Fire Hall’s Remake Sets up New Historical Links

beforephoto-DD afterphotoDeanDixon

(Above) “Before and after” of the Fire Hall for Engine Company No. 18 on Gallatin Ave., known as “The Station.” – photos by Dean Dikon

Five years after a fire scorched its walls, the Fire Hall for Engine Company No. 18 is being recognized as the     newest addition to the National Register of Historic Places, adding new characters to Nashville’s changing story – this one also has a new name, The Station.

Following Tennessee Historic Commission guidance and a material checklist provided by the national register, the interior of the 3,166-square-foot building has been completely restored to align with the designs of the original structure, built in 1930. Facing Gallatin Road, the front entrance into the 86-year-old, brick one-story building is humble by today’s standards and resembles a residence in scale and materials, a trend in fire hall design in the early 20th century.

“We wanted to be historically accurate,” said Karen Goodlow, owner of the building. “We saved and salvaged everything we could possibly reuse, which created a lot of extra work.”

Goodlow, an interior designer and entrepreneur living in East Nashville, admitted that she is especially excited about moving her interior design business into the space. Her office and showroom of reclaimed and salvage materials will not only occupy the former engine bay, but is now architecturally linked to her passion for restoration, as are the four other spaces in the building she will lease.

Before the renovation, the building was under a demolition order.

Goodlow realizes that since this property has been an important part of Nashville, so expectations will be high from preservationists and the public alike.

“This property will always be an important part of Nashville Fire Department history and a valued and dearly loved part of the community to those who feel connected to it,” she said.

In an effort to provide a complete application for the National Register of Historic Places, officials with the Historic Commission and National Park Service conducted a walk through.

“We were surprised to find out that most of what we did on the interior of the space needed to be approved by them,” Goodlow said.

The Fire Hall for Engine Company No. 18, one of three fire stations built on the outskirts of town following the city’s annexation, has outlasted its neighbor and previous owner, WalMart Market, which shut its doors this summer.

If preservation and growing the business balance, there should be plenty of work still to do. Nashville is encountering a historic boom in population, which includes a doubling of homes being sold over the past five years.

During Wednesday’s update to the register, the Tennessee Historical Commission also announced the addition to the register of the Jackson Park Historic District in East Nashville and the Dr. Thomas H. Price House in Covington, Tennessee.