On March 28, 1928, a permit was
issued for a new fire station to be built on the northeast corner of Monticello
and Noble Road. It was designed in the English Tudor revival style by architect
William Robert Powell, who had previously designed City Hall and the Cumberland
Pool bathhouse. The site is not far from the old stone quarry at Belvoir and
Monticello, and as it turned out, the basement for the new structure had to be
blasted out of solid rock. The fire station was dedicated in 1931 and for over
fifty years housed firefighters and their increasingly sophisticated engines
until the reorganization of the Cleveland Heights fire department in 1982, when
the building was closed.
In 1990 it reopened as a Class
A Police Academy. Three complete courses are offered a year, each one involving
380 hours of classroom training by Cleveland Heights police in cooperation with
Cuyahoga Community College. The Academy has not only a national but an
international reputation, with some cadets coming from as far away as Turkey.
To prepare the building for its
new role, members of the police department undertook an extensive restoration
program, doing most of the work themselves except for such items as the new
boiler and roof. With the original architectural plans in hand, they worked to
the 1928 specifications, plastering ceilings, for example, rather than using
The living room has the
appearance of a hunting lodge, with its original and restored beamed ceiling,
chandelier, and working fireplace. The classroom to the right was originally
the garage for fire engines; its enameled brick walls would be cost prohibitive
Upstairs the wood floors are
original. In the kitchen/dining area, the table is original to the building.
There is a bedroom for the officer-in-charge and a dorm room for students. The
classroom was originally the firefighters' dormitory; the large-screen TV here
is hooked up to the Police Department.
The fire station on Silsby Road was on the 1980 Tour.After it closed, it was occupied by a succession of restaurants and in
1999 was converted to house the Lee-Silsby Compounding Pharmacy.The 1980 Tour Book contained the following
information:Virtually identical in interior layout except that they are mirror images, the Silsby and
Monticello/Noble Road fire stations were built in 1929 and 1930 during the long
reign of Mayor Frank Cain. The architect, William Robert Powell, Cleveland, designed the buildings on a
domestic scale and with facades meant to blend with the surrounding residences. The living room of each
firehouse, with its fireplace and beamed ceiling, resembles the main hall of a
small hunting lodge.The men have their Spartan sleeping quarters upstairs; downstairs is a small gym for exercise.