Original Firehouse No2 was a wood-framed structure (above left) located on the northeast corner of Washington & Commercial. This was home to Springfield’s first non-volunteer firefighters, and the station which was the origin of today’s paid Springfield Fire Department. The original Firehouse No2 caught fire in the early 1900’s, at the turn of the last century, causing the complete loss of original structure and a need for a new fire station.
Historic Firehouse No2 as it exists today, at the head of Boonville Avenue, was built a mere 4 blocks to the west by the city as they simply built a front and back wall between existing buildings on either side of Boonville. This is why the popular “Ghost Signs” or turn of the century advertisements can be seen (and often used a photographic backdrops) upstairs in the Studio Bridal Area and in the offices of Historic Firehouse No2.
Another fire in 1987 completely destroyed the building next door. It burned to the ground, damaging the east wall which was all that was left of the building that burned down. Once again, the need to build another Fire Station No2 caused the 3rd Fire Station No2 to be built to the west, almost to Grant Avenue which is where it is to this day. The silver lining to this cloud was the opportunity to create a garden space where a structure had stood for over 100 years.
In 1995, Collette Parker Restoration (Mary Collette & Paul Parker, above) purchased the Historic Firehouse and the vacant lot next door. Needless to say, the site of today’s Courtyard Garden didn’t look anything like it does today. It was acting as stormwater detention basin for the neighborhood, as you can see for yourself:
Five years later and after massive restoration efforts (which continue to this day!) we became Historic Firehouse No2, a public event venue. We consider ourselves one of the city’s most unique venues as we have maintained the industrial flavor of this 115 year old fire station and restored her preserving as much original material as possible with an eye to sustainability and minimal impact on the environment. We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to rescue this amazing building and then to be able to share it with you. We finally realized, Historic Firehouse No2 just wants to party!