Former No.3 Carlton Fire Station is a symmetrically composed three storey brick and stucco fire station building designed by architect Cedric Ballantyne in 1928. A building permit was issued in June 1928 for a building cost of 35,000 pounds. The building has a central entrance leading to a courtyard flanked by accommodation blocks and vehicle garages. Former No.3 Carlton Fire Station contained accommodation for single and married men on the first and second storeys and the ground floor to Swanston Street was let for commercial purposes. The central and end pavilions are constructed of face red brick. They are linked by slightly recessed wings composed of three bays divided by stuccoed brick piers. The trabeated system with abstracted columns and pilasters gives a stripped classical stylistic effect. The parapet is balustraded.
How is it significant?
Former No.3 Carlton Fire Station is of architectural and historical significance to the State of Victoria.
Why is it significant?
Former No.3 Carlton Fire Station is architecturally significant as the second largest fire station in Melbourne after Eastern Hill and as the largest fire station design of the prolific architect of Melbourne Fire Brigade stations, C H Ballantyne. The station is functionally similar to other Ballantyne station designs, incorporating garages, accommodation, recreation rooms and offices, but it is stylistically unusual. The stripped classicism of former No.3 Carlton Fire Station is in contrast to many suburban stations of the 1920s such as Essendon, Ringwood, Oakleigh and Coburg that were characteristically domestic in appearance.
Former No.3 Carlton Fire Station is historically significant for demonstrating a peak in the development of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade after the implementation of the Fire Brigades Act of 1890. The Act gave the Metropolitan Fire Brigade Board the ability to form fire fighting units, to train and house firemen, and to accommodate them and their fire vehicles in specially designed buildings. The intact survival of this station demonstrates this integration of work and accommodation for the fire-fighter.