SANTA MONICA—The city of Santa Monica’s iconic 1955 fire hall is getting a major upgrade. The Santa Monica City Council recently approved a $29.1 million contract for development of the new fire station.

Fire Station No. 1 will be built on 7th Street in downtown Santa Monica (the same location of the current station). The three-story building will span 27,000 square feet and more than double the size of its predecessor.

Dorms on the top floor will house 20 firefighters. The proposed new facility will include subterranean parking for staff, apparatus bays, staff dormitories, offices and storage requirements for personal protection equipment.

Over a decade ago, a structural study found that the current 1955 fire hall could potentially buckle during an earthquake. The city of Santa Monica notes on its website, the Fire Station has to provide essential services to the public after a disaster and assure continued operation of the building.
In 2008, the city performed a feasibility study for renovating or rebuilding Fire Station No. 1. The study indicated that the existing facility is in need of a seismic retrofit, facility upgrades and building improvements in order to be in compliance with all current codes, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and current staffing requirements. Additional analysis concluded that retrofitting the existing Fire Station No. 1 structure would reduce the functionality and its ability to meet current and future service demands for a fire station that serves Downtown and the northwestern portion of Santa Monica. The new station is expected to be done by 2020.