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Restoration: Phase 2

The Long Pause Between Phase 1 and Phase 2.

When most of the original restoration work was complete, the bottom started to fall out of the economic market in fourth quarter 2008. The global economy was becoming very unstable as the United States slid into a deep recession. The price of a barrel of oil plunged from over $125 dollars a barrel to $25 dollars a barrel in a matter of months. Axiom’s client base is primarily involved with energy, so the ride was about to get substantially rougher. In November 2008, Tom stopped all work on Fire Station No. 6 and focused entirely on maintaining a healthy business for Axiom.

The sabbatical from the Phase 1 fire station rehabilitation was beneficial because it gave Tom the time to think about what he really wanted from the addition he planned to make to the original building.

When some of the dark economic clouds started to lift in early 2010, Tom began to focus again on completing the building as the Houston economy picked up. The time off had allowed him to realize he needed to take a fresh look at the architecture of the new addition. To do so, he teamed up with architect Cliff Carlin on the recommendation of his general contractor, Roger Caddell. The team quickly implemented all new architectural design studies to try and obtain permitting from the City of Houston by year-end 2010. It took a little longer than anticipated, but the construction permit package arrived from the City on January 15, 2011. However, it took another three months to nail down the financing package. After talking to several banks, Tom went with Wells Fargo, the bank he had the best relationship with, and the one that offered him the best rate and terms for the project. Construction finally began in April 2011. The next goal? Getting construction completed by the end of 2011.

Phase 2 Construction: The First Three Months Completed

With financing from Wells Fargo approved, construction got off to a quick start in mid-April 2011. The new addition to the station would boost the usable square footage from approximately 4,200 to 8,950. Tom’s acquisition in 2007 of adjacent property on Ash Street provided the parking spaces necessary to meet city codes.

The architectural style of the new addition was meant to complement the existing building without competing with it for attention. Ultimately, Tom wanted his project to stand the test of time for another 100+ years and to become a building that the City of Houston and its firefighters would continue to be proud of.

As of this writing, the new work is about 35 percent complete. The foundation and parking lot have been poured and cured. The inner steel framework of the new addition has been constructed, and the wood framework is well under way. In the existing building, the focus has been on putting in the electrical system and the air conditioning ductwork, building new interior stairs, and, of course, installing the fire pole.

The goal for the next 30 days will be to get the new addition dried in by completing the exterior shell before onset of the most active months of the hurricane season.

View other Restoration posts.

About the Author

Since 1998, Axiom has thrived as a hybrid advertising agency/marketing communications firm that fuses marketing strategy with compelling creative to solve business problems and drive opportunities for clients worldwide. Based in Houston, Axiom provides corporate and product branding, advertising and media planning, integrated screen and print programs, and investor relations materials with an emphasis on creative solutions for energy-focused companies.

Comments (8)

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  1. Joey says:

    Thanks for sharing the restoration with us as well as the stories. Will the original portion of the building be open for viewing at any point upon completion?

  2. Kenny B says:

    I’m glad someone got the building that is spending the money needed to do the restoration right. I restored a 1928 grocery whse on Union and Taylor a few blocks away.I live there now. It was is about the same shape the fire station was when I bought it. It took me years to get it to where is is now. Congrads, K

  3. Tom Hair says:

    Thanks JoAnn. I think this would be a good case study for our next brochure on creative energy.

  4. Julie Thobae says:

    Wonderful that you saw the potential in the old fire station and saved it. Thank you for sharing the history and process with us. I live in the Bettie E. Williams house in the Old Sixth Ward, dated 1862, which I also bought in 2004. It had been rescued and restored in 1995-96. So, I’ve watched and wondered who was doing such a careful and obviously loving restoration of Old Station No. 6. The history provided has given me a better idea of how primitive things were when the OSW was established. Thank you.

  5. Tom Hair says:

    Julie,

    Thank you for your comments. I have an idea. When the Fire Station is complete, I would love to provide you a tour. And perhaps, I could tour the Bettie E. Williams house. It sounds like a real jewel.

    The caring and loving restoration is a little challenging right now. I am having to stay on the Architect and General Contractor about seemingly everything. I am sure it will be worth it when complete.

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