The facebook notice went out to 2670 members of the group yesterday and is now in wide distribution among Preservation groups across the state and the country:
THE GLOVES are OFF: PROTEST at INDIAN HILL!
..."It just an old house...""Won't you be glad when this old house is gone?"—Attorney Fran Barrett, representing the Greenacres Foundation...
Carter Randolph & the silent trustees of the Greenacres Foundation have desecrated the Historic James Norris Gamble House and betrayed the trust & responsibilities bestowed upon them by the honorable Mr. & Mrs. Louis Nippert. Randolph ordered the removal of beautiful architectural molding, trim, banisters, fret work, doors, and other interior (and perhaps exterior) details from the house during the past month — without cause, and without reason. The house was boarded up, with plywood on both the exterior AND the interior windows. One can only assume this "work" was performed to make the home look to be in worse shape than it really is in advance of Judge Nadel's visit to inspect/tour the house.
Shocked City officials described the scene as "...architectural rape..."
When word of the destruction reached preservationist Greg Kissel, the architect was visibly moved. "This is so sad," he said as he stood by the carriage gate. "This shows no regard for the historic nature of the house or the man who lived there."
Larry Harris, the city's urban conservator, was "stunned" by the piles of woodwork and missing window frames and doors. "If someone wanted to make this place look worse than it is," he said, "they sure did a bang-up job."
...The behavior of Mr. Randolph and the Greenacres Foundation can no longer be excused or brushed aside. While the Cincinnati Preservation Association and the Westwood Historical Society have tried to negotiate with Carter Randolph in an honest and genuine fashion, they have been met with the exact opposite from the Foundation....
TO OUR EAST-SIDE SUPPORTERS: Please show up in force! This is our time to join hands once again and let the City know that this behavior is unacceptable and should not go unpunished....
WHAT: Protest of Carter Randolph and the current Board of the Greenacres Foundation and their desecration of the historic James Norris Gamble House when good-faith negotiations were supposedly underway.
WHEN: Thursday, April 29, 2010
TIME: Be at the Indian Hill protest location at 5:00PMWEST-SIDERS: We have arranged for transportation via 2 full-sized buses.
These vehicles are capable of carrying up to 48 passengers each — and we want to PACK THEM FULL! We will meet for a rally before the protest at 4:00PM on McKinley Avenue in Westwood (just off Werk). We will board the buses between 4:15PM and 4:30PM and head for the protest location at Indian Hill.LOCATION: Corner of Shawnee Run & Drake Road, Indian Hill, Ohio. Stay on the sidewalk, and out of the bike lane :)
As of this morning the group already has over 30 confirmed in attendance. Preservation Ohio has picked up the cause as well and the Cincinnati Enquirer has a story out. http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20100426/NEWS01/4270333/Advocates-for-historic-Gamble-house-ready-to-take-on-Indian-Hill-foundation
If you have not yet joined the facebook group please do so and forward this info to any neighborhood or preservation group you may belong to. Preservation advocates at the local level are writing letters to Judge Nadel and members of the city council. At the state level others are contacting the State attorney generals office asking for an investigation into GREENACRES.ORG practices, and are asking the state to seize or hold the assets of the corporation (including the Gamble house) pending that investigation of the 501C3 nonprofit charity.
MY TAKE: Never has the city and local preservation efforts been so unified to save a historic structure. Regardless of the outcome this, it bodes well for the future of historic preservation in the City of Cincinnati as city officials are starting to understand what Historic preservation is all about.