Crews have begun demolition of a fire station in Highland Park, which was built in 1929, to make way for a new and bigger station, officials said.
Highland Park Fire Department Station 32, located at 692 Burton Avenue, was built in 1929 as a substation to reduce response times to the southern portion of Highland Park.
The station was built within a renovated single-family home and was equipped with a 750 gallon per minute fire engine staffed with two personnel.
In 1966, the station responded to 127 calls for service staffed by two personnel.
Over 50 years later, the station is now equipped with a fire engine and an ambulance responding to approximately 2,000 calls for service annually.
The City of Highland Park said that the increased demand for service and lack of space within the station “is not sustainable nor practical for rapid emergency response operations.”
The city in 2016 began exploring locations to build a new station.
Residents and businesses were in support of replacing the existing fire station as long as it was built on the existing site or across the street on the northwest corner of Brown Park.
The city council approved the design and engineering services for the redevelopment in January 2020. It was decided the new station would be built on the existing site.
Construction crews began building a temporary Ravinia fire station at Brown Park in October.
Fire department personnel have since transitioned to the temporary station and city officials said that there will be no interruption to public safety services during the construction of the new station.
The temporary station includes an apparatus bay and trailer that will be on-site for 12-15 months while the new station is constructed.
City officials said on Monday that crews had begun demolishing the old fire station.