Town Crier: Rumors abound about old Montclair firehouse

Rumors have been swirling about a restauranteurâ  s possible interest in the storybook firehouse in Montclair, which was built in 1927 and which has been

MONTCLARION: June 3, 2016

The little storybook firehouse: It was one of the first things that drew me to Montclair. Could there finally be some interest in fixing up this wonderful, whimsical structure that’s been closed since the Loma Prieta earthquake?

Rumors have been swirling about a restaurateur’s possible interest in the 1927 gem. But the city officials I’ve talked to say there’s nothing new to report. The building still needs major renovation and retrofitting — we’re talking $1 million or more — before it’s even inhabitable. And only someone with deep pockets would have that kind of money.

In the meantime, with each passing day, there’s a little more decay. It’s a sad state of affairs for an architectural landmark — certainly not the fairybook ending this Hansel and Gretel house deserves.

Email bag: Thanks to reader John Stickler for the reminder about this weekend’s massive Bay Area Book Festival in nine square blocks of downtown Berkeley around Civic Center Park. A whole section of the fair is just for kids — including a reading stage. Stickler and his wife are authors and will be part of a trade booth with their new book “Maya and the Turtle — A Korean Fairytale.”

Around town: My apologies for neglecting to mention bandleader, guitarist and vocalist Gary Bresee in last week’s column about the popular Montclair band called Highway 13. You can catch this talented group of seven Redwood Day School parents at Monaghans from 7 to 10 p.m. Aug. 27. You can also sign up for the band’s mailing list at

Birthday bash: The Queen’s 90th Birthday Ball, complete with a Beatles tribute band, will bring some 500 revelers to San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel on June 11. British transplant and Montclarion Susie Goodier remembers the excitement when the queen’s motorcade would pass near her childhood house. The subjects would shout, “God save the queen and long may she reign” as her majesty passed by. Looks like they got their wish.

Beer, wine fest: Feeling lucky? Then you might want to ‘like’ the Montclair Village facebook page ( Each time you do, you’ll be entered to win a gift certificate or a tasting package at the June 18 Montclair Beer and Wine Celebration. And while we’re on subject of the Beer and Wine Festival, I’ll be pouring that day, so stop by and say “hi.”

Animal tales: Speaking of luck … it’s ladybug season in the hills. I haven’t been down to Girl’s Camp in Redwood Regional Park, but this time of year, the grove can be thick with the spotted creatures. Want a colony to move into your garden? Plant cilantro, fennel, dill and geraniums. You can even build a ladybug feeder with bamboo, twine and raisins. Then put out the welcome mat.

Got news? You can reach Ginny Prior by email at or on the web at http://www.”



One thought on “Town Crier: Rumors abound about old Montclair firehouse

  1. The City of Oakland is proud to announce a Notice of Development Opportunity (NODO) for the property at 6226 Moraga Ave., Oakland, CA 94611. The property consists of 2 adjacent parcels. The Montclair Firehouse is located on the southern parcel. The City is requesting proposals to develop either one or both parcels. Proposals can be in the form of a purchase, lease, or any other type of agreement.

    The NODO (RFP) and accompanying attachments are available for download from the webpage of the Real Estate Asset Management Division at
    Open house times to be posted soon. Interested parties are advised to call in and check the webpage regularly for any updates. Responses are due May 18, 2018.

    For more information, please contact Jinnhua Su, Real Estate Agent, City of Oakland, Economic & Workforce Development Department, Real Estate Asset Management Division, 510-238-6362,

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