Historic House in Batavia Saved from Demolition
Cincinnati Preservation Association’s Purchase Averts Demolition of 1833 Dennison Estate
The Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) announced today it has purchased a historic house in Batavia, Ohio. The Dennison House, built circa 1833 and a rare surviving example of the Greek Revival style, was under orders for demolition from the Village of Batavia. The Village had not wanted to lose the historic house, but it had fallen into disrepair and attempts to bring it into compliance failed.
Batavia Mayor John Q. Thebout commented, “Batavia is grateful to the Cincinnati Preservation Association for stepping in and saving this historic landmark from demolition. The Dennison House once was one of the most beautiful houses in the village, and now we can look forward to it being restored as it ought to be. This is a substantial 19th century home…. As a fine architectural example and historically noteworthy residence, it can be a legacy to our grandchildren and their grandchildren.”
CPA will make repairs and sell the house later this year to a preservation-minded buyer for a thorough renovation. A historic conservation easement will be attached to the property to ensure the historic features are retained and maintained.
“We appreciate the opportunity to help Batavia retain this important part of its history,” said CPA Executive Director Paul Muller. “We were able to purchase the home using our new Historic Preservation Revolving Fund. This fund gives us the ability to step in when historic sites are at risk.“ Muller added, “It is a powerful new program that will help us save a lot of great historic places.” The revolving fund was created with the help of several grants from The 1772 Foundation of Providence Rhode Island. More about 1772 Foundation.
CPA Board President Arthur Sturbaum noted “the flexibility offered by the Revolving Fund allowed CPA to weather the eight-month negotiation period that was ultimately required to purchase the house and free the property of the liens that had scuttled previous attempts to purchase the property. CPA is excited to see this historic property returned to a sympathetic owner.”
Batavia has made its historic legacy a feature of village life and celebrates its role in the early development of Ohio. Settled 1797 and platted in 1814, Batavia is one of the oldest communities in the state.
George W. Dennison and Eliza P. Dennison lived in the house from the time of its construction. George was an attorney and active in Batavia’s early development, even serving as mayor in 1845. George died in 1860 while Eliza lived until 1906. The property remained in the Dennison family until the 1974 death of Marie (Dennison) Young.
The house was surveyed by the Miami Purchase Association (former name of Cincinnati Preservation Association) in 1978 and determined to be a historic structure eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Many thanks to Ken Hughes of Decorative Restorations and Holly Bee Lawncare for their roles in the upkeep of the house and property. Students from a University of Cincinnati historic preservation class measured the house and created detailed drawings.