SACO — Saco residents who support saving the former Central Fire Station will gather for a rally Sunday afternoon.

Mayor Mark Johnston said people who attend the rally at 3 p.m. will pose for a group photo in front of the station and antique fire trucks.

The rally is being organized by people who oppose the demolition of the building, which has been vacant since the fire department moved to its new station last year.

The station was built on Thornton Avenue in 1939 as a Works Progress Administration project. It recently was included on Maine Preservation’s list of most endangered historic resources because of its uncertain fate.

The Saco City Council voted narrowly on Aug. 21 to reject an offer from Cynthia Taylor of Housing Initiatives of New England to buy the building for $50,000 and invest as much as $1.2 million to develop affordable housing in the building.

On Monday, councilors will consider an order to demolish the building to create a parking lot, something Johnston hopes won’t happen.

“I’m still optimistic,” he said. “We usually do the correct thing.”

Since the council voted against Taylor’s proposal, city officials have continued discussions with her, Johnston said.

“She’s still interested in the purchase of the fire station,” he said.

Johnston expects about 100 people to gather for the rally. He said councilors have received dozens of phone calls and emails from people who oppose demolishing the building.

“The public is very passionate about saving a piece of Saco’s history,” he said.

Staff Writer Gillian Graham can be contacted at 791-6315 or at:

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