Old Fire Station 18
3130 West Washington Street, Indianapolis
Sounding the Alarm
Pierre & Wright designed Fire Station 18, built in 1936 at Washington Street and Tibbs Avenue on the Indianapolis’s west side, at the edge of the former Central State Hospital. IFD replaced the Art Deco-style station in 1994 and it has been vacant, neglected, and graffiti-tagged ever since.
American Builder magazine highlighted the station in 1937 with photos that showed the curvilinear walls of windows flanking the central fire truck bays. The magazine praised the station’s “functional modernism,” noting that its compact single-floor layout eliminated the need for the classic bell tower and brass pole.
If the building is allowed to deteriorate further, it may lose the chance for recovery. “We hope the 10 Most listing helps us identify developers or a potential user, so we can convince the city to sell the corner property before the building is so far gone it gets scrapped for a convenience store-gas station,” says Mark Dollase, Indiana Landmarks’ Vice President of Preservation Services.
Saving threatened buildings takes teamwork. You can be a part of that team. Reach out to local leaders. Let them know these buildings are important to you. And support state and local preservation groups.