Fire Station 1 History
The new hose carriage house was built in 1870 and dedicated in February 1871. The site for it, purchased from Oliver White for $1,765, was located at the junction of Washington Street and Boylston Street, adjacent to Mr. White's block (part of the site of the present Fire Station). Initially, the lot was considered large enough to store a fire steam engine and to house a police station, among other functions (45 feet by 46 feet). The preliminary plan called for a building costing $8,000 with the interior to be finished as the occasion demanded.
New Station Construction
To construct the new station, 2 older wooden fire buildings at the site were removed. The old engine house was removed to the Milldam and the old hook and ladder house was moved to Boylston Street and altered. The new building was designed by Louis Weissbein in the Mansard style. It was a 2-story brick structure, 45 feet by 46 feet, with a 60-foot-high hose tower, which was furnished with an 800-pound bell. The first floor contained the engine room and stable as well as 4 cells for the police lockup. The Company Hall and 2 additional police rooms were located on the second floor. A large hall and 4 lodging rooms were on the third floor. The final cost of the new station was $13,000.
Beginning in 1878 and continuing for several years, rooms on the second floor were used as schoolrooms for 80 children. It was not a satisfactory location since the rooms were above the stable and the fumes wafted up to the school above. The Good Intent Hose Company moved into the new building and a company was formed to take care of the hook and ladder carriage. In 1874, Steamer 1, built by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, was bought and introduced into service. By 1880, this station housed Hose Company 1 and Steam Fire Engine 2. This old firehouse was considered outdated and was torn down in September 1907, to make way for the modern edifice.
The Present Station
The present station was designed and built in 1907-1908. The architects who won the architectural competition were Freeman, Funk and Wilcox. It is a brick and limestone Renaissance Revival building with a large hose tower. A public bathhouse, designed by Alexis French, the town engineer, was constructed adjoining it in 1909. In 1972, this station was remodeled.