This gorgeous building was all dressed up for Christmas at the edge of bustling downtown Holland Michigan.
The Holland Old City Hall and Fire Station is a two-story brick structure with a low, flat-roofed addition. The facade is topped by a gabled parapet wall. A pointed, gable roof, Dutch Revival hose drying tower is placed on a front corner. The foundation is constructed of fieldstone. Window sills of the station are defined by a stone belt course. ♣
It is the oldest surviving public building in Holland. It was built in 1883-1884 and served as both City Hall and a fire station. ◊
Holland was settled in 1847, before this oldest building came to be, but about two-thirds of the Tulip City burned down in October of 1871. You may recall, this is also the date of the Great Chicago Fire. ♠
Strong winds which factored into the other major fires around the Great Lakes made fighting this fire extremely difficult. ♠
Nearly 200 homes were destroyed, although the fire caused only one death. Burned artifacts from the fire may be found today in the Holland Museum. ♠
There is an historical marker in front of the building that says HOLLAND CITY HALL AND FIREHOUSE NO. 2 The city of Holland bought this lot in 1882, and contractor James Huntley began construction of a fire hall the next year. Completed in 1884, the building housed Holland’s city offices and library until 1912, and served as a fire hall until 1978. During World War II the west annex was built. In 1983 the firehouse was rehabilitated for use as office space. Grooves in the engine house floor that provided traction for the horses have been filled, and the doors, once replaced to accommodate trucks, have been restored.
The building served as the city hall and fire station for the city until the 1910s, when a new city hall was constructed.
Additions to the building were completed in 1941, and the building served as a fire station for the city until 1977, when a replacement was constructed. The building was soon thereafter sold to private investors, who renovated the structure. ♣
Today the former City Hall and Firehouse No. 2 stands as a brick and mortar reminder of Holland’s past. The bench in front, wrought iron fence and greenery are a welcoming site for shoppers and others walking along 8th Street.
◊ Source; Historic Tour 821 brochure
♠ Source; Holland Sentinel Jul 23, 2016
♣ Source; Wikipedia