Could the old U.S. Army Reserve building be used as a fire station?

The Army Reserve Center at 601 N. 36th in Quincy opened in 1958 on land sold by American Legion Post 37 to the federal government for $1. The city of Quincy considered using the building as a fire station, but found it to be too large. | H-W Photo/Phil Carlson
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Apr. 3, 2017 8:45 am Updated: Apr. 3, 2017 8:53 am

What is the history of the now vacant U.S. Army Reserve building at 601 N. 36th? Could it be used for a fire station for the city of Quincy? It has a large garage for trucks and equipment.

The Lincoln-Douglas Reserve Center was dedicated on Oct. 13, 1958, with a crowd of about 3,000 people touring the facility.

The seven-acre piece of property was provided by American Legion Post 37 for $1. The post offered the land in 1955, and the federal government accepted the site provided the city of Quincy would extend sewer and water to the site.

The 400-man training center cost $279,850 to build and included a large drill hall and classrooms.

In 1994, the Army announced to the 100 Army Reserve soldiers of the 84th Training Battalion that the facility would close on Oct. 1, 1995, but in August 1994, it was announced that the unit would be replaced with three companies of a new battalion that would be based in Granite City.

In 2012, officials announced the construction of a new Army Reserve Center near 24th and Weiss Lane. The complex comprised a 31,000-square-foot training building and a 4,481-square-foot maintenance workshop.

At the time of the announcement, plans called for the old facility to be retained for military units other than the transportation unit.

The site was recently reviewed by the Quincy Fire Department for potential use as a fire station.

"To be honest, we looked at it, but the property wouldn't work," said Fire Chief Joe Henning. "It's way too big of a place for us to take on for a neighborhood fire station. That's a huge facility."

Henning said the department is working on a facilities plan on how fire stations are dispersed throughout the city.

"We don't want to just jump right in and do something," he said. "We want to make sure we have a good long-term plan before we move forward."

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