The tower attached to the former Fire Station 10 at 2071 Purchase Street is a landmark. When I was a kid, before Route 195 replaced the Weld Square neighborhood, the tower was used to train firefighters. The station and the tower are more than 100 years old, haven't been used in years, and have become a danger and an eyesore.

WBSM News recently reported that Station 10 "is now privately-owned and vacant. The building has been owned by a real estate holding company with a Mattapoisett address since 1991. No back taxes are owed on the property."

Station 10 has stood for my entire life and then some. But it may be time the building is taken down. Two recent fires at that location placed the safety of our firefighters and the neighborhood at risk. The Station 10 property is blighted. It has been for years. And it is located right next door to an elementary school.

New Bedford has maintained its historical charm and lore by preserving and restoring old buildings. Station 10 would be a wonderful location for a fire museum, but restoration costs money that the city does not have. Perhaps there are restoration dollars at the state and/or federal levels to assist with such a project. Maybe even private funding.

Unless there is an effort to save and restore Station 10, the time may have come to take it down. In the meantime, the Mitchell Administration must pressure the owners of that property to make sure it is properly secured.

It would be a shame to see such a historical building lost to the wrecking ball, but is already being lost to neglect and decay. 

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at barry@wbsm.com and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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