624 7th Street - Fire Station/Old City Hall

This fire station is a two-story rectangular, Mediterranean-style structure from 1923. The exterior surface is stucco with round tile accents at the tower entry. The flat roof is hidden behind a parapet wall with corner crenellations. The front door is reached by a series of 11 steps. The double doors are flanked by small windows and capped by transom and a small hood. The windows are 1/1 wood double-hung with transoms and appear to have been installed in the original openings as a mid-1990s upgrade. A vestibule entry has been added to its west side to provide handicap access to the elevated first floor. All exterior handrails, doors, and garages door appear to be a c.1995 addition.

 

Statement of Significance: Prior to the construction of this building in 1923, fire hose houses were scattered at many locations throughout the community. In 1921, the City purchased the first motorized firefighting vehicle -- a Studebaker. Ed Surfus, Oregon City's fire chief at the time, converted the vehicle for firefighting. Other former fire chiefs are Roscoe "Skip" Locke and Ed Huft. The building also served as City Hall until 1980. The fire house is considered to be the oldest working fire station west of the Rockies.