Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Harrisburg moves to sell historic Riverside Firehouse (condition: slightly used)

The Riverside Firehouse

Have you ever wanted to own a fire station—some reassembly required?

If so, now’s your chance.

On Tuesday night, the Harrisburg City Council passed a resolution that the city hopes will result in the eventual sale of the historic Riverside Firehouse, which the close-knit Uptown neighborhood has long used for community events and as a polling station.

The site at 3201-03 N. 4th St. is actually comprised of two parcels. One is owned by the city and the other by Riverside Fire Co. No. 15, one of many inactive volunteer fire companies in Harrisburg.

Technically, the resolution transferred ownership of the city’s parcel to the Harrisburg Redevelopment Authority (HRA). The fire company has agreed to also transfer its ownership to HRA, according to the city.

HRA then is supposed to consolidate the lots and try to sell the property, according to the resolution.

“By doing this, we would allow the Redevelopment Authority to obtain both of these deeds and tie these parcels together so they can be sold for development in the future,” said council member Ausha Green, chair of the public safety committee, before the unanimous vote in favor.

According to Green, Fire Bureau officials supported the resolution, as the building is in need of significant repair. The bureau would like to see the building restored, even if for another, private use, Green said.

Pat Waller, for one, believes the 3,300-square-foot building, built in 1923 and largely empty for decades, would make a great private residence.

“It’s very unique,” said Waller, president of the Riverside United Neighbors community group. “I’m looking forward to when the sales sign goes up.”

As selling points, she pointed to the tin ceilings and historic charm, but added that a buyer would need to undertake a major restoration.

“I’m quite pleased with the effort so far, but the building is in bad shape,” she said. “It needs a lot of work.”

For the story of a successfully restored Harrisburg fire station, please read our feature on the Allison Hook & Ladder Co. from the November magazine.

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