Munising – A fire station built 81 years ago during the New Deal era will be turned into apartments and commercial space in a popular Upper Peninsula tourism community.

Munising has turned to contractors to redevelop the old public works building. The Mining Journal says it’s been vacant for 12 years.

Mayor Rod DesJardins describes it as a “signature” building worth saving in downtown Munising. He says the town needs more affordable housing. Property owners have been renting homes to vacationers instead of agreeing to long-term leases with area residents.

Munising is near Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore along Lake Superior. The old fire station was built in 1938 by Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration, which built public projects across the country to get people employed.

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