Best Of 2013

Best-looking firehouse: Lake Maggiore Fire Station #8, St. Pete

Best-looking firehouse

Hey, we’re talking about the building here, not the firefighters (though they’re not so bad either). Modern Home Tours, which highlights outstanding examples of modern architecture all over the country, had never included a firehouse on a tour until their visit last year to St. Petersburg. “But the architect approached us with the photos,” explains the tours’ director of operations Cameron Fry, “and we couldn't turn it down.” The architects in question, St. Pete’s Wannemacher Jensen, are better known of late for a design that didn’t get built (they were Michael Maltzan’s local partners on the Lens), but they have every reason to be proud of this one at 4701 MLK St. S. With its dynamic lines, ample use of natural light, and LEED-certified features, this firehouse feels like a home. And the tour worked out well, says Fray, “because we used the fire station's Firefighter Fund as our nonprofit beneficiary to receive a portion of the tour's proceeds.” (PS: WJ is also responsible for the best-looking bank in town, the sleek, glowing green—and-white headquarters of C1 Bank and its branch on Beach Drive.)