Project Description

The Highland Park Fire Department Headquarters was built in 1911.  The Highland Park Fire Department Headquarters was located at 20 Gerald Street, near the corner of Woodward Avenue, in downtown Highland Park, Michigan.  The Highland Park Fire Department Headquarters is very similar in design of the Highland Park Municipal Building.  It was designed in Classical Revival architectural style by the Detroit-based architects, Marcus R. Burrowes and Frank Eurich.  The Highland Park Fire Department Headquarters was a brick, two-story structure (the hose-tower rises another floor), with limestone details.  The exterior of the building was ornate.  It was fitted with a terra cotta cornice and featured a limestone crown, consisting of intricate lion-heads and stone dentals, that went all the way around the building.  The front of the building had three-large bay doors, where the fire engines would pull in and out of.  On the front of the building and above the bay doors, cut into the limestone detail was “CITY OF HIGHLAND PARK FIRE DEPARTMENT.”  The interior floors throughout the building were terrazzo, hardwood, or composite floor tile, and in some areas, were even covered with carpet.  Many of the original details included, magnificent wood trimming, stone casings, and even a brick fireplace, with a limestone shield above it that read the letters “HP” for Highland Park.

When the structure was built in 1911, it was originally the City of Highland Park’s municipal building.  It only remained as the city’s municipal building for a few years, as the “new” Highland Park Municipal Building was built next door in 1927.  With the “new” the Highland Park Municipal Building, the former location was  converted into the Highland Park Fire Department Headquarters.  When it was first established as The Highland Park Fire Department Headquarters in 1927, it served the residents of  Highland Park, Michigan and responded to all of the fires that happened inside the Highland Park city limits.  At the time, it was the only fire station in Highland Park.  The Highland Park Fire Department Headquarters closed in 2005, due to city budget constraints.  Highland Park’s fire services were moved and spread out to the other fire stations around Highland Park and Detroit.

The Highland Park Fire Department Headquarters was located in the same complex as the Highland Park Police Headquarters and the Highland Park Municipal Building.  The City of Highland Park is a suburb of Detroit, that is surrounded by Detroit, basically making it an extension of Detroit.  Highland Park has suffered from the exact same epidemics as Detroit, such as bankruptcy, corruption, and abandonment.

As of 2015, the Highland Park Fire Department Headquarters still sits abandoned.  The building sat wide-open for a number of years and it certainly shows.  Vandalism and theft have degraded the building’s fixtures, furnishings, and it’s historic architectural details.  The whole backside of the building is collapsed and it is dangerous to enter.  Now, the new Highland Park fire station keeps a close-eye on the abandoned structure, as it sits directly across the street.  There are no current plans for demolition or redevelopment.