. Loaded them into their own Flickr gallery, and re-researched the buildings. Have located all but one, the white house-looking building. No idea regarding its location. Still looking, and have reached out to SFD. See more photos.

Update: Sanborn fire insurance maps helped me locate the mysterious white building, it's a two-story residence on Elizabeth just north of the intersection of Garfield. There was a fire station on the corner, Station 8, and the house was perhaps my best attempt at identifying a potential former firehouse at/near that location. As shown on the maps, the fire station building was instead a one-story affair. It was located there by 1917, but was gone by 1952. The building that housed the fire station also appears to have been replaced, when comparing the subsequent building diagram. Other since-demolished fire stations in Springfield (from the maps) include: Station 6 on East South Grand Avenue on the southeast corner of South 4th Street, Station _ in the 300 block of South 4th Street, east side, between East Monroe and East Capitol Avenue, Station 2 in the 300 block of East Jefferson, north side, between North 3rd and North 4th streets, and Station 1 in the 700 block of E. Monroe, south side, just east of the old City Hall, between South 7th and South 8th streets.
 

 
1
And which is why my Flickr collection of historic firehouse galleries also features Bloomington/Normal, IL, and other places visited for purposes of family, such as Des Moines, IA, and the Quad Cities. Every trip should have a couple projects to complete, says Mike.
2One of those structures is the old State Fairgrounds firehouse, now the Illinois State Fire Museum. Built in 1938, it housed the state fair fire department for a number of years (or decades). Don't know if it was a seasonal entity.





Hi, The fire station located at 1901 N. Elizabeth St. is still standing and was never torn down in the early 50’s as many thought. I know this to be a fact because I own the bulding and was given a permit to do some demo work on the building and found this amazing brick structure underneath. The building was built in 1885 and was ridgely city hall and jail ( the jail window is still there and intact). it later became a springfield fire station around 1907 when Ridgely annexed into springfield. The sangamon co historical society has done a paper on the building which you can read at http://sangamoncountyhistory.org/wp/?p=7.. if you have any uestions or would like to come see the building please feel free to email me at somthinboughtatruck@gmail.com
mary young (Email) - 08/27/15 - 12:30



  
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