Preservation Ohio, the state’s oldest statewide historic preservation organization, has named 11 properties to its 25th annual list of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites.
“Preservation Ohio’s list is unique because it is composed exclusively of sites nominated by local citizens and advocates who want to draw attention to and restore, renovate or find alternative uses for historic buildings,” said Thomas Palmer, executive director of Preservation Ohio. “Our organization helps connect local history and preservation groups to each other and to resources that may help them in their efforts. The 2018 list contains a diverse mix of properties representing every geographic region of the state. We are delighted that interest in preservation is growing and encourage all Ohioans to consider how we can conserve important historic sites for future generations.”
Preservation Ohio accepts nominations from any citizen or organization. Over the years, being named to the list has contributed to saving some of Ohio’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage. Circumstances that contribute to the endangered status and result in sites being named to the list typically include one or more of the following factors: demolition threat, abandonment, neglectful owner, dilapidation, obsolete use, lack of money for repairs, out-of-the-way location or encroaching sprawl.
The 2018 List of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites:
Barker House, Newport (Washington County)
The 1842 nationally, state and locally significant Judge Joseph Barker Jr. House is of federal style architecture constructed by his father, Col. Joseph Barker, one of Ohio’s earliest and most skilled housewrights. The Barkers and the house have played an important role in shaping Ohio’s history. It is threatened with imminent demolition by its owner, the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, to make room for material dredged from the Ohio River. Although land has been donated, fundraising efforts have thus far fallen short of the amount needed to move it.
CSX Railroad Station, Delaware (Delaware County)
This architecturally interesting brick train station built during the early 1900s was the hub of many important political and cultural events during the heyday of the railroad transportation industry. It remains an endearing spot in the cultural landscape of Delaware. The building has been vacant and deteriorating for many years. Negotiations for sale of the property have thus far been unsuccessful.
Historic Warren County Jail, Lebanon (Warren County)
This 1889 – 1894 structure is a contributing part of Lebanon’s East End National Historic District and for more than 120 years has occupied a prominent place at the center of Lebanon’s civic life. The 1894 Sheriff’s Residence portion of the building, which forms the street façade, is the only surviving example of a Richardsonian Romanesque public building in Lebanon. The county has been unable to identify sufficient funding to renovate the building for reuse.
Harpersfield Covered Bridge & Steel Bridge, Harpersfield Twp. (Ashtabula County)
Constructed in 1868 and with a steel section added after the 1913 Flood, the Harpersfield Covered Bridge anchors Harpersfield Covered Bridge Metropark and provides a picturesque backdrop for the breathtaking Grand River, a National and State Scenic River. At 228 feet long, it remains Ohio’s third longest historic covered bridge and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Ashtabula County has plans to replace this structure with a new bridge in 2021.
Marble Cliff Gateway Mansion, Columbus (Franklin County)
Renowned Columbus Architect Frank Packard designed this Tudor Revival style house which was built in 1907 for William Lanman of the Columbus Bolt Company and his family. In 1935, William “Billy” Ingram, founder of White Castle, bought the home when he moved the company from Wichita, Kansas to Columbus. The building has been deteriorating and is in danger of being lost due to apartment development plans.
Brick Quarters Historic District at Wright-Patterson AFB Fairborn (Greene County)
The National Register-eligible Brick Quarters Historic District (BQHD) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base consists of a planned enclave of 89 brick homes built in the mid-1930s as a part of the Garden City movement and designed by noted architects. This Tudor-style site remains a significant example of early civilian planning principles in a military setting. Despite a two-year delay in any action, the brick quarters are still at potential risk of demolition.
Defiance Junior High School, Defiance (Defiance County)
This 1918 Collegiate Gothic style architecture school building is situated at the end of the designated Main Street in Defiance, Ohio therefore making it the focal point at the end of the business district. The school district plans to demolish this building by November 2018 unless another option is agreed upon.
Historic Integrity of the Village of Greenhills, Greenhills (Hamilton County)
This 1938 planned village is one of only three remaining Greenbelt Communities in the Nation. The State of Ohio recognized the Historic District in 1989. The U. S. Department of the Interior awarded the National Historic Landmark status in December 2017. A total of 87 demolitions have already occurred, which have damaged the historic fiber of the community.
Salesian Boys and Girls Club, Columbus (Franklin County)
This site was built in 1927 as an athletic club, auditorium and headquarters for the Knights of Columbus. Designed by the well-known local architecture firm, Richards, McCarty and Bulford, the building is five stories tall and ornamented and decorated in the Beaux Arts style which was popular in that period. The building was acquired by the Salesian Society in 1968 and used as a Boys and Girls Club. It is currently for sale. The status and future of the building remain uncertain, with rumored development plans that call for demolition.
Hartman Farm Schoolhouse, Hamilton Township (Franklin County)
This circa 1897 one-room schoolhouse in the Hamilton Township district served all grades. It later became a part of Dr. Samuel B. Hartman’s farm established in the early 1900s, where it was absorbed into what was known as the “largest functioning farm in the world.” The building has been standing vacant for years and continues to deteriorate. Interested parties have been unable to amass sufficient funds to move the school.
Mount Airy Water Towers, Cincinnati (Hamilton County)
These iconic brick and cement water towers were built in 1926-27 and occupy the highest elevation in Cincinnati. They are a central point of the Mount Airy community and are adjacent to the 1500-acre Mount Airy Metropark. The towers, each holding 8.5 million gallons, have been left to deteriorate and the city is considering demolition of at least three of the seven towers in 2019.
About Preservation Ohio
Preservation Ohio is Ohio’s oldest statewide historic preservation organization, an independent, non-profit organization recognized under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Preservation Ohio was established in 1982 to enhance the understanding of and appreciation for Ohio’s historic resources and to serve as a focal point for Ohio organizations, municipalities, corporations and individuals who care about these resources and are concerned about preservation for future generations. For more information and updates, visit our website at www.preserveohio.com, follow us on Twitter @PreservationOH or like us on Facebook.
Submitted by Preservation Ohio