Rebuild The Station
Rebuild The Station
Abandonment, neglect, and a fire in 2011 have left this beloved historic Nashville landmark at risk of being lost forever.
Abandonment, neglect, and a fire in 2011 have left this beloved historic Nashville landmark at risk of being lost forever. Read more
The Historic Fire Hall for Engine Co.18 is known and loved by many. It served as a fire station from 1930 to 1986. Due to neglect, the building became an eyesore to the community and eventually a homeless camp. After an accidental but devastating fire in 2011, it has since been sitting and deteriorating with a demolition order on it by the codes department.
My name is Karen Goodlow. I'm an interior designer with a passion for historic architecture. I am one of many East Nashville residents who have driven by the fire hall many times, wondering what would become of this beautiful building and hoping it would not be torn down and lost forever. So I began to research, inquire, and pursue the fire hall diligently for over a year.
In all honesty, taking ownership of a severely damaged commercial building, doing a historic renovation, and committing to the huge cost involved scared my husband Gary and I to death. But we realized this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. We had vision that it could be a beautiful repurposed building that would serve the community once again, and that artists, creative people, and small business owners could enjoy this historic landmark, and thrive in it.
When we announced our new ownership of the fire hall, the response from the community was nothing short of overwhelming. We had no idea this building and its history meant so much to so many. There was a huge outpouring of joy, relief, and gratitude from so many firefighters and paramedics who previously served there as well as from people in the community. Many shared special memories of the fire hall from their childhoods and how it was part of their family history. We realized seeing the fire hall resored was a dream come true for so many people, and it made this endeavor more rewarding than we ever dreamed.
We're using all of our personal resources and risking everything by taking on this restoration. As the renovation process has begun, some unanticipated "budget busting" expenses have surfaced, of course the biggest being the discovery that the water and sewer lines were severed. We also discovered severe structural termite damage in all the structural supporting floor joists in every area except the engine bay.
We are launching this campaign because we have seen and felt the community rallying around the fire hall and the effort to restore it. Many have asked us how they can help, so we are offering this opportunity to be part of the restoration effort for The Historic Firehall for Engine Co. 18. We've got some nice rewards in store to make it worth your while.
Risks and challenges
The cost to restore this historic gem is about three times it's current value. Sounds crazy, which is why developers everywhere are tearing stuff down. But to us, the value of what this historic landmark means to the community is priceless. Because we feel strongly about that, we're willing to do whatever it takes to make this happen.
All of the floors aside from the concrete engine bay area were sunken and very unsafe. We knew that going in. We knew asbestos tile removal had to be factored in to our costs. What we did not know until the subfloor was removed, was that the majority of it was deteriorated. In many areas the floor joists were being held up only by the pipes below.
Although we've had some bad news and added costs here and there, we know the reward of having this restored building serve the community once again will be priceless.
We anticipate having a creative, collaborative environment that helps our local economy. The main engine bay will house local fine art, locally roasted coffee, architectural antiques, and artisan crafted items made from repurposed materials. We also look forward to having art shows, music nights, events, and art classes. In short, the building will be open for the public to enjoy. We'll also have artist studios and small business spaces available for lease. We want to see small businesses, and artists thriving in a place where there's creativity, community, and coffee.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)