Friday, October 09, 2009

Sandusky’s Central Fire and Police Station, 1890

In 1888, Sandusky’s leaders saw the need for a new building to house the city’s police and fire departments. Following a “series of complications” the contract for the new building was awarded to A. Feick and Bros. The new Central Police and Fire Station was built of native blue limestone, and trimmed in Michigan red sandstone. It had a frontage of 81 feet, and a depth of 120 feet. The main tower was 94 feet high. The building was on the south side of Market Street, between Columbus Avenue and Jackson Streets, just a few doors down from the U.S. Post Office and Customs House.

On October 9, 1890, the new building was opened for inspection. The October 10, 1890 Sandusky Register front page article reported that at the inspection, “the firemen and police patrolmen were attired in their best uniforms and wore their happiest smiles.”

The large new structure was divided into two sections, one for the police department and the other for the fire department. It included space for storing the police patrol wagon and the fire department equipment. Offices for the city marshal and captain of the police were on the second floor. There were enough prison cells for sixteen males and four females. In the basement of the building was a department known as the "tramps' reception room." The Central Police and Fire Station also had offices for the city electrician and the mayor's court. The fireman's chamber was spacious enough to hold thirteen beds and thee sliding poles. Food for the horses necessary for the horse-drawn vehicles was stored in the hay loft. On the third floor was a large hall to be used for holding large public gatherings.

Steam heated the new building, and there was lighting by both gas and electricity. Furniture for the new Police and Fire Stations was provided by J. Krupp & Son, Kugler & Marquart, and Deck & Andres, all local firms. Carpets, linoleums and mattings were purchased from John J. and George A. Esch. The article in the Sandusky Register continues with brief biographies of several Sandusky firemen and policemen, and gives further details about the contractors of the new building.

Below is a photograph of the Central Police and Fire Station in 1901. The building is draped with flags and mourning ribbons following the death of President McKinley who died on September 14, 1901. Several firemen and policeman can be seen outside the station. A. Steffenhagen’s saloon is to the east of the Central Police and Fire Station.

The building which began as the Central Police and Fire Station building in 1890 went on to serve as the City Building from 1915 until 1958. The new City Building on Meigs Street was dedicated in May, 1958.

No comments: