Central Fire Station

Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Solum Lang Architects
Mason Contractor
Seedorff Masonry, Inc.
Miron Construction Company, Inc.
Brick breakdown
99,110 facebrick and 20,670 false-joint header shapes

On June 13, 2008, flood waters crested in Cedar Rapids at 31.12 feet, 19.12 feet above flood stage, inundating the Central Fire Station with 11 feet of water. The building was declared a total loss.

A new 67,140 square foot Central Fire Station was constructed with two-stories above grade and one below. It has eight apparatus bays, seven of which are drive-through. The first floor is occupied by the firefighters and contains seventeen dorm rooms, weight and cardio rooms, kitchen and dining room, day room and library. The administration occupies the second floor with offices, conference rooms and an emergency operations center. The basement houses parking for the staff vehicles, mechanical and storage spaces. A wing on the end of the apparatus bay contains training, storage and support spaces for the firefighters.

Glen-Gery brick was selected as the primary cladding material in an effort to pay homage to the original Central Fire Station, a masonry structure that served for nearly 70 years, from 1917-1985, and later as the city’s Science Station until the 2008 flood. Selecting brick from the Glen-Gery Marseilles Plant meant not only was the product selected going to be beautiful, but it was also mined and fired within the LEED Certification requirements, which contributed to this building receiving LEED Platinum Certification!

The expansive deep red brick building gives the city a landmark at a busy city block on the main avenue.

The Fire Department stated these requirements for the design of the new fire station: “Built of durable and maintainable materials, achieve LEED Platinum Certification, and act as a reminder of the proud history of the Cedar Rapids Fire Department.” And it did just that! The building achieved LEED Platinum Certification, and at the time of writing it is the largest fire station in the United States to achieve LEED Platinum Certification.

This project is a shining example of what happens when an architect’s vision comes together with quality workmanship and great materials!


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