May 2, 2013

Saco fire station included on national register

By Gillian Graham
Staff Writer

SACO — The former Saco Central Fire Station has been entered in the National Register of Historic Places.

click image to enlarge

A Saco firefighter backs a truck into the Central Fire Station on the last day of its occupancy in 2011.

Gordon Chibroski / Staff Photographer

The designation indicates the property has been documented, evaluated and considered worth  preservation and protection as part of the nation's cultural heritage, according to Earle Shettleworth Jr., director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

The fire station was built with federal Public Works Administration funding in 1938. It was included on the national register because it represents efforts by the city government to provide modern and efficient fire protection services.

The fire department moved to a new station on North Street in 2011.

The city agreed last year to sell the fire station for $100,000 to Cynthia Taylor of the nonprofit Housing Initiatives of New England. She plans to invest $1.2 million in the building to convert it to senior housing units and commercial space.

Before the city council agreed to the sale, the Thornton Avenue building was placed on Maine Preservation's annual list of most-endangered historic resources because of its uncertain fate. Residents rallied against a plan to demolish the building to make way for a parking lot.

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