This may be the only fire that Menlo Park Fire Protection District Chief Harold Schapelhouman wishes had not been extinguished so quickly: A firefighter once knocked a light off the wall while leaving Station 6, causing a small fire. The chief wondered whether it would've been better if the station at 700 Oak Grove Ave. in downtown Menlo Park had burnt down, since that could have allowed renovations sooner.
Nevertheless, thanks to the Menlo Park City Council's unanimous approval on Tuesday (Jan. 13), the district can go full steam ahead with building a new station at the site.
The plan is to build a 7,857-square-foot, two-story firehouse of red brick and tan stucco. A companion 1,003- square-foot, single-story structure will be built to display trucks from the 1930s and 1950s, along with a hose wagon from 1900. Finally, a 342-square-foot carriage house, which has a gable roof and bell tower, will be relocated to the site from the district's Middlefield Road headquarters.
The first floor of the new station will have a drive-through bay, while the second floor will provide living quarters for the firefighters on duty, according to the site plan.
The architectural design of the new station is by CJW Architecture, Portola Valley. Carter J. Warr is the principal architect and Bill Gutgsell, the senior associate architect.
Two neighboring lots -- at 700 Oak Grove Ave. and 1231 Hoover St. -- will be combined to create enough space for the new station. The current building at 700 Oak Grove Ave. and the house at 1231 Hoover St. will be demolished.
At least two heritage trees and six non-heritage trees will be cut down. The district plans to plant 26 new trees.
The project has been tweaked during development to address concerns raised by neighbors about privacy and blocked light. Residents indicated they were happy with the final outcome, which earned the district praise from the council during the meeting.
Click here to see the staff report for the project, including renderings. (The document may take several minutes to load.)