Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Indiana Landmarks recently published their 10 Most Endangered List for 2017 and Pierre & Wright's Fire Station #18 is featured prominently on the list. A stylish Art Deco fire station built in 1936 on Indianapolis' west side, the building served the Indianapolis Fire Department handsomely until it was replaced in 1994 and left vacant.
A few years ago, Edward Pierre's granddaughter donated a large collection of the architect's papers, photographs, and other materials he collected over his long career. In the papers, he cited Fire Station #18 as one of his favorite buildings he designed. He matched fashionable design elegantly with the utilitarian needs of men who needed efficiency in their race to save lives and property. Pierre was proud to live in Indianapolis and worked very hard throughout his career to make it a better city for its citizens. He was proud to design important buildings like the Indiana State Library, but also proud to design small, utilitarian buildings like Fire Station #18. From gas stations to libraries and office buildings, Pierre infused every project with the best design he could produce.
Today the former fire station at Washington Street and Tibbs Avenue sits ready for redevelopment to transform it into its next life. Perhaps a restaurant, a residence, or an office will find its new home there. No matter what, the building will serve its purpose with style and grace straight from one of the greatest architects in Indiana history.
Images: Fire Station #18 rendering by Leslie Ayres, 1936. Pierre & Wright Architectural Records, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.
Current photo by Evan Hale, Courtesy of Indiana Landmarks.