Photograph by Don Nolte

Photograph by Don Nolte

The former fire station at 909 Tennessee has historical signicance, and remains vacant while its owner decides its fate. Photographs BY DON NOLTE

February 2013

Former Dogpatch Fire Station Sits Idle

Keith Burbank

Two years ago the City and County of San Francisco sold a former Tennessee Street fire station to Wayne de Geere III for $1,310,000. Since then, de Geere has sat on the property, with no renovation proposals filed with the San Francisco Planning Department. Whatever changes are made to the structure will have to meet requirements for historic preservation of the building and the area. 

“We don’t have firm plans for the firehouse at the moment,” said de Geere, adding that he’s working to rezone the parcel from “public” to “urban mixed use.” “All parcels around it were automatically zoned UMU when the Eastern Neighborhoods Plan took effect a couple of years back, but this one was left behind.” 

According to the Planning Department, “…all buildings constructed over 50 years ago and possess architectural or historical significance may be considered potential historic resources and proposed changes to these buildings may require some level of environmental review.” The building lies within the Dogpatch Historic District. It was first put into service by the San Francisco Fire Department (SFFD) January 14, 1926, replacing another fire facility located a block away, at 1009 Tennessee Street. 

The parcel the fire station sits on is roughly 5,000 square feet. Jason Hinson, City and County of San Francisco Real Estate Division, said the two-story fire station is about 6,100 square feet. 

“Engine 16 was stationed at 909 Tennessee Street beginning sometime in 1926, and remained there until 1970,” said Mindy Talmadge, SFFD’s public information officer. “Engine 16 has since been located at 2251 Greenwich Street. Battalion 10 (B10) was also stationed at 909 Tennessee from 1926 to 1941. In 1941, B10 was replaced by Battalion 11, and remained there until 1961. From 1970 to1974, a Fire Department tow truck operated out of 909 Tennessee Street. I believe after the tow truck was moved out, the property was used to store some of our antiquities.” The two-story brick building was designed by City architect, John Reid, Jr., and cost $39,400.91 to construct.

As early as 1952, City officials were suggesting that SFFD abandon 909 Tennessee Street. In 1969, Gage — Babcock & Associates, Oakland, recommended that a new fire station be constructed at Pennsylvania and 22nd streets. 

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