The Hannaford Designed Mansion at 3725 Reading Road is set for a demolition hearing at 9:00 A.M. on June 12, 2009 in the Main Conference Room, First Floor, Business Development and Permit Center, 3300 Central Parkway.
One of the few Frame houses designed by Hannaford (most were stone). This home was built in 1884 is in the Shingle style with Queen Anne detailing. It was built for Walter Field who was the president of the American Cottonseed Oil company. The property became the Jewish Hotel in 1912 and later a rooming house.
According to city records the house had been an on going issue and was ordered vacant. . The home was sold at auction a few years ago and many had hoped it would be restored. This house is a listed National Landmark and to have a house that is on the national registry be the subject of a demolition hearing should be a source of embarrassment for the people and City of Cincinnati.
We need to come up with some sort of 'solution" here. Perhaps divert historic properties into a "hold status" while the house is listed for sale.? I can't imagine the present owner is OK with it being torn down? Perhaps reach an agreement with the owner to sell the house with a protective covenant that the house must be restored and a requirement that any new buyer must submit a restoration plan to the city?
Other cities have similar programs to buy some time for these homes to be saved, why can't Cincinnati? It is far cheaper for the taxpayer if a house is sold and saved rather than the taxpayer funded cost of tearing it down. A vacant lot does not contribute to the tax base of this city.