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Grand Rapids in 1856

Scene of early Grand Rapids viewed from the...

Engine House No. 11

Engine House No. 11

Engine House #11 faces Chester St. at the Corner of Diamond Ave. The two story brick building has two bays, and housing for firefighters occupies the second floor. 


Full Details

TitleEngine House No. 11
Current AddressSE corner Chester St. and Diamond Ave SE
Pre 1912 AddressSE corner Chester St. and Diamond Ave SE
ArchitectWilliamson & Crowe
ContractorHayden & Appleyard
Date Constructed1902
Original OwnerBoard of Police and Fire Commissioners
Original UseEngine House
NeighborhoodEast Hills
Information SourceArchitect - GR Press 11/15/1902, pg. 11

Originally referred to as Steam Engine and Hose Wagon No. 11, the Chester Street Fire Station, as it is now known, is the oldest active fire station in the Grand Rapids Fire Department.

Richardsonian Romanesque is the architectural style of this very well-designed public building. Design characteristers are: asymetrical massing; a decorative wall texture created by the brickwork, varigated on the first floor and smooth on the second; the row of wide, round-arch (Romanesque) windows, as well as the double-hung windows with (not quite) transom windows above.  Although the dormer is quite typical, the wide, over-hanging eaves of the roof give it an almost Prairie style look.
This style is named for Henry Hobson Richardson, 1838-1886, a Boston architect who developed his own personal style based upon Romanesque forms. The style was popular from 1880 to 1900 - more often applied to public buildings than to houses.  Unfortunately, he died at age 48.

Thank you to Rebecca Smith-Hoffman of Past Perfect Inc. for the architectural description.

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