Adaptive Reuse Award
La Jolla certainly offers many delightful pleasures, and one of them is simply strolling through the business and shopping area. A standout historic building has always been Fire Station Engine Company 13 on Wall Street, a building that began life in 1937 as much more than a fire station. Simultaneously, it also housed La Jolla's first city hall, a police station complete with jail cell, a hospital room, and the water department until 1976. It was designed in the Spanish-Mission Revival style by Harold Abrams for the Works Progress Administration and is a City of San Diego historic landmark. No boring municipal box, this civic building is full of personality best expressed in its tall, welcoming archway that frames what fire fighters call the apparatus door.
After Fire Station 13 relocated, the building remained unused for about a decade until the YMCA leased it from the City of San Diego in the 1980s. This Y has been growing in popularity ever since. The nonprofit recently renovated the building for the second time. This time around, the exterior was also restored and repainted its original color. Windows that had been entombed were uncovered and restored and the apparatus door was converted to a glass roll-up door that is often open to people passing by and the ocean breeze. Two storefront entries that led to the fire station and the police station have been replicated using historic photographs, so they too open the building to pedestrians and street life. Down came a plywood ceiling that had concealed wood trusses and full-height concrete walls, creating a thrilling space for the Shepherd YMCA Firehouse's health and wellness programs.
For inspired Adaptive Reuse, we commend Trip Bennett.
Photo of award winner by Sandé Lollis (Pictured left to right - Trip Bennett, Sue Ball, A.J. Remen, and Peter Curry); all others courtesy award winners
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