Constructed in 1909 at a cost of about $7000, this building originally housed the city fire department on the main floor and city offices on the second floor. It also had a jail cell in the southeast corner and “hobo apartments” in the basement. This was the first city hall built in Brigham City, the city offices having been previously located in the adjacent county courthouse. In 1935 the fire department moved out, and the fire-truck bay on the façade was replaced with the existing brick façade to better accommodate city office use of the main floor. The building continued to serve as the city hall until 1974. Designed by local architect Andrew Funk, this building is the only example of the Spanish Colonial style in Brigham City.
Located at 6 North Main Street in Brigham City, Utah
Constructed in 1909 and remodeled in 1935, the Brigham City Fire Station-City Hall is historically significant as the first fire station and city hall constructed in the town and as the center of municipal government and services for over
twenty-five years. It originally housed the fire department and city offices, the latter having been previously located in the adjacent Box Elder County Courthouse. Community growth and commensurate expansion of city services led to the removal of the fire department to new facilities and the remodeling of this building for enlarged city offices in 1935. It continued to serve as the city hall until 1974. The building is also architecturally significant as the only example of the Spanish Colonial Revival style in Brigham City.
In the January 3, 1907, edition of The Box Elder News, a persuasive article supported the idea of constructing a city hall-fire station and made a case for it to be located north of the county courthouse so that the government offices would be centrally located. Two years later, in May 1909, the proposal won approval from the city council, which gave the go ahead for construction on a site just north of the courthouse. A frame library building that was on the site had to be moved back off Main Street (east) to accommodate the new fire station.
The following description of the proposed building was given in the local newspaper.
Basement containing store rooms for electrical and water works supplies, under the main floor. In the east end will be built a cement room for the accommodation of tramps and other undesirable citizens who wish to lodge with the city. At the northeast end of the basement will be the hose tower which will rise to a height of seventy feet. In the top of the tower will be a belfry. The ground floor will be given over to the Firemen for truck stalls, excepting a corner of the southeast end, where a jail cell will be put in. This cell will not connect in any way with the “hobo” apartments underneath, but will be used for the more respectable “drunks, etc.” The stairway leads up from the main entrance on the west end and the upstairs will be divided into five rooms viz: a large assembly room for the city council and the public, two city offices, fireman’s library and lavatories. The building will be constructed of reinforced cement and pressed brick, with a Spanish metal tile roof, in all to cost approximately $7,000.
In the July 22, 1909, edition of the paper, it was reported that architect Andrew Funk and Supervisor M.L. Nichols staked off the ground for the erection of the fire station, which was “16 feet east of the east Main street walk line, and 16 feet south of the north side walk line of the avenue running east and west.” Contractor Lars Hansen was to begin the work as soon as the excavation was completed. 5 The concrete foundation was underway by August 5, 1909 6 , and the completion of the building was celebrated by a Fire Department Social and Ball which was held in the large dancing hall of the Opera House and reported in the March 10 , 1910 newspaper.
By 1934 the Fire Department was looking for more room to house their equipment, and in early 1935, the city purchased the Glover property at First West and Forest to build a new facility. The old fire station was to be remodeled to house the expanding city offices. Plans for this remodeling were drawn up by Salt Lake City architect Carson B. Wells (formerly of Brigham City), and they included a new front with a Main Street entrance, and the main floor would be converted into office rooms.
In June of 1935, the fire department moved out of the old fire station, and the remodeling of this structure began. The remodeling was finished by mid-September 193510 at a cost of around $6500. The Box Elder News gave a detailed report of its new appearance.
The new front is of red pressed brick, with black rodded joints and the rest of the building and tower have been painted to match the front. The main entrance is at the front of the building and the doors and windows are surrounded with ornamental white granite. At the entrance is an eight-foot terrace decorated with ornamental white
granite, with an imitation red tiled floor. In the two front corners of the Terrance are large sixteen-inch flood lights to illuminate the front of the building. In the peak of the front of the building has been placed a neat Neon lighting effect by LeRoy Campion.
The office space in the building has been doubled, the vault enlarged, and provision made for rest rooms and lavatories. The main room has a plaster Paris cornice where the walls meet the ceiling and a beautiful arch spans the center of the room. A large oak counter will separate the lobby from the offices. In the lobby is a fine drinking fountain and the floor will be covered with imitation tiled inlaid linoleum. The floor in the office space will be covered with imitation tiled green linoleum.
The council chamber and rooms on the second floor have been renovated and redecorated and a cornice has been placed where the walls and ceiling meet in the chamber
. . . . Local workmen have been employed on the job. Amos Larsen assisted in painting the brick; Alma Thompson and Edgar Rasmussen painted the roof and exterior; among the carpenters on the job were John J. Johnson, Fred Kelly, Alf Jorgensen and others; Joseph Earl did the plastering and cornice work, and the pressed granite work was done by Hans Pella. The electric wiring and lighting was done by Deverell Petersen, under supervision of City Electrician Orion Eskelsen. Architect Carson F. Wells of Salt Lake City drew the plans, and Councilman A.M. Hansen supervised the construction in behalf of the city.
A sixty-foot steel flag pole was erected on the city hall grounds yesterday at the top of which a beautiful American flag was unfurled to the breeze.
In 1965 an annual report called “Progress-1965” published by Brigham City Corporation documents the use of the building: The main floor office under the direction of City Recorder Tolman Burke handled all business affairs of the city
including maintaining all official records, water, sewer, and miscellaneous charges. There were seven employees under Mr. Burke in this office. Upstairs was the large southeast room for the Circuit Court which also doubled as the city
council chambers. The judge’s office was in a small northwest corner room. The Police Department occupied the two other upstairs rooms with the dispatch office in the southwest corner and the Chief of Police’s office in the northeast corner room with a restroom located between the judge’s office and Chief of Police’s office on the north side of the building. In the basement of the building were rooms for the public works department, the inspection department and the civil defense headquarters.
In August of 1966, the police department moved out of the upstairs of this city building and into a remodeled facility which has since been torn down, but was located northwest of the First Security Bank building on Main Street.
After this move, $5,000 of remodeling to this upstairs part of the building was underway by October 1966. A new coat of paint was applied throughout, and the Circuit Court room received new drapes. A new city clerk’s office replaced the
police dispatcher’s office in the northwest corner, and a mayor’s office replaced the Chief of Police’s office in the northeast corner
The city offices were becoming more and more cramped for space, so the city council decided to erect a new city government building. In January of 1973, groundbreaking for a new city hall building began. The new structure was built just north of this old city hall building on Main Street. The architect was Ralph Edwards, and the contractor was Reid Oyler. The cost of the new structure was around $560,000.18 The new city hall was completed mid-December of 1973, and the city officials and employees vacated their offices in the old building to move into the more modern one on December 29, 1973.
Two months later in February 1974 the Brigham City Chamber of Commerce was negotiating with Harold Felt and the city council to lease the main level of the old city hall. Although Mayor Felt would have preferred tearing the building down and building another for the Chamber of Commerce,21 a negotiation was finally reached and a lease was signed around the first of March 1974 with Mayor Felt and Boyd Newman, president of the Chamber of Commerce, for the Chamber’s use of the bulding.
Renovation of the main level was accomplished by the Chamber of Commerce for around $6500 by late spring of 197423 while the upstairs part of the building was used by the Alcohol Counseling and Information Service.24 The second floor, however, was not taken good care of and soon ran into a state of disrepair. Around 1980, the Knights of Columbus Fraternal organization took over the upstairs part of the building with the understanding that they would do maintenance and custodial care.