Petition aims to save historic Fire Station No. 5 from demolition
Fire station building slated to be torn down to make way for road changes
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Change.Org petition with close to 2,500 signatures is hoping to come through with a last-ditch effort to save a historic Riverside fire station.
The petition asks the city of Jacksonville or the company that bought the land, FIS, to move historic Fire Station No. 5 from Riverside Avenue to a city-owned property within the Urban Core of Jacksonville.
Since no one bid to rescue the 110-year-old station, it will come down in less than 10 days to make way for a road alignment for the new FIS headquarters.
The brick building was constructed on Riverside Avenue in 1910 and served as a landmark for 109 years, spending 98 as an active firehouse.
The fire station is not a designated historic site and is considered blight by the city, the Jacksonville Daily Record reports. The city relocated the fire service in 2008, and the building hasn’t been used since.
Brittni Corder works next to the fire station and said it's tough to see a piece of the city's heritage go.
"I really think it's sad. I think it's heartbreaking,” Corder said. "I definitely would love to see it stay. I don't think anything would be better here. It's been here such a long time.”
The petition says the goal is to get 10,000 signatures in seven days to make a statement the city and FIS can't ignore. But some people said that change is a necessary part of growth.
"I think it's a shame they couldn't do anything with the building and re-purpose it, but I do also think that kind of revitalizing this area will only help it as well,” said Kurt Wukitsch, who lives in Jacksonville's Brooklyn neighborhood.
Just up the river, the final large section of The Jacksonville Landing came down earlier this month.
"I think it’s part of growth, you know. I think you’ve got to make way for new things by getting rid of the old, and if you can’t re-purpose it, and if things are just not being used, you should probably put it aside for something else,” Wukitsch said.
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