According to a report from News8000, a petition began by Preservation Alliance of La Crosse on change.org is calling for the La Crosse, Wisconsin, City Council to stop the demolition of the La Crosse Fire Department’s (LCFD’s) Fire Station No. 4, located on Gillette Street.
The petition states that, “The building is a cultural and economic asset that belongs to the taxpayers” and should be preserved. The station was originally built in 1940.
The petition also states that the structure may be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The Preservation Alliance lists housing, a restaurant, a firefighter museum, or an event venue as some potential uses for the building. However, the LCFD said it has already considered ideas like these, and it is not something the city can afford.
The LCFD said the Mayor’s Fire Station Task Force submitted a recommendation to the council in 2018 to demolish and replace Fire Stations No. 2 and No. 4 with new, more modern facilities.
The LCFD also lamented that, “A group of people have waited until 2021 to raise concerns” and that the city has already invested more than $1 million into the project. The department also stated that to change course now would be more costly.
The petition addressed the idea to renovate the building instead of tearing it down.
The new station’s groundbreaking is set for this spring and is expected to be completed in spring 2022.
The LCFD said the new station will be larger and house two fire companies instead of one. It will also feature space for water rescue and public education vehicles as well as administrative offices, the relocated Northside police station, and a new community room.
This project will be the city’s first new fire station since 1967.