11.28.2008

Westside's Fire Station 21

Fire station 21 on the West Side Neighborhood of St Paul served the area until 1943. Growing up in the West Side neighborhood of St Paul and living rather close to this fire station, I knew very little about it's history. Built in 1920, Engine House #21 resides on the southwest corner of Ohio Street and Baker Street. The fire station at 643 Ohio Street was modeled after Station 18 on University Avenue and was used until 1943. It has since housed a VFW, a German gymnasium [the Turnverein's] and presently residential for a shipwright and a photographer. What stands out to me is, until recently, I never knew this was originally a fire station.

One thing of note, the size of the garage doors were built for a horse drawn wagon. This explains why it was abandon after 23 years of service. The size of this fire station was one of the smallest in the city, when engine drawn firetrucks became the norm, the larger fire stations had their garage doors widened to accommodate the size of the trucks. This station was left intact as it was easier to build a brand new building.

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