Fire Station 10
I had waited a long time for this one. There are a few old hose houses in Evansville, but none in their original modeling such as this one. I was ecstatic to have an opportunity to check this out. I went on the hottest day possible and of course, this place had no air conditioning. It was well worth the trip.
I couldn't find too much information on the history of this place. It was built sometime in the 1880's back when they used horse drawn carriages that held the extinguishers. The original stable is no longer there, but there was quite a bit left from it's early days. This was actually used until 1977 when they built a brand new Fire Station 10 right across the street. The current owner bought it shortly after and has used it for storage since. The building is actually in pretty decent shape. It could use some cosmetic work, but the owner has taken care of the roof so it's fairly well preserved.
This picture, taken in 1979 just a couple years after it was closed, is the only historic picture of it I could find. It looks very similar now but the top windows are now boarded and the restroom in the very back left of the picture is gone.
Courtesy of the Willard Library Archives
Here are some external shots. You'll notice the hook on the roof. That was left from the old days when they had to hoist up hay to feed the horses. The window was bricked up years ago, but the hook remains.
|Taken from the new station.||Back of the building. On the right you can see what used to be a bathroom that was torn down at one point.||Where the stable used to stand. I think this was used as a parking lot after the horse became obsolete.|
A closer look reveals some of the treasures left behind.
|The hook.||A look at the wall. How nice.||My access point.|
Getting in was pretty easy. The owner was extremely nice and let me in. Infiltration's fun, but it's also nice to be allowed in. He showed me the different parts of the building and their use. He was a really great guy to drive all the way across town to let a stranger in. I told him I wanted to buy this place and turn it into a house. I think he's probably heard that one a lot. This place truly is amazing.
The main room was pretty big and spanned the length of the building. This is where the carriage and later the fire engines sat poised for battle. This hose house was somewhat unusual to the tradition design because it had not one, but two fire poles. Unfortunately, they were not brass. Instead, they were very rusty. This room is used to store old pipe organs. I really wanted to bust out Toccata and Fugue, but none of them were assembled.
|Right inside the door looking north towards the garage door.||A closer look at where the wall angles out. You can see the where the plaster is peeled revealing the bricks underneath.||One of the garage doors.|
|The other garage door and a wider shot of the main room.||Looking up at one of the poles in the main room.||Next to the stairs, there is this old sink.|
In the back of the main room was the old kitchen area. All appliances are long since gone, but the room is still impressive in it's own right. It even had it's own window to the main room shown on the bottom left picture. I'm not sure what is was used for as it was two feet away from the door, but it was still neat.
|Turning around you can see the back of the main room and entrance to kitchen.||The old kitchen area.||Other side of the kitchen.|
The main room and kitchen, as impressive as they are, where in the worst shape of the whole building. The upstairs rooms were completely empty and besides some peeling paint looked pretty livable.
|The stairs is a straight shot from the door I came in. It's also right next to the kitchen area.||
On the stairs, you can see how high up the ceiling is on the stairwell.
|Just up the stairs, this is the main hallway for the 2nd floor.|
There were two living rooms and a bathroom upstairs. Both living rooms had their own fire pole, but they were right next to each other and were connected by a door. The first room checked out is what I like to call the Bat Room. This is mainly because the biggest bat I've ever seen resided in there and started flying in circles around us when we went in.
|Bat Room. The door to the left leads to the attic.||Facing out at the windows.||Different angle of the Bat Room.|
|A close up of a window in the Bat Room. You can see why the building is boarded up.||Bat closet.|
The adjacent living room was pretty much the same thing but just a bit larger and had a bathroom.
|Other room facing east.||Same room facing more north.||Fire pole. You can see the old doors to it.|
|The pole. I didn't smoke it. There is part of the closet for this room and next to that is the door to the Bat Room.|
I have a thing for bathrooms in abandoned buildings as you'll notice. I don't think anyone has read the newspaper in here since it was closed.
|Nice shower stall though.|
Now it's time for the third floor. Accessed through the Bat Room, it was really amazing. The stairs were questionable, but didn't break under my weight. The best part about this was the bell tower. This building was built in the 1880's. Even though Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1874, it took many years before it was advanced enough for emergency use. For many years, it could take up to 20 minutes for an operator to connect your call not to mention the fact that not everyone had one. So what they would do is have lookout posts at the top of the buildings to spot for smoke. When they would see a fire they would ring the bell alerting the firefighters. Pretty cool really.
|The creaky stairs.||This letter was on the wall next to the stairs. I have no idea what is means or when it was left there, but I'm sure there's a story to it.||The first thing I saw up the stairs. Pigeon shit. You had to watch your step up here, some of the flooring was missing.|
|The supports for the room and side of the building.||Off the stairs looking north towards the bell tower room.||Bell tower room. Up those stairs is the roof access hatch. The bell used to be housed in here.|
Going back down the main stairs.
Overall a great building to explore. Definitely my favorite building to date. If I ever do get a chance to turn this into a house, you can guarantee I'll have some of the greatest parties imaginable. Until then, if ever.