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San Diego’s Fire Station 4 Story

Why do no flags fly at Station 4 at Eighth Avenue and J Street?
Why do no flags fly at Station 4 at Eighth Avenue and J Street?

Is the City ashamed of Fire Station 4, located on the corner of Eighth Avenue and J Street? The building has no signs indicating it’s a fire station and doesn’t fly the California or United States flag. The only signage is two plaques on the front of the station, one noting it was built by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (in 1937) and another dedicating it to firefighter Roy C. Gundlach, who lost his life in the line of duty on June 26, 1918.

When one passes the building, it is natural to wonder what the purpose of it might be; I wondered until one day when the doors were open and I saw a fire truck inside.

When I sought more information on the station, San Diego’s deputy chief Lorraine Hutchinson responded in an email: “Fire Station No. 4 is designated as [Historic Resources Board] Site #326, and was designated on 10/26/1994. It was designated for its architecture and community significance. As a designated resource, it would be highly preferable if the original signage could be reconstructed.... As a designated resource, the historic section will need to review and approve the signage as consistent with the Standards. Logistics in the process of securing a competitive price quote to address the historic building signage, flag pole and exterior lighting. Once the quotes are received, funding will need to be identified.”

This reply was sent on October 6, 2010, and the station still doesn’t fly a flag.

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Why do no flags fly at Station 4 at Eighth Avenue and J Street?
Why do no flags fly at Station 4 at Eighth Avenue and J Street?

Is the City ashamed of Fire Station 4, located on the corner of Eighth Avenue and J Street? The building has no signs indicating it’s a fire station and doesn’t fly the California or United States flag. The only signage is two plaques on the front of the station, one noting it was built by president Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (in 1937) and another dedicating it to firefighter Roy C. Gundlach, who lost his life in the line of duty on June 26, 1918.

When one passes the building, it is natural to wonder what the purpose of it might be; I wondered until one day when the doors were open and I saw a fire truck inside.

When I sought more information on the station, San Diego’s deputy chief Lorraine Hutchinson responded in an email: “Fire Station No. 4 is designated as [Historic Resources Board] Site #326, and was designated on 10/26/1994. It was designated for its architecture and community significance. As a designated resource, it would be highly preferable if the original signage could be reconstructed.... As a designated resource, the historic section will need to review and approve the signage as consistent with the Standards. Logistics in the process of securing a competitive price quote to address the historic building signage, flag pole and exterior lighting. Once the quotes are received, funding will need to be identified.”

This reply was sent on October 6, 2010, and the station still doesn’t fly a flag.

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Comments
5

This is such a cool building and I'm glad it didn't get torn down or repurposed. In 2008 or 2009 a developer wanted to buy it from the City and turn it into a restaurant. By 2010, the developer declared bankruptcy. There were some other really interesting old buildings next to it, where the parking lots are now, but the artists living there were evicted when a developer, the Simplon corporation, bought the block and tore them down.

The Simplon Corporation was going to build 35-story Cosmopolitan Square, a mixed-use 290-condominium project, with 12,500 sq ft of retail space plus 17,100 sq ft of office space on the entire block (J Street, and 7th, 8th and Island avenues). Simplon was going to keep but expand Fire Station 4. The construction was supposed to start in spring 2007 and be finished by fall 2009. By September of 2007, Simplon was foreclosed, with a $16 mill default on the $25.5 mill purchase; filed for bankruptcy March 2008.

Here's the CCDC page, showing what the project would have been: http://www.ccdc.com/projects/major-downtown-projects/projects-landing-page/east-village/172-cosmopolitan-square.html

Here is a link to a photo of the door of what once was an old-time auto-repair garage, two connected-wall buildings down from the fire station, at 428 8th Ave. http://www.flickr.com/photos/slipetz/...

March 11, 2011
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
March 11, 2011

Why don't they pick it up and move to the other side of the tracks so they don't have to build another one there?

March 12, 2011

I was a policeman in downtown for several years. One of the things I always wanted to do before I ended my 30 year career is slide down a fire pole.

This station has one and they let me do it!

March 16, 2011

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