With Hamilton firehouse sold, Cincinnati arts organization planning to move in

The city has sold the historic fire station at 1224 Shuler Avenue to a local rehabbing company that plans to turn it into housing for people visiting the city and also a place for the Cincinnati-based arts organization, Wave Pool. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

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The city has sold the historic fire station at 1224 Shuler Avenue to a local rehabbing company that plans to turn it into housing for people visiting the city and also a place for the Cincinnati-based arts organization, Wave Pool. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Following the sale of the historic firehouse in the East End neighborhood, Hamilton-based Primo Property Services LLC has begun design work needed to transform the 110-year-old building into a community outreach and arts center on the first floor, with short-term rental spaces upstairs.

Meanwhile, a 7-year-old Cincinnati arts organization called Wave Pool, has begun meeting with Hamilton arts organizations and others to learn how programs it can offer would fit with the needs of the community. Wave Pool in Cincinnati’s Camp Washington neighborhood offers art and cooking classes, community dinners and other entertainment opportunities to people.

Wave Pool and its service called The Welcome Project empower “Cincinnati’s refugee and immigrant population while connecting, assisting and inspiring all through art and food,” according to Wave Pool’s website.

Following the sale for $500 of the property at 1224 Shuler Ave., a firehouse that went into service 110 years ago this month and was taken out of service in 2013, Kate Kate Yerigan and Heather Bernal of Primo Property Services are readying plans to restore the fire station with the help of family. They plan to invest $60,000 in the rehabilitation, plus $100,000 in sweat equity over two years from themselves and talented family members in construction fields.

ExploreHistoric Hamilton firehouse could become new home or business

“We’ve had everybody there,” Bernal said. “The building inspectors, plumbers, electricians, HVAC people. We had the bug guy out to make sure there were no bugs. Just everything.”

An engineer is working building on drawings for the project, which may include three upstairs bedrooms plus a large main area with built-in bunk beds, so if three families with athletes playing in a tournament at the under-construction Spooky Nook Sports Champion Mill indoor sports complex came to visit, there could be perhaps nine bunks in a living area, and the parents could have relative peace among themselves, Bernal said.

Meanwhile, they and Wave Pool recently met with representatives of such organizations as the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park, Miami University, city government and Artspace Hamilton Lofts.

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In 2013, Lt. Nathaniel Robertson and firefighter/paramedic David Oakley took down the American flag from Company 7 on Shuler Avenue. Community members gathered Tuesday evening at the firehouse for a ceremony closing the station in Hamilton.

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

In 2013, Lt. Nathaniel Robertson and firefighter/paramedic David Oakley took down the American flag from Company 7 on Shuler Avenue. Community members gathered Tuesday evening at the firehouse for a ceremony closing the station in Hamilton.

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

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In 2013, Lt. Nathaniel Robertson and firefighter/paramedic David Oakley took down the American flag from Company 7 on Shuler Avenue. Community members gathered Tuesday evening at the firehouse for a ceremony closing the station in Hamilton.

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

Credit: E.L. Hubbard

Wave Pool also plans to meet with people in the surrounding neighborhood to discuss what they would like to see there, Bernal said. They plan to have the project complete in two years, as required by the city, if not sooner.

“I have asked several of the inspectors if we’re doomed, and they say we’re not doomed, and they’re jealous,” Bernal said.

“What people should know is it’s going to be awesome, and we’re going to be an active part of the community.”

Also, artist Calcagno “Cal” Cullen, a founder of Wave Pool, “is one of the best people I’ve ever met in my life,” Bernal said. “Everything she touches is for the good of the world and the community, and I’ve always been in awe of her, so I’m very excited to work with her. She’s just always up to something new, and something that’s going to help people, and sort of quirky and fun.”

ExploreCincinnati arts organization may expand into historic Hamilton firehouse
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The city of Hamilton put up for sale the historic firehouse at 1224 Shuler Ave.. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

The city of Hamilton put up for sale the historic firehouse at 1224 Shuler Ave.. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

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The city of Hamilton put up for sale the historic firehouse at 1224 Shuler Ave.. NICK GRAHAM / STAFF

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

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