Sunday, December 21, 2014

Last chance looms near for FOUR Historic Cincinnati Properties

Four historic Cincinnati properties  have been offered on Historic Properties.com,   and if no one comes forward to save them they will be lost along with most of South Fairmount for the MSD "glorified drainage ditch" program.

The MSD project has decimated the South Fairmount basin area and essentially results in one of the largest losses of historic property since Kenyan Barr. Between this project, and the proposed widening of Westwood Blvd an important and essential part of Cincinnati History is being decimated. with the loss of most of S Fairmount with the only remaining being some structures on the North side of Queen City and the Knox Hill neighborhood at the top of the hill . This is just the latest chapter in this city's ongoing attempt to destroy its historic fabric and heritage.

Thanks to efforts of preservationists and the Knox Hill Neighborhood Association, who requested 106 review and threatened action if it was not done, the county could not shirk its section 106 compliancy requirements and these properties have, at least a chance, but time is short and the logistics of moving these properties is complex. Ideally corporate entities could come forward and underwrite the saving of part of history on the larger structures the homes could be reasonably moved although interested individuals should try to contact nationally known movers who will change less than local concerns. These are historically significant structures (eligible for Landmark status) that most cities would consider important historical assets and every effort would be made to save them.

The properties are:

1786 Westwood: This excellent example of the Queen Anne style at 1786 Westwood Avenue was constructed circa 1897. The house is currently clad in replacement siding, but historic wood clapboard is present underneath. The building also retains historic wood windows, including a leaded-glass transom, and decorative wood detailing. The turret on the southeast corner of the house has a slate-tiled, conical roof. Other Queen Anne style features include an irregularly shaped roof, asymmetrical floor plan, and a three-bay oriel window on the first story. Brick chimneystacks are located on the west façade and on the peak of the hipped roof. A metal fire escape has been installed on the west façade.
Listing Link: 1786 Westwood

1806 Westwood Ave: This excellent example of an American Foursquare dwelling with very few changes was constructed circa 1915 and is currently located at 1806 Westwood Avenue. The building exhibits a rock-faced concrete block foundation, two-tone brick veneer walls, and historic, one-over-one wood windows. The front façade features a wood shingled pediment, brown brick quoins, a front window opening with a leaded glass transom, and a wood entry door with sidelights. The full-width porch on the primary façade features blond-brick columns with concrete block piers and concrete balustrades. American Foursquare characteristics of the building include a square floor plan, full-width front porch, overhanging eaves, and a dormer window. Research into the ownership history of this house showed that one family retained the house for 85 years, from 1921 – 2006.
Listing Link: 1806 Westwood

1783 Queen City: This 1892, four-story building is an excellent example of Queen Anne Style as applied to a mixed-use building. It has a stone foundation, brick walls with brick lintel and corbelling details, and historic one-over-one and two-over-two window sash. The front façade storefront retains the original metal supports and sign board. The original cornice is elaborately detailed with decorative brackets, dentil molding, and pediments topped with finials. Ghosting of various advertisements is evident on the west wall. Building is currently located at 1783 Queen City Avenue.
Research shows the upper stories of the building were used as multi-unit rental space with at least four apartments and the storefront area housed various commercial enterprises, including a saloon and grocery store.
Listing Link: 1783 Queen City

1789 Queen City: This three-and-a-half-story, Mission style building was constructed between 1922 and 1923 as the convent for the Sister of St. Francis, who taught in the St. Bonaventure School located across Queen City Avenue. The building is currently located at 1789 Queen City Avenue. The building exhibits poured concrete foundation, blonde brick veneer walls, and an asphalt-shingled hipped roof. A central projection on the front façade features a scrolled parapet and a Palladian-type window. An extant two-story brick porch and roof garden are present at the rear of the building.
The convent was designed by John F. Sheblessy, who was educated at the Chicago Art Institute and the Armour Institute of Technology. He practiced in Chicago and Louisville before moving to Cincinnati in 1907. Sheblessy designed several Roman Catholic churches and other institutional buildings in Cincinnati and its surrounding vicinity. After the St. Bonaventure School closed in 1980, the building was soon divided into 12 apartments by its new owner.
Listing Link: 1789 Queen City

Interested parties should know that: The buildings will likely be sold at auction. Interest in purchasing and moving the building must be expressed no later than May 1, 2015, and the building must be moved from the site no later than August 1, 2015. The buyer will assume all responsibility for the relocation arrangements of the building, and ongoing coordination with the Metropolitan Sewer District will be necessary.

Interested persons should contact: Jennifer Burden, Principal Investigator, Gray & Pape, Inc.
513-287-7700 ext. 152  jburden@graypape.com

Time is of the essence

1 comment:

W. White said...

I wish I had the money to move them. Perhaps some sort of crowdfunding campaign could raise the money to move at least one of them. I imagine 1786 Westwood would be the "cheapest" to move since it is easier to move a balloon frame house than a large masonry mixed-use building.