The Portland stone-and-brick built Central Fire Station was constructed under the guidance of city engineer and surveyor Herbert Humphries and opened in 1935.
As well as being one of the city's most well-known landmarks, the clock tower provides an impressive conclusion to one of Birmingham's key central streets - Corporation Street which boasts perhaps the city's finest building, the Victoria Law Courts.
The station has a number of internal features conservationists would be keen to save, including an iron cage lift modelled on New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel's lift and the oak- panelled boardroom.
Unusually, in terms of social history, the fire station was designed to accommodate a community which was virtually self-contained.
As well as being their place of work, it provided the firemen with recreational and educational facilities and accommodation for themselves and their families.
Councillor Martin Mullaney (Lib-Dem Moseley), chairman of Birmingham's conservation areas advisory committee, said: " I was shocked when I learned of the fire service attempts to win immunity.
"The building is a wellknown landmark, a wonderful building and must be preserved."
Vice chairman Peter Douglas Osborn (Con Weoley) added: "To my eye, it is almost of the order of Baskerville House.
"It must be protected. The Hermann Goering and Co removal company missed it during the Blitz and the succeeding 1960s planning philistines missed it and we must be not let it be removed now.
"It would be an even bigger feature of the city centre if the overpass did not mask it slightly but that overpass will not be there forever whereas we want to keep the fire station for posterity."
Joe Holyoak, prominent Birmingham-based urban designer, said: "The conservation committee is recommending it be locally listed at Grade A but I would go further.
"I think it is of sufficient merit to make it a good candidate for national, statutory listing. It one of the finest inter-war municipal buildings we have left and it has a number of very fine spaces and features inside.
"I also particularly like it because of how well it utilises the unusual space it occupies.
It successfully includes a number of different uses, including shops on Aston Street, and it is a large building which never gets boring."
Tony Nutting, spokesman for the Fire Brigade Union, said: "We knew it was on the cards but we didn't know quite what option the fire service were going to take.
"I know they considered knocking it down and rebuilding on site, keeping it as it is or selling up and moving.
He added: "I am sure they will move the headquarters to a nice greenfield site, they'll spare no expense when it comes to finding a new office.
"Although that'll leave them with the task of finding a new station for central Birmingham, which will not be cheap." Ross Bellamy, from the Birmingham Civic Society, said: "I think the fire service want to make as much money from the sale as they can.
"They clearly feel they no longer have much use for the building but that process of them leaving should not then mean the building is demolished and the rest of the city is deprived of one of its best known landmarks."