One Year Recap
Central Station Education Initiative has made huge progress on the restoration of Central Fire Station in Welland in the year since we received our Legacy Grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage.
The station had been deteriorating since 2006 with leaky roofs and lack of heat, so our first task last summer and fall was to do the urgent repairs to the exterior to make the building safe for the winter. Exterior wooden soffits, fascia, trim and doors were repaired by Willowbank School of Restoration Arts using appropriate methods of heritage restoration, eavetroughs were repaired/replaced as necessary and the trim, including the clock face, was repainted by Contour Architectural Coatings so that the grand old structure, 101 years old, once more showed a distinquished face to the world and became again an asset to the appearance of our downtown. Possibly one of the most important upgrades was the re-roofing of all the flat roofs that finally put an end to the leaks that were damaging the interior.
The next step was to get our town clock in the tower keeping time again after many years sitting idle, and this was achieved before Christmas with the help of Bob Pritzker and Ben Orszulak of the Toronto Chapter 33 of the National Association of Watch & Clock Collectors Inc., Zibi Pilarczyk of Zibi's Jewellers and Kevin Coholan and Matt of K.C. Electric.
Some interior work was also completed during the fall, including restoration of the bottom steps of one of the 100-year-old oak staircases that had been damaged by water. During the winter we have been moving forward with the necessary plumbing, electric and HVAC upgrades in the interior. When the weather warms, exterior work including repointing of the brickwork, restoration of original windows and replacement of non original windows are planned.
CSEI is an incorporated not-for-profit and our mandate includes preserving and educating about the material and cultural history of Welland’s Fire and Emergency Services. We are doing this by restoring Central Station, one of the most uniquely designed fire stations in North America and opening the main floor and part of the second floor as a public heritage space that preserves an authentic presentation of how members of the Fire Service lived and worked in the building. This includes 100-year-old artefacts such as the original brass fire poles and 1920 master control panel for street corner alarm boxes as well as a 1957 LaFrance Quad Pumper. The ongoing financial support for the project will come from rentals of second and third floor offices and co-working spaces.
We would like to thank all our excellent hardworking volunteers who have assisted in furthering the work of the restoration.
We are always looking for funding from a wide range of sources, as we still need funding to make the building completely accessible with a new washroom and a small addition with new elevator and staircase.
To support this unique project and help save our irreplaceable firefighting heritage please go to our website centralfirehall.ca and donate through Paypal or e-transfer to email@example.com.
We welcome new volunteers to join our organization, and are currently seeking new Board members who have a heart for maintaining this heritage and experience in not-for-profits, fundraising and administration. To apply, please go to our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/wellandcentralfirehall/ and submit your resume.
Our next fundraising event will be “Power of the Pen”, a fun online event on Thursday April 28th at 6:30 p.m. Please keep watching our Facebook page for future events!