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Firestone Fans Rally to Save at Least Part of Historic Building

Tom Flanigan

Citizens who want to preserve at least the essence of what was the old Leon County Jail are ramping up their efforts. The group met in front of the now vacant building on East Gaines Street today (Thursday, 4/13) to discuss their next steps.

Today what's called the Firestone Building is an abandoned state office structure. But in 1937 it opened as the Leon County Jail and still retains at least some of its art deco distinctiveness. Historic Preservationist Delaitre Hollinger called like-minded folks to meet him in front of the building.

“To bring some community members together who are very concerned about how we can preserve at least part of the structure,” he told reporters.

The City of Tallahassee is selling the Firestone and adjacent block to a developer. Hollinger hopes a portion of the building will be incorporated into whatever new structure takes its place. Still, he said having more community support for the campaign would be helpful.

“There’ll be a meeting on Thursday, April 20th at the Leroy Collins Main Library at 6 p.m. where the group will meet again to discuss a strategy,” he said, stressing that the meeting is open to everyone.

That's a strategy that Firestone fans hope will result in the survival of at least a fragment of the city’s only authentic art deco building.

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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