|Another restoration (not demolition)under way|
|People without "Preservation Vision" would just assume that this was a demolition in progress, but over the next few weeks and months they will see history reborn.|
I saw the lady point to the building and the man remarked to me as they went by " I see the city is tearing down that rat-trap."
To which I replied, "Not at all, the back wall is being restored as part of a historic restoration. It will be a carriage house and studio for the building in front that is also being restored by some people who plan on living there".
They both looked at me like I had just landed from out of space. "Really? Someones putting money into that. Thats gotta cost an arm and leg. They are going to live THERE? Why would anyone do that."?
To which I replied, "Have you ever been to Charleston or New Orleans? The people who bought this building have vision and realize what this neighborhood will be like in a few years."
I watched them walking away, shaking their heads, but I am sure they will have dinner party conversations about "Crazy people spending money in OTR!"
I've seen this before, people without "Preservation Vision" who just can't grasp the ideals of those who do. But I bet EVERY Week that couple looks over at that building to see the progress. And maybe my friends are crazy for buying that building? I am the one who convinced them to look at Cincinnati in the first place. Another out of town Preservationist drawn to Cincinnati by its incredible architecture and promise. But I think at the end of the day when its all done and they can look out their bedroom window overlooking the Findlay Market they will be pretty happy about their decision. Because, well,they have done this before. Impossible restorations are not new to them, or most of us, with "Preservation Vision".
"Preservation Vision" is something that most people do not understand. Certainly most of our city officials do not have Preservation Vision. They would have just as easily taken a bulldozer to this building as they have to so many all over the city. Funded by Federal Tax dollars (out of our own pockets) being used to destroy our own city so we can keep their city employees employed with those golden pension. But when those of us with "Preservation Vision" look at at those impossible restorations, we don't see the falling plaster and decay, we see wonderfully restored rooms resplendent with period wallpapers, lighting and furniture. From day one, we can see the finished product.
Restoration is going on everywhere, not just OTR. Take a drive up to Price Hill, Walnut Hills, Fairmount and you will see it, a house here, a house there, slowly transforming from "Slumlord" apartment back to single family home.
|By the end of summer this view will be replaced with a bright 4 color preservation paint job and a new period porch as another house vacant for years is reborn!|
I see it in my own neighborhood of Knox Hill as I can look out my Parlor window now and see a restoration across the street. Another Second Empire Cottage, vacant for a decade, now with neatly cut yard. The 1950's awning already off the front dormer and side windows. Soon that old siding will be gone and the original clapboards underneath will be painted. That front porch will be gone and a proper Victorian porch replacing it. The yard will be awash in wildflowers and I will have a new view from my house. For you see, that homes new owner has 'Preservation Vision" too. He is already talking about reglazing the original wavy glass windows and refinishing the floors and looking through the "Painted Ladies" book I loaned him, selecting color combinations he likes.
So as you hurry from point A to Point B, slow down a bit and look at all the restoration going on around you. Maybe someday you too will have 20/20 Preservation Vision!