Historic North Chattanooga fire hall sold

Historic North Chattanooga fire hall sold

September 22nd, 2013 by Shelly Bradbury in Local Regional News

Tommy Austin, property owner who started a historical restoration of the 1935 North Chattanooga Firehall, leads a tour of his property, which is up for sale.

Photo by Dan Henry /Times Free Press.

Q. Whatever happened to the historic North Chattanooga fire hall that was up for sale in June?

A. It was sold Sept. 16 to a local couple who plans to move in and use the old fire station as a home.

The old No. 12 Fire Hall at 880 Forest Ave. was built in 1929 and used until 1997, when a new station was built down the road. After it closed, it was used for storage until real estate agent Tommy Austin acquired it in a trade with the city in 2010.

He carefully restored the exterior of the building and put it on the market. He thought it could be used as a home or live-at-home business, while some firefighters hoped it could be turned into a museum.

The couple paid $275,000 for the historic structure, and Austin said he's happy the fire hall will be repurposed as a home.

"I think it's the highest and best use," he said.

Countless firefighters lived and worked in the 3,500-square-foot brick building during its 68-year run -- it even earned a reputation for being haunted. Firefighters remember hearing footsteps when no one was walking, and drawers and doors would creak open by themselves.

At some point, someone cut a notch in the old station's bifold doors so the newer model fire engines could fit inside -- the space was built for the much smaller engines of the 1930s, not the modern engines of the 1990s.

Now the old doors will open for a family instead of a firetruck.

This update was written by staff writer Shelly Bradbury. Contact her at sbrad bury@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6525. To suggest a topic for Whatever Happened To, email news@timesfreepress.com