Atlanta Fire Station #7, located in the Historic West End, officially announced it's re-opening during a Tuesday morning ceremony at the station located at 535 W. Whitehall Street, in southwest Atlanta.
The West End community has waited for years to hear this announcement that the West End business corridor and the homes in the immediate area will once again have a fire station in close proximity to serve them and the community's needs.
There was some thought a few weeks ago, that the station would not re-open as a working "fire station". But residents spoke up and told City Council how they felt about needing a station to serve the community.
“The re-opening of this station falls squarely into my Administration’s efforts to improve public safety across the city,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “This station will place more emergency fire personnel right here in the West End, and residents will notice the difference in response times and community safety.”
It was under Mayor Franklin that the facility was closed due to budget shortfalls, and eventually fully shut down in 2008. Since then, the West End community relied on multiple other fire stations to handle their emergency calls. Over the years, residents in the West End area complained of long response times.
Councilwoman Cleta Winslow said in an earlier press release that she is excited that the historic fire station will once again re-open, and that she hopes that it will shorten local response times to neighborhoods such as the West End, Ashview Heights, College Town, Mechanicsville, Pittsburgh, Adair Park, Oakland City/Venetian Hills and Mozley Park.
“I am very grateful to Mayor Reed for finding the money to reopen Station No. 7,” said Councilmember Cleta Winslow, whose district includes the station. “At the time of its closure in 2008, No. 7 was the second busiest station in the entire city. I also want to profoundly thank my colleagues for voting unanimously to approve the startup funds to get No.7 renovated and back to servicing the nine neighborhoods in the surrounding area.”
Before its closure, Fire Station #7 was the longest running station in Atlanta. It opened in 1910, back when the West End was a vibrant White community.
FOX 5's Darryl Carver reports that business leaders and merchants are among those helping to fund the renovation and reopening of the facility.
The Atlanta City Council passed legislation authorizing the $2.5 million expenditure to begin architectural engineering and design services as well as asbestos abatement on the site. Remodeling construction is expected to take 12 months.