Redwood City in San Mateo County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Fire Station No. 1
The Redwood City Volunteer Fire Department started in 1861, and was the first non-profit organization in San Mateo County. It wasn’t until 1921 when this building at 1044 Middlefield Road was built that the firefighters finally received a salary.
The original old firehouse, now the center of two wing additions with its arched central openings, loggia and classical ornamental details, is one of the best examples of Italian Renaissance style buildings in the area. The tile brickwork is distinctive and reflective of Italian traditions of fine masonry. The architect adopted an Italian villa design to suit an institutional purpose. The three arched doorways of stone provided the exits for the fire trucks. Two rondels with “R.C.” and “F.D.” still exist between the arches.
When the building suffered structural damage from the 1984 Coalinga earthquake, the Fire Department moved to temporary quarters until a permanent station was built at 755 Marshall St., which was dedicated in 1987.
The former Fire Station No. 1 was remodeled and expanded to house the Redwood City Main Library in 1989.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Buildings. A significant historical year for this entry is 1861.
Location. 37° 29.041′ N, 122° 13.622′ W. Marker is in Redwood City, California, in San Mateo County. Marker is on Middlefield Road, half a mile west of Woodside Road (California Route 84), on the left when traveling west. The marker is on the sidewalk on the east side of the property where you cross the parking lot driveway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1044 Middlefield Road, Redwood City CA 94063, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Diller's Island (a few steps from this marker); a different marker also named Fire Station No. 1 (within shouting distance of this marker); Redwood City War Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Stage Station (about 400 feet away); Alhambra Theater (about 800 feet away); Embarcadero Turning Basin Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Eureka Corner (approx. 0.2 miles away); Sequoia Union High School (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Redwood City.
Also see . . . History of the Redwood City Fire Department. Redwood City website entry:
In 1936 the volunteer firemen began to receive pay for responding to fires. At this time the Department had six full time firemen. (Submitted on October 23, 2012.)
Credits. This page was last revised on July 20, 2022. It was originally submitted on October 23, 2012, by James King of San Miguel, California. This page has been viewed 445 times since then and 42 times this year. Last updated on July 19, 2022, by Joseph Alvarado of Livermore, California. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 23, 2012, by James King of San Miguel, California. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.