What does a rare Towered Historic Queen Anne, a rare "I house" from the 1850's. and a double galleried late Victorian have in common? Well the city wants to declare all of them and 21 other potentially historic buildings a public nuisance and use your Federal tax dollars to demolish them.
In fact the 24 buildings have a total assessed value of 722,320.00, generate an annual yearly tax payments of 24908.14 and have a combined delinquent tax amount of $ 23318.37 owed we the rest of the taxpayers according to the Hamilton County Tax auditor records. it will cost on average 10-15,000 to demolish them at a combined cost to the taxpayers of 240,000.00 to 360,000.00 and we will have 24 worthless vacant lots in their place .
The creme of the crop our 'experts' at city inspections feel are dangerous:
512 Prospect place is easily a landmark example of a towered Victorian, it has decorative bargeboards and high end trim details and was likely architect designed. This would be an excellent candidate for a historic restoration and CLEARLY has national registry potential. How the city could ever justify its demo under the Section 106 guidelines for is amazing. Yes it is in South Avondale and yes its been a rental for years but there is a fair amount of Restoration going on. Surely this house can be saved! It had to have an important first owner.
1752 Fairmount, might not look like much to the untrained eye but in actuality is what is known as an "I House" this example dates to the early 1850's and is one of the earliest structures in Knox Hill and Fairmount We intend to note it as a contributing historic structure on our national registry nomination in 2010. Properly restored this house is Historic registry material and one of the earliest houses in the area and an important part of early Cincinnati history
825 Hutchins in well, incredible, and apparently the county thinks so as they have it assessed at over 113,000.00! hard to see the 'nuisance' here.
Other homes on the city "hit list include the following:
866 Lexington, 1887 Baltimore, 431 Considine, 24 Forest, 3566 Haven ,1519 Chase, 3052 Fairfield, 3584 Bogart, 2618 Beekman ,2303 Moerlein, 2728 central parkway, 571 Hale, 3468 Hallwood, 2517 Stanton, 2797 Montana, 1460 Dana Ave, 4593 Hamilton, 1140 Beech Ave, 3333 Montgomery and 3334 Woodburn
If you are outraged by the wholesale destruction of the City of Cincinnati architecture and the waste of your federal tax dollars and the senseless destruction of the county tax base the above properties will be the subject of a public hearing at 9:00 AM on December 18, 2009 in the Main Conference Room, First Floor, Business Development and Permit Center, 3300 Central Parkway, Cincinnati, Ohio. Anyone may appear at the hearing and present pertinent testimony that may assist the Director of Buildings and Inspections to determine whether or not the buildings do, in fact, constitute a public nuisance and shall be razed.
Let me just make a point about shortsightedness. Tears ago when I was growing up in Indianapolis, the city was building a interstate and dozens of old Victorians had to be torn down. Following the failed "blight=bulldozer" model that Detroit and other cities used. The city decided to bulldoze not only the houses in the path of the highway but ones close by as well. The reasoning was that by bulldozing those close by it would bring "new construction" and business to the downtown. Nobody really cared back then because these were just "old houses" in what people viewed as "Bad neighborhoods", AND, to be fair they were bad neighborhoods then. There were just a handful of people restoring.
Those vacant lots sat for over 30 years. They created no tax revenues. Today they are new infill homes, not the businesses that the city assumed would come back in the 70's. The ONLY reason the infills came was the Victorians that were left which today are worth 500K to over 2 million dollars. My point? We CAN learn from other cities mistakes and we can choose to not make them. We have to care about these houses NOW, otherwise they will be just a memory, relegated to a webpage on a Historic neighborhood website that details the grand architecture that was lost to shortsightedness.