Shepherd Firehouse YMCA

La Jolla, CA

The Fire Station Engine Company 13 building began life as much more than a fire station. Simultaneously, it also housed La Jolla’s first city hall, a police station, a hospital room, and the water department until 1976. The City of San Diego Historical Landmark was designed in the Spanish - Mission Revival style for the Works Progress Administration. The building remained unused for about a decade until the YMCA leased it from the City in the 1980s.

In 2013, the YMCA sought to revitalize the building as part of a satellite branch for the La Jolla Village community. As part of the recent renovation, the firehouse's exterior was restored according to the Secretary of Interior’s Standards. The major interior renovations included exposing the original wood trusses, adding a new mezzanine workout area, all new bathrooms, and breakout exercise and training rooms. All facilities were updated to meet current accessibility requirements.


  • 2016 San Diego Architectural Foundation's Orchid Award for
    Adaptive Re-use / Preservation
  • 2016 San Diego Historic Resources Board Award for Excellence for Architectural Rehabilitation
  • 2016 Save Our Heritage Organization (SOHO) recognition for
    Historic Preservation


La Jolla, CA


6,500 sqft Boutique Gym



Crew Builders, Inc.

Interior Design:

Arista Architects & Owner

Formerly Bennett + Associates

Landscape Design:

Arista Architects /

Jeffrey Rule Landscape Architect


Martin Mann Photography


YMCA Before
YMCA Before
Street View of SHEPHERD FIREHOUSE YMCA in La Jolla
YMCA After
YMCA Facade
front desk
workout loft

All new lighting and a custom entry kiosk (reusing salvaged lumber from building) creates and new entry for the expanded main workout area, and showcases the new mezzanine.  The refurbished board form concrete now is a main feature of the interior space.

front desk