02/03/15 522 W, 3 I - + 6 - 8 Old Engine 4 and Other Bungalow Fire Stations

For those who have wandered by old Station 4 of late, the Jefferson Street fire station is undergoing renovations. The property was sold in 2014 to local developer James Goodnight. He's the son of his famous father and has been restoring Raleigh's historic structures years now. Read this Independent Weekly story on same from January 2014.

(The property was originally purchased by Donald and Laurie Stewart in 1963, upon the station's relocation to Wake Forest Road. Mr. Stewart passed away in 1997, and ownership of the property was retained by his heirs. Source: County tax records.)

Looking through the windows on the weekends, there appears to be steady work underway inside. On the outside of the building, the most obvious exterior enhancement are the original station letters. They've been restored to their original place above the apparatus bay.

Looks like the roof and chimneys have had some work as well. Maybe rebuilt on the right side, as facing the structure. See some photos from December. Or view measured drawings of the structure (PDF) by local architect John Reese.

(There's tons more on my history page including the 1926 construction bid document and the 1996 city historic property designation. Plus the original log book entries. See also this history of all Station 4 locations. Also see these interior photos from a neighborhood event in 2005.)

Bungalow Fire Stations 

Old Station 4 was the first single-story fire station in the history of Raleigh's career fire department. Two decades later, Station 6 followed in a rented one-story building. Then Station 7 built in 1959 and the first in a decades-long string of similar designs.

The Jefferson Street station is also what we'd call a "bungalow fire station." They're uncommon but not unheard in North Carolina. Let's look around and see how many others have been built.

First, let's define "bungalow." One-story house and typically with covered porch. Next, let's define "bungalow fire station." One-story engine house that was designed to resemble a house and may include a covered porch. Apparatus bay is part of the structure, versus adjoining section. And for the purposes of this discussion, let's say a single bay.

City Station Address Built Closed Status
Asheville 2 197 Bartlett Street 1923 1975 Demolished.
Durham 4 619 McMannan Street 1926 1958 Demolished.
Greensboro 5 442 S. Mendenhall Street 1919 1964 Private residence.
Greensboro 7 800 Church Street 1924 1957 Also called the Northside Fire Station. Later Civil Defense office. Demolished.
Greensboro 8 1735 W. Lee Street 1925-26 1970 Appears privately owned, but empty.
New Bern 3 1700 National Avenue 1955 2003 Used by Parks and Recreation department.
Raleigh 4 505 Jefferson Street 1926 1963 Privately owned, under renovation.
Winston-Salem 8 2417 Reynolda Road 1957 n/a Active.

Close but no cigar? Consider these with double-wide apparatus bays, versus the "single bay" stations above:

City Station Address Built Closed Status
Hickory 3 1471 1st Avenue SW 1948 1983 Also called Highland Fire Station. Currently a "family care center."
Salisbury 2 1402 S. Main Street 1942 1980 City storage.

What others should be added to this list?

Here are pictures. Credits left to right are Asheville FD, Durham FD, Mike Legeros (2004), Greensboro History Museum, Mike Legeros (2004), Mike Legeros (2004), Mike Legeros (2014), Google Maps x 2, and Mike Legeros (2007). Click once or twice to enlarge:

Fascinating! However, unfortunately I have to question the lettering of the building since it’s not an active station. I love the idea the developer has reinstalled the letters! But I am curious of the legalities of doing such especially in this day in age where, in my opinion, a lot of people have to have their hand held tight through life and might stumble upon this place needing medical help. I’m sure you can guess where I am going with this. Sad, I agree but doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Wonder if the new owner will have to install a sign stating it’s not an active fire station?
Rescue Ranger - 02/04/15 - 10:06

What’s the difference in placing the letters on the old fire station vs. owning/parading in an antique piece of fire apparatus. Could such a person resort to legalities if they approached an antique piece of apparatus or old ambulance in a Raleigh Parade? Would the owner have to install a sign that reads “these red warning lights are only for looks, we don’t do medical emergencies”? The unfortunate world today is we worry too much about those ridiculous issues and don’t enjoy the history of our fire fighting pride.
CFD72 - 02/06/15 - 20:48

Mike you should add Goldsboro Station #4 at 1300 Poplar Street.
Adam - 02/07/15 - 12:21

Winston-Salem Station 8 and 9 are similar in appearance (built in 1957 & 1964 respectively). Station 8 however is due to be demolished this fiscal year or next with a more modern building to replace it and station 9 will get renovated with the addition of another bay and increased living space.
BFD1151 - 02/10/15 - 17:46

Intrigued by the use of folding doors here on this Stn 4, then for decades stations have been using roll-up doors, now many new stations are being built with the folding doors.
Chuk - 06/14/16 - 09:03

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