The Central Fire Station is located in downtown Davenport, Iowa, United States and serves as the headquarters of the Davenport Fire Department, as well as the downtown fire station. Built from 1901 to 1902, it is the oldest active fire station west of the Mississippi River and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The first group of firefighters in Davenport were organized in 1856 and called the Independent Fire Engine. The citys early fire fighting corps were all volunteer hook and ladder and hose companies, which were paid a fee to extinguish a fire. They were located throughout the city in makeshift quarters and generally possessed poor equipment, by 1880 the city determined it needed a professional, paid fire department. The Davenport City Council authorized the formation of a fire department in 1882. Marsh Noe was the first fire chief and twelve men made up the first paid fire department, the city’s first fire house, Hose Station No. 1, had built on Perry Street in 1877 for the Fire King Engine 2nd Hose Company. Before the turn of the 20th century the city built other small stations throughout the city. By 1901 the city decided it needed a new and larger fire station downtown, at this time there were six hose companies located throughout the city, a citywide alarm system was in place as well as a fire hydrant network. The city and its buildings in the area continued to grow in size. The fire department also grew in size so a station was needed to care for all of these realities. Local architect Gustav Hanssen was contracted to build the new station and he had designed several homes in the city including Sacred Heart Rectory, which is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The location of a double engine firehouse across West Fourth Street from the Scott County Court House was selected as the location for the new building, the building was opened in 1902, which makes it the oldest active fire station west of the Mississippi River. It was built at a cost of $21,000, as the city and the fire department grew a two-story annex was added to the rear of the building around 1940. It added three truck bays. The building continues to serve as a fire although it does have space. The station itself houses Engine 1, Engine 2, Truck 1, in 2015 the city addressed the space problems of the facility
Image: Central Fire Station Davenport, Iowa 2017 01
Postcard showing the Central Fire Station not long after its completion
Rear view of the fire station
The 2016 building on the left and the 1902 building on the right.