An old firehouse is on its way to finding new life.
The former firehouse 11 was retired from the city’s infrastructure a couple of years back, and it was gifted to St. Joseph Habitat for Humanity. Habitat’s experienced carpenters planned to turn it into a two-bedroom home, as the brick building sits in the middle of a residential area at 18th and Walnut streets.
That process has started, and News-Press NOW got a sneak peek of what things will look like on the inside.
The original design had the firetruck housed at the ground level and the firefighters’ lockers and beds upstairs. The new design has the kitchen, a half bath and the living room all situated where the firetruck was located.
Upstairs will be two master suites with two bathrooms. Each bedroom will have a walk-in closet and the back will have an exit to a new deck that will have stairs leading to the backyard, where a single-car garage will be located.
The firehouse garage door is being removed, which may help with the air conditioning bill during this time of year. It will be replaced with a conventional front door.
However, even with these changes to the exterior, the original firehouse facade, which dates back more than 100 years, will remain intact.
Habitat Executive Director Shay Homeyer believes it will be a good home that is full of history.
“It has the look of, you know, a little bit suburbia, a little metro, but has the old flair to it. I love it,” Homeyer said. “We still have some of the relics from the old firehouse, which we’re going to tie into the decor.”
That includes old city maps, firehoses and uniforms.
The home is on track to be completed in the fall, but with the complications brought on by high lumber prices and subcontractors’ schedules being booked up, things could get pushed back.
The sale of the building will benefit Habitat and allow the organization to build more homes.
“This money is not earmarked for anything other than just doing what Habitat does,” Homeyer said. “Hopefully it’ll stay in a family, and they can keep passing it on. I’d really love to see that.”