We often hear people talk about something being 'the end of an era'.  What happened in Skowhegan on Wednesday is the epitome of that statement.

According to a KJ article, after spending 120 years operating from the same building, the Skowhegan Fire Department has made the move to the new $8 million public works building.

While the Skowhegan Fire Department had its beginnings in the 1840s, the Island Avenue fire station was not constructed until 1904.  But like many buildings from that time, it has stood the test of time.  The article explains that the fire station was designed in the Romanesque Revival style by a Lewiston architect named William R. Miller.

While many are sad to see the fire department make the move, the fire department had outgrown the old structure.  The firefighting equipment that was available in small-town Maine was quite a bit smaller back in the first years of the 20th century.  As a result, many of the new trucks fit inside the building with inches to spare.

The new public works building is much better suited for today's modern firefighting equipment.  It also have individual sleeping quarters, a bigger kitchen, and a gym.

What will happen to the old Skowhegan fire station?

As yet, there have been no formal talks about what to do with the historic building, which was added to the Register of Historic Places in 1983.  Some people have suggested that the building could be turned into a museum, that it could be used as an auxiliary fire station, or that it could be sold to developers.

As we have seen in other mill towns, Skowhegan seems to be in the process of being redeveloped and gentrified.  Several of the town's old buildings have been (or are in the process of being) rehabilitated.

It would not be surprising to see something similar happen to the old fire station as well.

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