This French train station is located in a town renamed after the famed writer Marcel Proust's fictional name for the village.
Established in 1908, the Lebuh Pantai Fire and Rescue Station has served the city of George Town for 112 years. Throughout the century, it has gone by many names, including the Central Fire Station upon its opening, and Beach Street Fire Station due to its location at the junction between Beach Street and Chulia Street Ghaut.
As the first fire station to be run by dedicated firefighters on Malaysia’s Penang Island, the Central Fire Station eased the burden on policemen. They were the first firefighters of George Town, splitting time between patrol and putting out fires.
In addition to being one of Malaysia’s oldest stations, it is iconic for its design. The Station employs a mix of Mughal and Edwardian architecture. Mughal architecture is a blend of Persian, Turkish, and Indian styles and is known for its decorative and symmetrical characteristics. as seen in the Station’s four-story tower.
On the Station’s facade, Classical style fronts the street with double story pilasters and rusticated columns around the main entrance. On the southern side of the Station, a street mural named “Cats Walking for Animal Awareness” adorns the exterior, created to raise awareness for stray animals in George Town.
In 2019, the Station reverted to its original name, Central Fire Station. By adding signage that reads “Central Fire Station 1908,” the Station signified its heritage, and also established itself as an attraction. A popular site for photographers, it remains a fully operational fire station.
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