Central Fire Station
Ruston's first fire station was completed in 1907 on property donated by the city's founder Robert Edwin Russ. The large parcel of land Russ provided was used for Ruston's first school and later a power plant. The farmer's market is currently on the property. The large parking lot behind the fire station was once the location of the town's opera house. This structure for the fire department was completed in 1926.
Central Fire Station
September 16, 1907
Confederate veterans in front of the opera house, c. 1900
Backstory and Context
The Ruston Central Fire Station stands on a corner at the edge of the community's central business district. The two story, stucco over poured concrete structure was erected in 1926. Although it has undergone some alterations, the exterior is very close to the original construction.
The building presents a restrained appearance and does not reflect any particular style. Its exterior features of note are overhanging eaves, paired windows, arid brick lintels and window sills. Pressed tin ceilings are the interior's only decorative element. These are found in the engine room, which fills the entire first floor, and in some of the upstairs office and dormitory spaces. The upstairs rooms open off a hallway.
The fire station was expanded in 1945 by the addition of a discrete one story side wing which is sensitive to the original design. It is built of the same material as the original fire station and also copies the original's window detailing. Other changes since construction include the replacement of the structure's folding accordion doors by modern electric doors and the addition of plywood paneling and dropped acoustic tile ceilings in some of the upstairs rooms. The interior modifications and the change in doors have not had a serious visual impact upon the building. The fire station would easily be recognized by anyone from the historic period. Because its construction represented the "coming of age" of the city's fire department and an important event in the community's history.
Once a new fire station was constructed, this building sat vacant until the City of Ruston restored it for use as a meeting facility. Some of the original elements have been removed, but the brass pole used by firefighters to leave their sleeping quarters upstairs to quickly reach the fire engines remains.
Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism. Ruston Power and Light Plant, July 8th 2019. Accessed May 10th 2021. https://www.crt.state.la.us/dataprojectsVS/NRHP/PublicForms/ViewProperty/1486?.
Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism. Central Fire Station, October 8th 1992. Accessed May 10th 2021. https://www.crt.state.la.us/dataprojectsVS/NRHP/PublicForms/ViewProperty/421?.
National Register of Historic Places Nomination, Accessed December 20th 2021. blob:https://www.crt.state.la.us/e5a5ecac-0136-40c5-b3cd-8355bb00cd49.
Lincoln Parish Museum