Old Essex Fire Hall – Follow Up

An update to Monday’s post, Erik S. sent along a few photos from the demolition for us. Also an update the confirmed date of construction was 1923, so until it recently closed it was the oldest area fire hall.

As always if you have any photos you want to share, please contact me, I’d love to see them.

14 Comments on Old Essex Fire Hall – Follow Up

  1. Did the building sustain any damage from the 1980(?) nature gas explosion? Or was it far enough away?

  2. Worse yet – Essex will be completely demolishing their high school starting this summer to build a new one on the same site.

  3. Is this for a parking lot? Parking lots are king in this region! Just look at those plaza “civic centres” popping up in the burbs. Oh yeah! Fake downtowns, nothing like living in a fake world!

  4. So much asbestos pouring into the air, should’ve left it standing. Also the high school is coming down? Wow.. that is the biggest shame I have heard of in years. I am genuinely angry to hear that news. Why would they do that? :S

  5. I guess the folks in Essex are still drunk on the “new = better”. While the building’s condition might be compromised, you only have so much heritage architecture in Essex and this certainly stands out as one of the more significant pieces.

    A power point file on the new look:


    Which begs the question – what is it with the new style of exposing duct work? Have these architects not seen Terry Gilliam’s Brazil before?

  6. I find nothing wrong with modern architecture besides the fact that it shouldn’t be replacing old architecture and it will never be looked back on as anything interesting. It’s okay to build interesting designs and push boundaries but not when you’re demolishing the old designs. Nobody is ever going to visit our region in the future if we have no visible history.

  7. Hi Andrew. Been following you for a while and look forward to your posts. I live out in the county not far from Essex and while I was young when the explosion occurred the fire hall did have some damage and if memory serves correctly it was originally condemned after the explosion but re-assessed and repaired. I do believe the area where the old hall was is going to be a parking lot as the new one was built in the existing parking lot for the businesses on main street. But I’m not positive on that.

    I very much agree that losing the high school will be a significant loss. There was talk a few years ago about a rebuild that included keeping the “front facade” of the school which is by far the best part. But that plan no longer exists.

  8. Sad that the old school is coming down. Quite wasteful. But gotta say the new one looks like it is going to be beautiful.

  9. Geezz, I looked at that powerpoint Tim pointed out and all I gotta say is, yikes!
    Although some of it looks cool, the first few pictures look like a prison, the next pictures look like furniture from the 1980s trying to be modern. The next ones looks like university/college photos…it’s just a random mix mash of anything they thought looked ‘cool.’
    And they are seriously tearing down the entire high school to build this one?
    There isn’t land anywhere else? They cannot incorporate the old one into the new one?

  10. @JeffS: As I recall, the firehall did sustain some damage in the February 1980 explosion, including twisting of the doors, which made it difficult to get the trucks and equipment out.

    The same block of buildings destroyed in the 1980 explosion had been heavily damaged twice before: Once when the Aberdeen hotel burnt down in 1974 and once in 1907 when a train carrying nitroglycerine exploded at the railway terminal. (Thanks due to Evelyn Couch Walker’s interesting “Three Rs of Essex” history of the town for the exact years.)

    And I too can’t believe they’re demolishing the old secondary school. Another landmark building gone.

  11. It’s alright, after they demolish everything historical we can always visit the cottam pond if we want some local history. But they will probably fill it in to make a stucco factory on the lands for all we know.

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