San Francisco’s busiest fire station is now housed in a new building, and The City has a unique patron to thank for Station 1’s sparkling new Folsom Street digs: The arts.
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art funded the $14 million station — which Mayor Ed Lee and other city dignitaries officially opened Thursday morning — via a land swap.
In return for the land where The City’s old Station 1 stood on Howard Street near the museum, the SFMOMA footed the bill for the construction of the new fire station. The acquisition allows for the museum’s $250 million, 235,000-square-foot renovation and expansion.
The old station — a small, double-garage building sandwiched between skyscrapers — dated to the early 1900s and was last renovated in the 1950s. It needed $9 million worth of seismic retrofitting in order to be useable, according to city officials.
The new station has three garage doors, allowing for a bigger station crew, and also includes a gym and other amenities. It is the first new fire station in San Francisco since Station 43 opened on Moscow Street in the Excelsior district in 1970.
The museum is set to close this summer while its new wing, which should open in 2016, is built.
Station 1 is San Francisco’s busiest fire station and, with 17,000 annual calls for service, one of the busiest in the United States, city officials said.
Most of The City’s fire stations are being rehabbed or upgraded thanks to $73 million in bonds approved by city voters in 2010.