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Cracked Concrete Wall


Designer Saves Former Fire House From Wrecking Ball

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Not all of the construction going on in Nashville means something brand new. An old east Nashville firehouse is new again thanks to the efforts of one tireless woman.


When the wrecking ball was on its way to an historic East Nashville firehouse, Karen Goodlow got in the way and changed its future.

If you are a strong believer in the theory, “They just don’t make them like they used to,” you’d probably get along with Goodlow.


Since 1930, the firehouse on Gallatin Road was home to Engine Company 18, standing proudly serving Nashville. Of all things, a late night fire destroyed much of it five years ago. The damage was overwhelming and obvious. A local wrecking ball company was on standby, awaiting the final orders.

“So it concerned me. I thought ‘I hope they don’t tear that down.’ Look how beautiful and unique it is,” said Goodlow. “You can’t replace it.” Goodlow, a Nashville designer, figured she could find the right people to come in and save it. She was wrong.


“They were like ‘Thanks, but no thanks,” said Goodlow. “It was a disaster. It looked like a dungeon.” She decided if it was to be saved, she’d have to do it herself.


Goodlow started working on the project last September. Her plan won’t just save this piece of architecture, it will create more.

It will soon be studios for the aspiring. “I see it being a creative collaborative community space that lots of artists and creative people can enjoy,” said Goodlow.

Happier than even her are today’s Nashville firefighters. “A whole lot of firemen throughout the years came in and out of that building, and to see it used for something constructive is great,” said Lt. Mike Calvin, a third-generation firefighter.


The former fire station will be known as The Station. It’s expected to open in May.

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