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Shepherd YMCA Firehouse

Fire Station Engine Company 13 Historic Adaptive Reuse
7877 Herschel Avenue, La Jolla, CA

Fire Station Engine Company 13 began life as much more than a fire station. Simultaneously, it also housed La Jolla’s first city hall, a police station, a hospital room, and the water department until 1976. The City of San Diego Historical Landmark was designed in the Spanish-Mission Revival style for the Works Progress Administration. The building remained unused for about a decade until the YMCA leased it from the City in the 1980s.


We worked in collaboration with Architect, Tripp Bennett for the adaptive re-use of this historic structure.  The $1.5 million renovation of the space included considerable restoration of the historic firehouse’s exterior.  But it also included significant changes to its interior that made plans for the space achievable.  Most noteworthy, perhaps, was the opening of the interior spaces through the addition of a mezzanine, the removal of several walls, a move of the building’s staircase and changes to the roof structure — allowing for the continuation of a seismically safe structure, despite a removal of the diaphragm ceiling that had previously hidden the trusses that are now visible.

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