ROGERS PARK — The city has opened the doors to the 102-year-old Greenleaf Avenue firehouse for sale in Rogers Park as it continues its quest to find an owner for the property by the end of the summer.
Earlier this month, the city's Department of Planning and Development issued a request for proposals for the two-story firehouse at 1721-23 W. Greenleaf Ave. The target selling price is $315,000.
Stephanie Barto of the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society attended the open house for pleasure rather than an interest in investment, but said despite its "rough shape" it would be "easy to imagine the life it had as a firehouse and also interesting to imagine how delightful it could be if renovated with respect for its character."
The station, formerly Engine Co. No. 102, has been on the market twice since it closed in 2009 after the construction of a new firehouse.
Between 2013 and 2014, several interested parties vied for the building and 49th Ward Ald. Joe Moore eventually whittled the proposals to three — a Hindu temple, a home-office location and headquarters for two economic support and social organizations — though none of the prospects panned out.
Moore recently explained that though he had gone through a community input process to recommend the best buyer to the city, he was told he would have to choose the highest bidder instead.
"I reluctantly agreed to start the process all over again," Moore said.
The 6,323-square-foot building was finished in 1915 and sits on a 8,934-square-foot lot, according to the city, and is currently zoned for residential development, though the Planning Department is willing to consider requests that require zoning changes.
It also boasts a vintage 1950s-era air-raid siren.
Its potential use is "flexible," according to the city, but "respondents must respect the existing land uses and architecture of the surrounding area when submitting proposals," and proposals should "preserve the historically significant exterior elements and basic structure of the building."
Take a look inside the former firehouse below.
Photos courtesy of Stephanie Barto, of the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society.