Historic St. Paul Firehouse Saved from Demolition

August 12, 2016 05:50 PM

The oldest municipal building in St. Paul won’t be demolished after all.

Engine Company #3 was built in 1871 and sits at the corner of Leech Street and Grand Avenue. The building is now vacant, prompting a proposal to demolish it and turn it into a 110-unit Marriott Courtyard Hotel.


But after community members came out to show support for the historic landmark, those plans have changed.

On Wednesday, the St. Paul Housing and Redevelopment Authority authorized a $500,000 forgivable loan for the preservation and redevelopment of the fire station.

The fire station is part of a parcel of land owned by BK 200, LLC. The initial plan was to demolish the fire station to create a parking lot for the hotel.

After hearing from the community, a compromise was reached that allows the fire station to be preserved while still moving forward with the hotel development.

According to city documents, the developer agreed to redesign the project to fit it on a smaller space and rehabilitate the firehouse.

Because the cost to renovate the fire station is well over $1 million, the HRA agreed to provide a $500,000 forgivable loan to fill the financial gap. The loan will be forgiven when the renovation is finished and the developers have a Certificate of Occupancy.

The renovation must be finished within three years, and the developer will need to show the HRA plans and construction costs before they see any of that money.

Historic St. Paul says Engine Company #3 is the oldest municipal building in the city and is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

“Thank you to all the committed neighbors and activists who worked hard to prevent the demolition of the firehouse and raise awareness of the building’s significance,” Ward 2 council member Rebecca Noecker said in a Facebook post.


Jennie Lissarrague

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