Hot home: Former Portland fire station bursts on and off the market in 4 days
Is your home a bit ho-hum? You might be hearing the alarm to move to an out-of-the-ordinary place with more space. Have you considered living in a firehouse?
You wouldn’t be the first to park a car, RV or boat in a garage built for a firetruck.
A 76-year-old, Southeast Portland fire station retrofitted into a live-work unit was put up for sale at $750,000 on Thursday, Jan. 13. A flood of people toured it over the weekend and by Monday, Jan. 17, an offer was accepted.
The structure at 5125 S.E. Ogden St. has a vintage sign on its pitched metal roof that reads “Fire District No. 1.″ Three roll-up doors, separated by red brick, open to a double-height garage with skylights.
Walk through swinging doors, painted with flames like a post-WWII hot rod, and enter the living space, which includes a great room, kitchen with granite counters and a mudroom with original wood lockers.
Then take the stairs to the primary suite on the second floor. The fire pole is long gone, but fire-resistant concrete walls and floors are in place.
The 3,170-square-foot dwelling would work well for someone who “lives life outside the normal box,” said listing agent Kama Dersham with Mathew Wray of Keller Williams Realty Portland Central.
She mentioned a collector, aerial artist, woodworker or welder.
One owner was a sculptor who fired clay and kept her kilns in the sunlit former fire station.
Dersham also envisions a photographer, chef or musician relocating to the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood to enjoy “great dining and shopping.”
The setting could also be a yoga studio, meditation space or a home base for a small business, she added.
Dersham said her listing was also of interest to eco-conscious home shoppers. The current owners installed energy efficient solar power, heat and cooling pumps, and a tankless water heater.
The structure spans the width of the 4,791-square-foot lot. There are no side yards, but there are trees in the front and a garden in the back with a fire pit.
After the fire station was decommissioned and the firefighters moved out, the 1946 building was used by a limousine service company and as a bath salts factory and flea market. It was converted into legal living quarters about two decades ago.
Many of Portland’s old fire houses have been repurposed:
- The 1912 Fire Station No. 17 in Northwest Portland’s Historic Alphabet District was the first “storefront” type designed by Battalion Chief Lee Gray Holden. It sheltered five horses in stalls behind the engine room with a horse-drawn ladder truck and steam pumper on the ground floor and about a half dozen firefighters upstairs. Today, it’s a home. The bunk room with a fireplace is now a dining room and more formal sitting area. The space for showers and lockers is now a kitchen with custom cabinets and a Sub-Zero refrigerator with an ice-box surround. Read more
- Portland Fire and Rescue Bureau still uses the station, built in 1928, at 5707 S.E. 92nd Ave. The surviving 1925 firehouse, built at 1920 S.W. Spring St., replaced the original station.
- The 1913 Kenton Firehouse, at 8105 N. Brandon Ave., is owned by the city and is an event center with the nonprofit North Portland Tool Library operating in the basement.
- The 1913 fire station at 1425 N.W. Glisan St. housed Touché Restaurant and Bar from 1995 to 2017.
- Fire Station No. 23, at 1917 S.E. 7th Ave., became Oregon’s first medical marijuana dispensary.
— Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072