Central Fire Station

Central Fire Station

Building Details

Name of Building: Central Fire Station
Location: 139 Guyton Street, Whanganui
Date Plaque Unveiled: 1921
Current Owners: Brian and Tracy Hawker
Contact Details:  
Plaque Sponsor: Brian and Tracy Hawker

Plaque Text

Built in 1921, and designed by eminent architect Charles Reginald Ford, this is the first station built for the professional fire brigade in Whanganui and reminds us of the role of citizens and local authorities in running fire brigades before the establishment of a national fire service

Brief Historical Information:

The first volunteer fire fighters in Whanganui were British soldiers stationed at the Rutland and York Stockades from the mid 1840’s. A volunteer Fire Brigade was formed in 1866 and the first purpose- built fire station was built in St Hill Street in 1882. A watchtower was built in 1883 on Rutland Hill and it was replaced in 1891 by a new watchtower on Cook’s Gardens above the fire station. This tower was used until 1922 and is still standing today.

The catalyst for the decision to set up a permanent fire Brigade in Whanganui was a destructive fire at Foster’s Hotel on Taupo Quay. Designed by Charles Reginald Ford, a new two- story brick building was built on the corner of Wilson and Guyton Street and the official opening took place on 14 September 1921. The service was run by the city council until 1976, when a national fire service was set up by the New Zealand Fire Service.

The Central Fire Station was used until 1981 when the Fire Service moved to Maria Place.

Restoration and Current Owner Story

Geoff McIntosh owned the property for several years.

The Current Owners, Brian and Tracy Hawker purchased the building in recent years and converted the lower floor into a home décor store “La Station”. They completed an exterior repainting and lighting to highlight its features.

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