FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — A historic piece of property on East State Boulevard is now looking for a new tenant.
Old Firehouse Number 10 has been home to many businesses over the years, from a firehouse to a coffee shop, to a theatre and a call center, the property is looking for a new tenant. Now the station owners are sharing the unique property and its history with WANE 15.
“It offers that unique atmosphere with all the modern convivences,” co-owner Mark Nelson said. ” It’s truly one of a kind.”
Fort Wayne’s 10th firehouse was built in 1926 and put in service the following year. It was an active fire station until 1999 when firefighters Ray Easterly and Mark Nelson purchased it from the city.
“We are both firefighters and both love the old fire aspect and history,” co-owner Ray Easterly said. “It was a neat project, a neat plan, and a fun thing to do.”
“Yeah, it was a neat blend between saving a historical building was appealing to us,” Nelson said. “The fact it was a fire station made the appeal even more special.”
The pair purchased the property for $10 from the city with the promise of keeping the building’s historical features. After more than a year of restoring and modernizing the building, and putting well over six figures into the project, the old firehouse was ready for a tenant.
Over the years the firehouse has been many things, but the station’s history is still present.
The original lockers firefighters used are still in working order. One of the lockers holds a picture of the first firefighters to use the station in 1927. The owners have kept the picture in the locker behind a protective case.
The hose tower and equipment, while not working, can be seen from the kitchen by looking up.
In the later years of the firehouse, the city split the area where firetrucks used to park, bricking off space for firefighters to eat and relax and the area where one engine was parked. Easterly and Nelson removed the wall and opened the space back up.
Other features include restoring the ceiling and the two-bay doors where firetrucks used to back in. Now there’s central heating and air and outlet ports placed throughout the room for electrioncs.
New items to the building include adding a second bathroom and two office spaces where fighter fighters used to sleep. The second floor has space for a conference and/or storage room.
“We like to say this is adaptive reuse,” Easterly said. “This place is awesome and seeing it transform over the years has been cool.”
Take a tour of the property:
There are only a handful of old firehouses left in the city of Fort Wayne. Those left have also been restored by different people.
For both Easterly and Nelson, this was a first for them, and say it has been a privilege to restore the property.
To learn more about the fire house and how to lease the building click here.