The House of Peace and Justice at Ohio Wesleyan University appears on Preservation Ohio’s 2016 list of the state’s “Most Endangered Historic Sites.”
Preservation Ohio, which calls itself the state’s oldest nonprofit preservation organization, said on Thursday that Peace and Justice is “one of several stylish 19th-century brick houses that Ohio Wesleyan University intends to demolish to make way for new student housing.”
However, students will still be living in the house this fall, said OWU spokesman Cole Hatcher.
“We realize the building needs renovation/restoration work, but we have no plans to restore the home at this time,” Hatcher said in an email to The Gazette. “Nor do we have any plans to tear it down.”
The House of Peace and Justice at 235 W. William St. is next to the university’s observatory. The former home of astronomer Hiram Perkins, who taught at the university from 1857-1907, is now one of the university’s small living units for students. Peace and Justice was founded at Ohio Wesleyan in 1986, and is made up of students dedicated to similar social causes.
OWU has torn down some of its student housing on Rowland Avenue in 2015 to build new small living units, which are duplex-style buildings that can house 12 students. The first of what OWU calls a “SLUplex” will open this fall.
The House of Peace and Justice was the only site in Delaware County on the list.
The “Most Endangered Historic Sites” list has been presented annually by Preservation Ohio for the last 23 years. The sites are named to the list because they might be abandoned, be demolished, be dilapidated or lack money for repairs; or because of location, a neglectful owner, obsolescence or sprawl. It accepts nominations from individual and organizations, and the list is picked by Preservation Ohio’s board of trustees.
The other buildings on the list are:
• Stone Train Depot, Ashtabula.
• Dennison Hotel Building, Cincinnati.
• Sammel Lyon House, Columbia Station.
• Columbus Railway Power and Light Building, Columbus.
• Elam Drake Farm, Columbus.
• Port Columbus Airport Terminal and Control Tower, Columbus.
• Dayton Arcade, Dayton.
• Dayton Daily News building, Dayton.
• Gem City Ice Cream building, Dayton.
• Ironton Russell Bridge, Ironton.
• Madison Freight Depot, Madison.
• Sorg Opera House, Middletown.
• Muskingum University Manse, New Concord.
• Correll House, North Canton.
• McDowell Farmhouse, North Canton.
“Over the years, the list has proven successful in saving some of Ohio’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage,” Preservation Ohio said in a news release. “Other structures and sites have not been as fortunate.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.