The city of Detroit grew from 285,000 residents in 1900 to 497,000 ten years later and then to 1.6 million in 1930, thanks in large part, to the arrival of men who wished to work in the booming vehicle industry and their families. Tax revenue rose accordingly and the municipal government dramatically expanded facilities to serve the population. This was a prosperous era when many architecturally interesting schools and firehouses were built throughout the city. I would not be surprised to find that the Fire Department erected 50 or more houses or facilities in the years before 1930 when almost all new construction stopped in Detroit.
The fire department first located a building on this site in 1873 to serve the needs of the Corktown neighborhood. Many of the homes you see nearby on Leverette or Bagley were built in that era. At that time, Bagley was known as Baker and extended into downtown. It was later served by a busy street car line that went from downtown Detroit, to the Michigan Central Depot and into the Ford Rouge plant in Dearborn. The original firehouse at this site was replaced by the one you see. It was used by Engine Company #8 from 1918 until 1982 when that company relocated to the firehouse of Ladder Company #12 on West Lafayette. There are several websitesthat provide much information about the history of the Detroit Fire Department. Unfortunately, I was not able to find much information about the design of this building. Because of the tremendous investments the city made in producing substantial, durable and attractive buildings, Detroit schools and firehouses from the first three decades of the last century lend themselves to reuse. This firehouse has been remodeled and now serves as the offices of several law firms.
Date of construction: 1918
Architect: Unknown to me
Use in 2012: Offices for several law firms
Website focused upon the history of the Detroit fire department http://detroitfirefighters.net/index.html
City of Detroit Designated Historic District: Not listed
State of Michigan Registry of Historic Sites: This firehouse is within the Corktown Historic District. P34,985,
Listed July 31, 1978
National Register of Historic Places: This firehouse is within the Corktown Historic District. #78001517, Listed July 31, 1978.
Photograph: Ren Farley; April 20, 2012
Description prepared: April, 2012
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