Since Firestation 21 (affectionately known as Old
21) was decommissioned in the late 50s, the building served as office space and
storage. For the past decade, Old 21 was used as a rehabilitation/fitness center
by the SFFD. During this time, the building had fallen into a state of extreme
disrepair. In October of 2004, the exterior of the building was restored to its
former glory and it stands today as a tribute to the great history of the SFFD.
In June of 2004, the fire department, due to the
large budget deficit it was facing, declared the building surplus property, which
is the first step towards sale of the structure. A group of neighbors fearing
the building would end up private hands and closed to the community, lobbied
the Board of Supervisors to prevent the sale of the building (Old 21 has a twin
on Washington street, which is now a private residence and closed to the community
neighbors did not want to see this happen with Old 21). At the 11th hour, during
the 2004 budget battle, the firehouse was spared from sale. Despite being saved
from the chopping block, sale of Old 21 is still possible.