Over the decades, La Crosse history buffs have reluctantly seen many old buildings taken down — a courthouse, a post office, the Hotel Stoddard.
A city historical commission has put north side Fire Station No. 4 on a list of 10 unique buildings facing demolition.
The fire department, however, wants that station torn down to make way for a new one, which will cost around $5-6 million.
Chris Kahlow of the Heritage Preservation Commission told fire chief Ken Gilliam on Thursday that her group wants to educate the public about the old buildings.
“This is merely education,” Kahlow said. “I think because it is threatened with demolition, it is right where it should be on the list.”
Gilliam doesn’t object to letting people weigh in on the 80-year-old station’s historic value, but he also wants to get going on construction of a new firehouse.
The chief believes the old station has outlived its usefulness, and says preservation attempts could delay plans for the new building.
“If this commission triggered something where the community decided they wanted to save the station, I will adjust strategy,” Gilliam said, “but it will cost the city more, potentially millions of dollars, to do that.”
A motion was made Thursday night to remove Station No. 4 from the commission’s list of 10 threatened historic buildings in La Crosse. The motion died for lack of a second.