Where some see an old fire station, Joanne McKenna sees a new art gallery.
The Ward 1 councillor wants to transform the former Beachmont fire station on Winthrop Avenue into artists’ lofts and an art gallery.
McKenna said the building is currently being used as a storage facility for the Revere Fire Department.
“The Beachmont fire station is the oldest fire station in the city,” noted McKenna during Monday’s City Council meeting. “It’s an historical building, one the Beachmont community and the City would like to keep since we’ve lost so many landmarks.”
McKenna said the exterior condition of the building “is in disarray.”
“Two years ago the Beachmont Impovement Committee, Elle Baker, and I looked at the building and tried to utilize it,” said McKenna. “But because of the funding, we were unsuccessful. But now with the American Rescue Plan Fund, we now might have the opportunity to create and save this beautiful, historical building by maybe creating art lofts and an art gallery for residents to have a place to view visual artwork and artists to have a place to show their work.”
According to McKenna, there are no such galleries or lofts currently in Revere.
“I would love to see this happen and I know the Beachmont Improvement Committee would love to see this happen, and Elle Baker would love to see this happen,” said McKenna.
Councillor-at-Large Jessica Giannino commended McKenna for her innovative idea. “You are so thoughtful about your community and about Ward 1 and the art community and just taking spaces and coming up with creative, appropriate uses for them,” said Giannino. “So I think this is phenomenal. I’m excited about it. I’d love to see the feasibility of it because it really is unfortunate that No. 1, it’s a beautiful space that’s not being used to its full capacity, and No. 2, it’s a very residential neighborhood, it’s a very tight neighborhood, so this would be a space that wouldn’t be traversed all the time. It would be for events and showings and really give people a space to be creative and I think there’s a lot of opportunity there.”
Councillor-at-Large George Rotondo offered his support stating, “Joanne, great work, and I hope we can find the money for this – this is a perfect use for that building. It’s dynamic and more importantly, I think it will bring people together.”
Ward 2 Ira Novoselsky said, “What a great, great motion. We have a building that’s not being utilized and it is a beautiful building. It is historic. I know it’s going to cost money to do it and hopefully the Mayor will find it. You have my vote on it.”