The Evanston Community is facing an attack on their history and their collective community identity. This time it involves the potential demolition of the Hoffman School located at 3060 Durrell Avenue to be replaced by a 155 unit multi-family new construction complex rather than reusing the school for residential which has happened with almost a dozen other former schools in the region. Please refer to the end of this post for information on how to get involved in preventing the demolition. The Hoffman School was built in 1922 and is a Jacobethan Revival design by the city’s most prominent architectural legacy, Hannaford and Sons. This was the firm that brought us icons like Music Hall, City Hall, and the Cincinnati Observatory. This was the firm that changed the landscape of Cincinnati. The building, while breathtakingly beautiful, is not just significant for its architecture, it is also representative of the Progressive Era Design for schools: with schools taking on a more holistic approach to the welfare of the students through physical education, access to light and air, and providing school lunches.
Further, the building has been a central nexus for the larger community for over 100 years. This is the school where the neighborhood children went to a Cincinnati public school until it closed in 2012. Since then, it has continued to operate in various community capacities, most recently as a non-profit school and church. The Evanston community is a diverse neighborhood with a rich history, especially associated with the Black experience. Hoffman School’s population, over its life, has reflected the demographics of the community. The demolition of the school will erase a site associated with the history of Cincinnati’s Black community.
Cincinnati Preservation Association is working with the Cincinnati community and developers to find creative reuses for our historic buildings. We want to work by partnering with neighborhoods to identify and protect the buildings, that if lost, would irrevocably change the fabric of the neighborhood. With early identification of significant buildings, developers won’t be surprised when demolition is met with community opposition.
Luckily Hoffman School has already been identified numerous times as a building that is significant.
- February 16, 2023 – Evanston community council voted against the demolition of Hoffman School
- 2019 – The Evanston Work Plan specifically listed the Hoffman School as an important site where Historic Landmark Status should be considered
- 2019 -National Register Questionnaire response from the State Historic Preservation Offices determined it was eligible for the National Register
- 1998 – Cincinnati Public Schools Historic Inventory list it as eligible for the National Register
- 1978 – Cincinnati Historic Resource Survey list is as a property that greatly contributes to the historic and/or architectural quality of the City of Cincinnati.
- 1977 – Ohio Historic Inventory Form list it is as National Register Eligible
So, why wasn’t landmark designation sought before this. Unfortunately, this is often how the story goes in preservation and it is why, going forward, we need to continue to support neighborhood and city-wide efforts to identify the historic and cultural resources that matter in each neighborhood. Cincinnati Preservation Association needs your support so we can continue to offer the ability to help write historic designations for Evanston and our other neighborhoods. These historic designations will protect our historic buildings from demolition.
We are asking you to support the historic designation of Hoffman School and Site by writing letters to the City in support of the designation and by coming to public meetings and hearings to verbally show your support.
- To can write a letter of support to the Historic Conservation Board email email@example.com by April 28th for the letter to be included into the record.
- To write a letter of support to the City Planning Commission email Caroline.Kellam@cincinnati-oh.gov. A date for the hearing has not been set and we will update this post with due dates for letters of support.
- To write a letter of support to the Mayor and Council in support of the designation contact the City Council by emails CityCouncil@cincinnati-oh.gov
You can also find their individual information here. (https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/council/contact-us/)
A date for the hearing has not been set and we will update this post with due dates for letters of support.
The first 2 meetings for the Historic Designation Process have been scheduled and we need your support at these meetings. If you are able to attend please be there to show your support for saving the Hoffman School and Site. We will continue to update you when the City Planning Commission and City Council meeting dates are scheduled.
Wednesday April 12, 2023 at 4:30– Staff Conference via zoom. Email Caroline.Kellam@cincinnati-oh.gov to attend by April 11, 2023.
Monday May 8, 2023 at 3pm– Historic Conservation Board via Zoom. Register by May 5th at
Finally, please consider giving to Cincinnati Preservation Association so we can continue to support our neighborhoods as they work to save our shared resources. It’s our collective history, culture and places that make each of our neighborhoods unique and special for visitors and residents alike.