The old fire station at 2701 Fifth Ave. S is being transformed into a fashionable art gallery and event venue — Station Number Three.
Built in 1940, the former station now flaunts 3,200 square feet of artist edge blended with retro charm.
Each quarter, Station Number Three will choose a local group to receive a percentage of sales. The first to benefit will be the local fire departments' benevolent fund for families of injured or fallen firefighters.
The art opening, appropriately named "Fascination," is exactly what current owner Maryann Lynch has had for this, and many other, historic buildings in St. Petersburg.
"This is the grooviest little space in town," said Lynch. "I buy, fix up and lease old buildings — but I fell in love with this one. I don't want anyone to lease this one, it's special," she said.
Lynch, who said the building is "screaming art deco," added that after the walls were washed and polyurethaned, the concrete floors were sanded and polyurethaned as well.
"I designed and helped make the smoking hot window panels that slide on a barn door system — Chris Kurmay and I built those together," she added.
"We're keeping a lot of the old (plumbing) features, this stuff was built in the '40s, and it was built to last."
More than 5,000 invitations have been sent out for the first art opening set for Sept. 11, which also will be a tribute to the community's firefighters.
"One of the firemen who worked in the old firehouse, David Glass, found out about what we were doing through Facebook and he's been a wealth of information about the history," she said.
"He was so happy that I acquired it because I understand it. David's also trying to arrange to have a fire truck with a 100-foot ladder extended out in front for the opening."
The celebration will begin at 6 p.m. Sept. 11. The opening will include the works of five local artists: Cindy Mason, John Revisky (SRQ), Claudia Strano, Frank Strunk III and David Williams.
Tim Thompson, the curator and director of the gallery, said he is excited about the project. He's also the sales, rentals and corporate producer of Concept Bait.
During normal hours, the gallery will also provide consulting for private and corporate collectors, crating and shipping, delivery, and installation of your must-have treasures.