Standing at the east end of downtown Holland’s shopping district, is the old city hall and Firehouse. I wonder how many people notice this stately old building while they are out shopping or enjoying a meal at one of the pubs. I know it’s not forgotten for there’s a historical marker out front recalling its history. The sign says
The city of Holland bought this lot in 1882, and contractor James Huntley began construction of a fire hall the next year. Completed in 1884, the building housed Holland’s city offices and library until 1912 and served as a fire hall until 1978. During World War II the west annex was built. In 1983 the firehouse was rehabilitated for use as office space. Grooves in the engine house floor that provided traction for the horses have been filled, and the doors, once replaced to accommodate trucks have been restored.
On March 8, 1884, some 150 people attended the Columbia Fire Engine Company’s oyster supper celebration honoring Holland’s new city hall and firehouse. The solid brick building reflects the desire for “fire proof” construction following the 1871 fire that devastated the city. The city clerk and a special committee consulted with the Grand Rapids firm of Robinson and Barnaby, and designed the structure with a tower to accommodate drying fifty-foot unfolded fire hoses. Originally a cupola topped the tower.
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