Friday, March 26, 2010

Gamble House: Possible Save?, CPA invited to submit proposal

In what may be the first real "Glimmer of Hope" , Greenacres Foundation, the owners of the James N. Gamble House, has invited the Cincinnati Preservation Association to submit a proposal to purchase and restore this historic property. CPA is working with the Westwood Civic Association and the Westwood Historical Society on a proposal to preserve the James N. Gamble House for future generations. The Greenacres Foundation plans to bring environmental and agricultural programming to the grounds. CPA believes a compatible use can be found for the house, which will ensure the future of this irreplaceable Cincinnati treasure.

There is now a donation site open so this property may be saved:

Reactions on the Save the Gamble House Facebook page, which now has grown to over 2500 members was mixed. Many citing optimism but with also, healthy dose of mistrust for Greenacres Foundation.

Most of that mistrust is based on the fact they have not withdrawn their civil suit against the city of Cincinnati regarding the demolition permit which Greenacres wanted expedited. TODAY is the hearing regarding that issue at Hamilton County Courthouse (downtown Cincinnati) Room 560 Time:10:30AM Friday, March 26th.

Members of the save the Gamble House group plan on packing the Court room this morning. It is unclear what the city position will be this morning but the city has maintained the court lacks jurisdiction over the matter and planned appeal to higher court. Even if the court ruled against the city it would be reasonable to expect an appeal would result in a temporary injunction to prevent the lower courts order.

Many hope that the Greenacres Foundation, given all the negative publicity they have received and the threat that rezoning, which would be required to do the educational programs at the site they want to do, would be a major uphill battle should they elect to demo the house, will decide to withdraw their civil action as a show of good faith.

Since this issue started the Gamble House was declared historic by the City Conservation Board and the planning commission and will require a vote by the council. The city has been remarkably supportive of local preservation efforts to save the house. The issue has galvanized the preservation community in a way not seen in the past and the well organized campaign to save it has drawn support from Preservationists from across the United States and the world.

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