Historic Building Saved from Endangered List
Each year, the historic preservation advocates at Columbus Landmarks compile a list of the region’s most endangered buildings in order to shine a spotlight on what may be lost to the wrecking ball if locals are not paying close enough attention. Their 2015 list included 14 buildings, and thanks to a collaborative effort, one of those buildings will be removed from next year’s list.
The Franklin Park Medical Center, located at 1829 East Long Street, was constructed in 1962 and has sat empty for years, leading to major deterioration of the structure. While the building isn’t as old as some of the others on the endangered list, Landmarks touts its significance through the role it played in providing a space for African-American physicians to work and African-American citizens to seek medical treatment during a time when services were largely segregated.
Thanks to a Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Pipeline Initiative grant secured by Columbus Landmarks in partnership with the Columbus and Franklin County Land Banks, work is now underway to remove asbestos and mold, restore damaged portions of the building, and replace the roof.
“Our plan is generally to put the building into a redevelopment-ready condition, while avoiding full, speculative redevelopment,” said John Rosenberger, President of Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (COCIC), which serves as the Franklin County Land Bank. “The building interior and systems will be the responsibility of the purchaser.”
Ed Lentz, Executive Director at Columbus Landmarks is proud of the collaboration and says that the 9,000 square foot building will soon be ready for a new tenant and a new life.
“Columbus Landmarks looks at this as a major preservation success,” said Lentz. “The stabilization is underway and the adaptive reuse of the building as office space, possibly medical, is expected in 2016.”
While the City of Columbus will not issue a Request for Proposals for private developers to purchase the building until the renovations are complete, Land Redevelopment Office and City of Columbus Land Bank Administrator John Turner said that they’ve already begun to receive inquiries about the property.
“This shows how land banking can be an effective tool in historic preservation, by gaining control of abandoned historic properties and matching them to buyers who will renovate the buildings,” said Turner.
To properties available through the City of Columbus Land Bank, visit public-cbus.epropertyplus.com.