Coming down in today’s snow: the Bellaire Fire Station at the corner of Jessamine and South Rice Blvd. The new station will go in at the same location — but at a much higher elevation:
The new station includes built-in flood protection, because the floor will rest at an elevation of 55 feet, five inches, which is one foot and one inch higher than the 100-year flood elevation.
During Monday’s council meeting, several council members raised concerns because the station design does not comply with the city’s residential building code. The station is considered a commercial building, so it is not required to meet the residential code.
Councilman Jim Avioli asked about why the station’s tower is 48 feet tall, which exceeds the size limit for residential construction.
“That element provides an iconic component that anchors that corner of the city’s main complex,” [PGAL Architect Jeff] Gerber said. “I think it serves a purpose in that regard. There’s no functional reason for it to be that tall, it’s really an aesthetic.”
- As Snow Fell, So Did The Old Bellaire Fire Station [YouTube]
- Design Of New Bellaire Fire Station [Instant News Bellaire]
Photos: PGAL (rendering); City of Bellaire (old station). Video: NeighborhoodMedia.com
What, no turret?
I would say to the architect that the “iconic component” is not mere functionless “aesthetic” — rather, it reflects the ostentation that Bellaire has become.
Toured the old station as a kid. RIP, old 1950’s Ranch-style firehouse. Hello, ugly firehouse that seems to want to match ugly rec center.