Preservation Awards 2017

Seven rehabilitation projects and one education program in Greater Cincinnati were honored Sunday at the Cincinnati Preservation Association’s 53rd annual Preservation Awards event at Memorial Hall.

The Education Award went to the King Studios Traveling Suitcases program, a collaborative effort between Xavier University and the Evanston neighborhood. It is designed to share the cultural and social legacy of King Records Studios with students in Cincinnati Public Schools. The suitcases are a set of five different kits filled with replica historical objects and lesson plans in key subject areas aligned to Ohio Content Standards. K-12 teachers can check out a suitcase for a week.

Rehabilitation Awards went to owners and developers of historic buildings that have been substantially restored or rehabilitated in accordance with historic guidelines within the last year:

Lincoln Grant Scholar House, 824 Greenup St., Covington

The WPA-era Lincoln Grant School served the city’s African American students 1932-65, when the state desegregated all public schools. The Art Deco-style brick building later served as a community center before it was vacated and fell into disrepair. The National Register-listed building has since been renovated by the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission as a Scholar House, providing 25 apartments and support services for single parents seeking post-secondary education. Compatible new housing built on site, behind the main building, provides another 20 apartment units.

Memorial Hall, 1225 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine

The Hamilton County Memorial Building was built in 1908 as a memorial to war veterans and pioneers of Hamilton County. Located on Washington Park, the stone Beaux Arts Classical hall was designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons. After decades of activity, the hall fell into disuse and was saved from demolition when $1 million was raised for restoration. In 2015-2016, 3CDC, Hamilton County and the Cincinnati Memorial Hall Society undertook an extensive restoration using historic tax credits. The work brought much-needed upgrades to the building, including air conditioning, modern restrooms, a modern catering kitchen, theatrical and audio/visual upgrades as well as historic restoration throughout.

Rabbit Hash General Store, 10021 Lower River Rd., Rabbit Hash

In February 2016, flames consumed the 186-year-old store, which was considered the heart of the famed quirky, riverfront community. The next day residents vowed to rebuild the store with authentic materials to maintain its treasured spot on the National Register of Historic Places. Era pieces were donated or brought to replace the artifacts consumed in the fire. In April 2017, the store reopened.

“Wildwood” (Groesbeck Lodge), Cincinnati Nature Center, Milford

The country home of Grace and Glendenning Groesbeck in Rowe Woods has been transformed into the Cincinnati Nature Center’s Center for Conservation. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 1920s English Revival stone residence was designed by architects Guy Burroughs and John Henri Deekin. It features landscape design by garden designer Gertrude Jekyll and metalwork by Marie Zimmerman. The renovation included restoration of the slate roof and stone walls as well as new mechanical systems and energy upgrades. Much of the historically significant ironwork produced by Zimmerman has been preserved.

Strietmann Center, 235 W. 12th St., Over-the-Rhine

In 1899 the Strietmann Biscuit Co. built its headquarters beside the canal, where it turned out biscuits, crackers and pastries. The building was expanded three times, eventually reaching 88,000 square feet. When the company relocated in 1943, the building was largely abandoned. In 2014 Hollywood came calling and the building starred in the movie “Carol,” playing the offices of the New York Times. The massive OTR building has now been completely renovated. Windows and pressed tin ceilings were repaired when possible, new storefronts added and the wooden office partitions preserved.

Artichoke, 1824 Elm St., Over-the-Rhine

Formerly a housing and awning company, secondhand shop and liquor store, this 1885 Italianate building at Findlay Market has been renovated as a gourmet cookware store and two upper-floor apartments. In the store, structural box frames compensate for out-of-square storefront windows, a ramp accommodates changes in level, and a new south window adds light and visibility. Steel galleries and a screened metal stair tower provide upper-floor access: their location, material and proportions are a nod to the galleries and fire escapes of OTR tenement buildings while meeting modern code and safety requirements.

Baldwin Building, 655 Eden Park Drive, Walnut Hills

Located across from Eden Park, the Baldwin Building was built in the early 1920s and was the home of more than 2,000 employees who produced 11,000 pianos in its first five years. After the company moved out in 1961, the building remained largely vacant until it was converted to office space in 1987. After falling vacant once again, the landmark building has now been converted to 176 luxury apartment units.

The CPA was established in 1964 as the Miami Purchase Association. The nonprofit group serves as a resource and catalyst for preserving historic buildings and sites.

Source: Cincinnati Business Courier