Patten Street firehouse on the block

The next time the City of Sonoma needs temporary quarters – when one department or another undergoes expansion, seismic upgrading or simply catches fire – the number-one candidate for temporary office space will be out of play.

On April 30, bids from prospective buyers will be opened, the offers will be reviewed and, if everything goes according to plan, the old fire station at 32 Patten St. – right at the corner with Broadway – will be in new hands and off the city’s radar by the end of the year, or at least by early 2015.

And what may have been the city’s most versatile utility player – as buildings go – will be just another piece of history, assuming anything of its current configuration survives new ownership.

Originally built as a combined police and fire station in 1948, after both departments outgrew their allotted quadrants at City Hall, the Patten Street building was pressed into service to house city operations after the bottom floor of City Hall caught fire on a hot August night in 1980.

In 1987, city staff returned to Patten Street while seismic retrofitting was done on City Hall under the dictates of state law and the laws of geologic probability.

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