Adrian Engine House No. 1, photo submitted in 1989.
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Adrian Engine House No. 1
126 East Church Street, Adrian - Lenawee County
Property Type fire station
Historic Use GOVERNMENT/fire station
Current Use COMMERCE/TRADE/business
Style Italianate
Architect/Builder O. P. Smith
Narrative Description The Adrian Engine House No. 1 was constructed in 1855 and received major additions ca. 1867 and in 1877. The red-painted brick building with its seventy foot hose drying tower is a town landmark. Its architectural style is a provincial version of Romanesque Revival with Italianate influences. The principal facade, built in 1855, has a gabled parapet with a square arched corbel table and shaped wood cornice. A hip-roofed wood belfry at the center of the elevation is carried on a section of corbeled brick. The vehicular doors below are segmentally arched brick, with the brick arches delineated in white. The 1877 addition is also brick, but less developed. The upper story windows are flat arched. The same corbel table in brick is seen on the addition. The hose drying tower rises to the rear of the main building and is attached by a one-story brick passageway. The first two stories of the tower are brick, built in 1855, and the remainder is wood framed and was originally shingled. The tower is capped by an open hip-roofed cupola, with arched and screened openings.
Statement of Significance The Adrian Engine House No. 1 was built between 1855 and 1856 and was used by the fire department until 1987, making it Michigan's oldest existing fire station in continuous use. The building reflects the development of the town's and region's municipal services and government. Adrian's first fire department was organized in June 1841 of volunteers composing one engine company and Hook and Ladder Company. A second engine company formed in 1845. The membership of the companies included many community leaders. Local architect O. P. Smith designed the present building to house the Engine Company No. 1 and the Hook and Ladder Company No. 1. After much wrangling on the city council, the building was finally erected in 1856. The operations of the Adrian Fire Department were consolidated from two companies and houses into Engine House No. 1 in 1917. After the fire department vacated the building in 1987, the structure was adaptively re-used for office space.
Period of Significance 1826-1865
Significant Date(s) 1855-56
Registry Type(s) 08/21/1989 National Register listed
Site ID# P23893