637 Princess Avenue
(Lots 37/40, Block 63, Plan 2)
Designation Date: July 10, 2000
Designation Authority: The City of Brandon
The Central Fire Station was constructed in 1911. The station was built on the site of the city’s first fire hall, which had been built in 1882. It was designed by one of Brandon’s most prominent early architects, W. A. Elliott. The addition of a tower to the original sketches proposed by Elliott was suggested by his young son Egbert. The contract for its construction was awarded to a local builder, A. E. Bullock, for a cost ranging from $37,000 to $40,000.
The architecture of the Central Fire Station combines Chateauesque style with an Italianate tower. Red brick, a steeply pitched roof with protruding dormers, and wrought iron balconies beneath the brackets of the bell tower make this an impressive structure. The main portion of the 2½ storey brick and concrete structure was built of semi-fireproof construction with thirteen inch-thick walls set on heavy concrete floors with a basement below. It is an excellent example of an early use of concrete.
The Italianate tower once contained a large fire bell, known as the “Coronation Bell”, named in honour of the coronation of King George. The bell was manufactured in West Troy, New York with a weight of 4,400 pounds, a base of 62 inches, and a range in the key of “C”. It was removed in 1971 to reduce the stress on the tower and is currently being stored.