This building replaced an earlier fire station located on the same property that dated to 1892. This new fire station was the product of a public bond, authorized by Topeka’s voters in 1926, specifically for the improvement of the City’s firefighting capabilities, and the construction of new fire stations to accommodate the expansion and development of Topeka’s western suburbs.
Fire Station #4 – 2019
Fire Station #4 – circa 1930
It was constructed during a national period of transition in the design and construction of fire houses, a transition both in terms of building materials, and also in the types and technologies of equipment and personnel they were intended to house. The 1st quarter of the 20th Century saw the transition away from the horse and pump-wagon toward the adoption of the newer technology of the internal combustion engine fire truck.
This development meant that the inclusion of a stable to house a team of horses was no longer necessary. The transition away from the horse and wagon furthermore meant that architects could use a much more reliable array of building materials for fire house construction, such as concrete, tile, and brick. These new building materials then lead to significantly cleaner fire stations, especially within the living quarters of full-time fire fighters.
Frank C. Squires, the architect for Fire Station No. 4, designed the station with a blend of the architectural styles of Collegiate Gothic, and remains largely intact, retaining all of its architectural features dating to its original construction.