The work to demolish the 1930s era Greenwich Fire Department's Central Fire House in downtown Greenwich has begun in earnest.
Last week, workers dismantled the flagpole—which they said will be recycled and reinstalled to stand sentry outside the new $20.5 million fire station that is expected to be completed in 2015. Hydraulic lifts and scaffolding now ring the Bruce Place side of the building. And this week, a ring of tarp-covered chain-link fencing was erected on two sides of the building at Havemeyer Place and Mason Street.
The demolition comes after years of debate over whether to preserve the limestone and granite building or to raze and it build a replica of the station completed in 1937. Many of the exterior elements will be incorporated into the new facility that will meet stricter building and safety codes.
The building has been fraught with problems for years ranging from sewage backups to a leaking roof and windows and crumbling plaster walls and ceilings.
Also, certain architectural elements — including the building's original metal work, lights and windows — will be reused in the new construction, officials have said. Equipment and fire crews assigned to Central have been relocated to a temporary facility at the Horseneck Lane commuter parking lot and to the Cos Cob Volunteer Fire Co.
*Editor's note: this story has been updated to correct the construction completion date.