Fire Station No. 8

Write-up by Jordyn Gasper

Placed by: Division of State History, N- 582

GPS Coordinates: N 40° 45.829 W 111° 51.228

Historical Marker 2022

Historical Marker Text:            

Fire Station No. 8, the second oldest visually intact fire station in Salt Lake City, is historically significant in documenting the expansion and development of the firefighting service in Salt Lake City. It was constructed in 1930 to serve the “outlying” east bench area, one of the fastest growing residential areas at the time. The building’s residential appearance reflects the careful attention given to ensure compatibility with surrounding houses.

Front View of Station 2022

Extended Research

The Salt Lake City Fire Department has been active for over 100 years. Prior to 1883, the department was operated by volunteer firemen only. This changed when the “Salt Lake City Council established a full-time, paid fire department, after a particularly damaging fire occurred in downtown Salt Lake City on June 21, 1883.”[1] The fire ripped through downtown Salt Lake City and created an explosion which caused nearly $100,000 in damages.[2] This massively devastating fire destroyed many city buildings and truly exposed the limited resources that Salt Lake had to help combat the fire.[3] The volunteer firemen attempted to put out the blaze, but it was obvious that there was not enough manpower to help the situation. After this extreme disaster, the Salt Lake Fire Department was created. The stations within the department had specific architectural styles to match their intended purposes for the time being. For example, the first station of the department, Fire Station no. 1, had a very particular architectural style that reflected its time period. This photo is from 1911 and shows how the station is very large.[4] It was a bigger structure because it was the only operating station at its time. The photo reveals smaller, circular garage openings to fit horse drawn fire engines. At this time, there were no motorized vehicles being used within the department, so the station did not need to expand its openings to fit larger equipment.

Fire Station No. 1 in 1911 courtesy of Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs, accessed March 2, 2022, https://archives.utah.gov/digital/23526.htm.

As the population of the area grew, so did the number of stations within the department. In 1930, Fire Station no. 8 was constructed “to serve the east bench area” in Salt Lake City.[5] This station is historically significant because its architectural style and development reflected the expansion of the city and the fire department.[6] The architectural style of Fire Station no. 8 matches the looks of the surrounding homes within the area during the early twentieth century. Architect Albert White is praised for his work on the station because its appearance “reflects the careful attention that was given to the scale, setback and design of the building to ensure that it would be compatible with the surrounding houses in this prime residential neighborhood.”[7] The station was constructed to coexist with its surroundings and not stand out.

The design of Fire Station No. 8 is referred to as an English Cottage style building. This was the style of the majority of Salt Lake residential homes during the early twentieth century.[8] One important note about the English Cottage style was that although they appeared “deceptively small from the street, often they actually extended deep into the lot.”[9]     

Front View of Station 2022

Side View of Station 2022

As seen in the photo above, the fire station extends very deep into its lot. This was because the station needed to fit multiple fire engines and other fire equipment inside the building. Not only was the English Cottage style appealing to the eye, it was also very convenient for the purpose of a Fire Station.

However, as the city was expanding and new equipment advanced, the station could no longer function efficiently. Fire Station No. 8 was only operational until the year 1980 “because the doorways could not handle large modern firetrucks.”[10] This photo shows the crew in front of the station before it shut down.[11]

Fire Station No. 8 1980 courtesy of Salt Lake City Fire Department-Station 8, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

After the Salt Lake County Fire Department stopped using Fire Station No. 8, private investors purchased the building. These buyers transformed the station into a restaurant in the early 1980s called the Market Street Broiler.[12] In May of 2014, different investors bought the building and transformed it into a new restaurant called the Porcupine Pub and Grille.[13] As of 2022, Fire Station no. 8 serves as a Mexican restaurant called the Rio Grande.


[1] “Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs, 1885-1901,” Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs, accessed March 2, 2022, https://archives.utah.gov/digital/23526.htm.

[2] “The Big Blaze,” Salt Lake Herald-Republican, (Salt Lake City, UT), June 22, 1883, https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s60017g2/10548379.

[3] Jeffrey D. Nichols, “1883 Blaze Spurred Creation of Salt Lake City’s Professional Fire Department,” History to Go, April 29, 2016, https://historytogo.utah.gov/1883-blaze/.

[4] Salt Lake City Fire Department- Station 1, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[5] Heather L. King, “Porcupine Pub Renovates Historic Utah Fire Station No. 8,” Utah Stories, https://utahstories.com/2016/11/porcupine-pub-renovates-historic-utah-fire-station-no-8/.

[6] National Register of Historic Places, Fire Station no. 8, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, National Register #83004423.

[7] National Register of Historic Places, Fire Station no. 8, Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, Utah, National Register #83004423.

[8] Thomas Carter and Peter L. Goss, Utah’s Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide. (Salt Lake City, UT: Center for Architectural Studies, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah State Historical Society, 1991), 137.

[9] Thomas Carter and Peter L. Goss, Utah’s Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide. (Salt Lake City, UT: Center for Architectural Studies, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah State Historical Society, 1991), 34.

[10] “Firestation No. 8 (Salt Lake City),” Wikipedia (Wikimedia Foundation, April 26, 2021), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firestation.

[11] Salt Lake City Fire Department-Station 8, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

[12] Heather L. King, “Porcupine Pub Renovates Historic Utah Fire Station No. 8,” Utah Stories, https://utahstories.com/2016/11/porcupine-pub-renovates-historic-utah-fire-station-no-8/.

[13] Heather L. King, “Porcupine Pub Renovates Historic Utah Fire Station No. 8,” Utah Stories, https://utahstories.com/2016/11/porcupine-pub-renovates-historic-utah-fire-station-no-8/.


For Further Reference:

Primary Sources:

Salt Lake City Fire Department-Station 1, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Salt Lake City Fire Department-Station 8, Classified Photograph Collection, Utah State Historical Society, Salt Lake City, Utah.

“The Big Blaze.” Salt Lake Herald-Republican. (Salt Lake City, UT). June 22, 1883. https://newspapers.lib.utah.edu/ark:/87278/s60017g2/10548379.

Secondary Sources:

Carter, Thomas, and Peter L. Goss. Utah’s Historic Architecture, 1847-1940: A Guide. (Salt Lake City, UT: Center for Architectural Studies, Graduate School of Architecture, University of Utah, & Utah State Historical Society, 1991).

“Firestation No. 8 (Salt Lake City).” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, April 26, 2021. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firestation_No._8_(Salt_Lake_City).  

King, Heather L. “Porcupine Pub Renovates Historic Utah Fire Station No. 8.” Utah Stories, November 25, 2016. https://utahstories.com/2016/11/porcupine-pub-renovates-historic-utah-fire-station-no-8/.

National Register of Historic Places. Fire Station no. 8. Salt Lake City. Salt Lake County. Utah. National Register #83004423.

“Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs, 1885-1901.” Salt Lake City Fire Department Photographs. Accessed March 2, 2022. https://archives.utah.gov/digital/23526.htm.  

Nichols, Jeffrey D. “1883 Blaze Spurred Creation of Salt Lake City’s Professional Fire Department.” History to Go, April 29, 2016. https://historytogo.utah.gov/1883-blaze/.





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