Fire Station No. 1 (Roanoke, Virginia)

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Fire Station No. 1
Fire Station No. 1 (Roanoke, Virginia) is located in Virginia
Fire Station No. 1 (Roanoke, Virginia)
Fire Station No. 1 (Roanoke, Virginia) is located in the United States
Fire Station No. 1 (Roanoke, Virginia)
Location13 E. Church Ave., Roanoke, Virginia
Coordinates37°16′12″N 79°56′24″W / 37.27000°N 79.94000°W / 37.27000; -79.94000Coordinates: 37°16′12″N 79°56′24″W / 37.27000°N 79.94000°W / 37.27000; -79.94000
Area9.9 acres (4.0 ha)
Built1907 (1907)
Architectural styleEdwardian
NRHP reference #73002224[1]
VLR #128-0033
Significant dates
Added to NRHPMay 7, 1973
Designated VLRSeptember 19, 1972[2]

Fire Station No. 1 is a former fire station listed on the National Register of Historic Places in the Downtown neighborhood of the independent city of Roanoke, Virginia, U.S.A. Modeled after Philadelphia's Independence Hall,[3][4] Fire Station No. 1 served as one of the longest continuously operating fire stations in the Commonwealth of Virginia from its completion in 1907 through the opening of a replacement facility in 2007.[5][6] Designed by the Lynchburg firm of Huggins and Bates, No. 1 still stands as a monument to the civic pride of early Roanoke.[3] It is located in the Roanoke City Market Historic District.


With a purely volunteer force in place within the city beginning in 1882, the first paid firefighters were hired in 1906,[7] and ground was officially broken for No. 1 on February 19, 1906.[8] Completed by 1907, the station exhibits the Georgian Revival style of an Edwardian-era firehouse.[3] It features a limestone ashlar foundation and a solid brick facade with terracotta accents, topped with a bell tower that provided views of the entire city upon its completion.

By 1911 the city purchased their first engine powered fire truck stationed at No. 1. By 1918, horse-drawn fire wagons were totally phased out in favor of the engine-powered ones.[7]

Originally cast in 1886, the bell originally placed atop the structure in the bell tower was removed in 2001, restored and is now on display on the first floor of the station.[9] By 2003, the aging facility received a facelift to repair and restore the original limestone mortar on the facade. Additionally, the former bell tower was completely restored and the station was completely operational again by December.[10] Although officials stated that No. 1 would retain its status as a fully staffed fire station even with the completion of a replacement facility, the station stopped running fire and EMS calls on May 9, 2007.[11] Today the facility serves as a fire museum open to the general public and as a stable for the Roanoke Police Department's Mounted Patrol.[11]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09.
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Retrieved 19 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b c "National Register of Historic Places Nomination: Fire Station No. One" (PDF). September 1972. Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  4. ^ McCaffery, Jen (December 20, 2003). "Old and new come together at station". The Roanoke Times. pp. B3.
  5. ^ McConnel, Mark C. (September 1, 2005). "History, efficiency, safety and cost — Argue for saving Fire Station No. 1". The Roanoke Times. pp. B9.
  6. ^ Struzzi, Diane (June 16, 1994). "Things look up for firehouse". The Roanoke Times. pp. C1.
  7. ^ a b "Roanoke Fire Department History". Retrieved 2008-08-05.
  8. ^ Harris, Belinda (February 19, 2006). "Looking back". The Roanoke Times. pp. B2.
  9. ^ Clarke, Rachel (July 28, 2001). "Historic fire bell rung back to action". The Roanoke Times. pp. B1.
  10. ^ Nair, Lindsey (September 15, 2003). "Restoration begins on Roanoke's Fire Station No. 1, age 97". The Roanoke Times. pp. C1.
  11. ^ a b "Historic Fire-EMS Station #1". Retrieved 2008-08-05.

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