Old firehouses in Chicago and surrounding suburbs are doubling as art centers, museums, restaurants, and wedding venues. In Chicago’s Avondale neighborhood, for example, thePuerto Rican Arts Alliance transformed a 1901 fire station, abandoned since 1982, into a community gathering place with a host of green features. During the renovation of the two-story cultural center (completed in 2012), the building was insulated and a highly efficient HVAC system was installed. On the main floor, where horse-drawn fire trucks used to be kept, visitors are now greeted by a bright, airy meeting room and gallery lit by energy-saving light fixtures. Walls throughout are coated with colorful yet nontoxic paint. The bathrooms sport water-conserving faucets, and outside, the patio’s permeable pavement keeps stormwater from flowing off site. The building is topped by a green roof.