~ Submitted by Don Corey
Bedford Town officials have been reluctant to share information regarding basic features of a proposed new fire station at 139 Great Road. Therefore, an informed understanding of the scope of such a project requires a look at neighboring community’s fire stations.
The attached photos show Lexington’s 4-bay Fire Station at Bedford Street & Worthen Road and Concord’s 4-bay Station on Walden Street near the Court House. Burlington has two 3-bay Stations – one on Cambridge Street and one on the Middlesex Turnpike. It is understood that a 4-bay station is planned for Bedford. A scaled projection of the Lexington Station onto 139 Great Road shows that it would occupy almost the entire width of the lot, with a concrete pad replacing the existing landscaping and front wall to permit off-street turning and backing of all vehicles except the ladder truck. With its communication antennas projecting upward, the Station would dominate the surrounding neighborhood.
None of Bedford’s abutting communities has its Fire Station within immediate proximity of any historic buildings within the centers of their Historic Districts, and none has demolished a historic building to accommodate their fire stations. Concord’s old Fire Station on Walden Street in the Center was closed many years ago, and the building has been incorporated into the Historic District as seen in the photo. Bedford demolished the early 19th Century Bedford House Hotel for its present Station, and it may potentially have to demolish the early 19th Century building at 139 Great Road for its new Station.