The city this week has begun seeking reuse proposals for a former Chicago firehouse.
Under the city's request, issued Wednesday, the ornate two-story firehouse, 5720 N. Ridge, could be reused as "a commercial and/or not-for-profit development focusing on arts, recreation or culinary activities that are open to the public." In other words: A nice place to visit, but you couldn't want to live there. "Residential uses will not be considered," a summary of the requests states.
Other forbidden uses include gas stations, payday loan establishments, currency exchanges, liquor stores or pawn shops. The building is also a protected city landmark.
Built in 1929, the building was the home of Chicago Fire Department Engine Company 59, Truck 47. Firefighters there moved to a new facility at 6030 N Clark St in 2008. The retired firehouse is among a cluster of vacant city-owned properties now up for sale including the 88-year-old former Stock Yards National Bank, 4146 S. Halsted; the tattered Ramova Theater
near 35th and Halsted and more.
The target price for the Ridge firehouse is $360,000, although price is not seen as a minimum bid by the city. An open house for prospective bidders will be held May 21. Responses are due August 1. The city's RFP can be read here
. The document includes more photos of the building, zoning maps, historic images of the old firehouse in action and an 1928 architectural rendering.