Cool space alert: Wilmington is looking for reuse ideas for Old Fire Station No. 5 - Technical.ly Delaware

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Jan. 12, 2018 12:52 pm

Cool space alert: Wilmington is looking for reuse ideas for Old Fire Station No. 5

This historic fire station is brimming with potential for someone with the right vision.
Trusty Old No. 5.

Trusty Old No. 5.

(Photo courtesy of City of Wilmington)

Old Fire Station No. 5 in Forty Acres is shockingly charming-looking. They don’t make fire stations like it anymore — and for good reason. When it was built in 1893, a fire engine was smaller than some SUVs. Yet Old No. 5 was a working fire station until 2013, when the shiny new station No. 5 opened at Lincoln Tower on Dupont Street.

After four years of housing the City of Wilmington’s Fire Protection Unit and a year as an unusually pretty storage facility, the City of Wilmington is ready to repurpose it, preferably without changing its exterior dramatically. On Thursday, Mayor Mike Purzycki issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the acquisition and reuse of the site.

“The former fire station is on the historic register and it is surrounded by the beautiful community of Forty Acres,” Purzycki said in a press statement. “Given the character and uniqueness of the properties in the surrounding neighborhood, the City will look for creative uses for the property that take into consideration what’s appropriate for the community. Considering the structure’s historic nature we hope to receive ideas for an adaptive reuse that preserves the building’s exterior.”

The old station is on Gilpin Street between Trolley Square and Highlands Elementary (I remember my son and his class walking there for field trips). It’s situated on a tree-lined residential street between brick rowhouses that also date back over 100 years.

If that sounds like a space you might be interested in repurposing, you can tour the property, which includes a two-story building and 12–15 off-street parking spaces in a rear lot, on Thursday, Jan. 25 from 1–4 p.m.

The deadline for proposals to be submitted to the city is 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 12. Click here to download a copy of the RFP.

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