Mayor Margaret Larson stood on the raised platform in front of the main doors to Firehouse 46 and addressed the large crowd that had gathered for the rededication of the station and the unveiling of a 9/11 artifact.
"We must both embrace the past and celebrate the future, because they belong together," said the mayor. "This building does that beautifully."
Fire Chief Bruce Stedman recounted the station's history as it has evolved from its first location in the current City Hall building, to a one-story structure built in 1961 at its current location, 137 N. MacLeod. The building was remodeled in 1973 to add three equipment bays at a cost of $32,000, and in 1994, the building to the south of the station was purchased for use as an administrative office.
The new Firehouse 46 updates the crew's living and work quarters, with private sleeping rooms, fitness equipment, a nicely-equipped kitchen and a lounging area with comfy recliners.
There's also a hint of history in the installation of a brass fire pole, salvaged from the original location, on the landing of the stairwell.
"There's a saying in the fire service that a fire chief's success is the result of sitting on the shoulders of all the chiefs who have come before them," Stedman said. "I want to thank all of Arlington previous fire chiefs, including those here today. Let me assure you, the view is fine from up here."
For more photos, click here.