(WSB photos by Ellen Cedergreen)
This might have been West Seattle’s hottest (free!) ticket today – the long-awaited community open house at brand-new Fire Station 37 in Sunrise Heights, two months after crews moved in. Outside, visitors got to check out various SFD vehicles; inside, there was face painting, coloring, stickers, beverages, and treats. The next view is from the workout room on the second floor (living quarters are on the ground floor):
One of the big attractions – the sculpture “Lifter” outside the station (discussed here extensively, with a photo of the entire sculpture, in case you haven’t seen it), whose artist Pete Beeman came up from Portland for the occasion:
He helped kids figure out how to turn its crank – and offered prizes to everybody who gave it a try:
Visitors got to meet firefighters from all over the city:
In a nod to history, the Last Resort Fire Department (famous for appearances in parades including the West Seattle American Legion Post 160 Grand Parade) had an engine on hand too. Bob Carson told WSB he thinks historic engines like this will probably outlast the new ones!
And as much as everyone enjoys meeting firefighters, the goal is to not ever meet them in more urgent circumstances – so educational displays were part of today’s event as well, as were free batteries for smoke detectors (change yours every year!):
Fire Station 37 is at the corner of 35th and Holden, a few blocks south of its predecessor, whose fate hasn’t been determined yet – the city intends to sell it, but since it’s a landmark, tearing it down is not an option.