City Hall and Fire Station
Designed by Austin architect Roy L. Thomas, the City Hall and Fire Station (built 1915) marked the second home of San Marcos's numerous volunteer firefighters. The Fire Department moved into this building after its first station burned down in 1914. The city’s fire department first organized on April 21, 1881, as a bucket brigade and quickly expanded to include three different volunteer companies by 1886. The San Marcos Fire Department remained voluntary until the 1950s, at one point proudly functioning as the largest voluntary force in Texas.
Beyond operating as the San Marcos Fire Department's headquarters, the building also housed the town hall, the Chamber of Commerce, and a performance space, accompanied by a stage and dressing room. Sometime after 1969, the building was turned into a museum, which was eventually abandoned. The structure remained vacant until 1984, when local attorney Anthony “Lucky” Tomblin and his wife bought the property. The Tomblins quickly began renovations, transforming the dilapidated building into a dynamic multi-use space that included law offices on the first floor and a recording studio on the second floor. In 1991, Southwest Texas State University bought the recording studio, which now houses the famous Fire Station Studios and services the university’s renowned sound recording technology program. The building was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.