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The List: 9 Most Endangered Buildings of 2018

Walker Evans Walker Evans The List: 9 Most Endangered Buildings of 2018Photo by Brent Warren.
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The Columbus Landmarks organization unveiled their fifth annual Most Endangered Buildings list this evening, seeking to highlight historic properties in danger of being demolished and lost forever. This year, seven of the buildings are new additions to the list with two having been previously featured.

Several of the properties in this year’s list have previously been featured on Columbus Underground in articles that provide updates on their current status, planned renovation, or proposed demolition.

This year’s list includes the following properties (descriptions and information courtesy of Columbus Landmarks):

124 South Washington Ave.
Owner: Motorist Mutual Insurance

Photo via Columbus Landmarks.

This house, currently home to Replenish Spa, is a well-maintained example of a brick late Carpenter Gothic residence popular in the middle of the 19th century and is a contributing structure in the East Town Street Historic District listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It is noteworthy due to superb details in its bargeboards, double bracketed eaves and porch. There is a large connected carriage house in the rear of the property. The 1891 City Directory indicates that Louis Carl, a veterinarian, lived in the home and ran his veterinary surgery office in the carriage house. This building and another contributing building in the E. Town Street Historic District (571-573 Oak Street) are erased from the concept/future phase of the Motorist Topiary Park development plan. On February 15, 2018 a Motorist representative requested demolition approval from the Historic Resources Commission for the vacant Oak Street property. The request was tabled until the future phase plan is presented.

Grant-Oak Apartments

Owner: Columbus Metropolitan Library

Photo by Walker Evans.

The Grant Oak Apartments are one of the few examples of historic residential apartment buildings remaining in downtown Columbus. Sitting on a 1.25 acre site, the 130 apartments are actively leased and an important, nearly singular source of attainable housing for downtown workers and students. The sturdy, brick buildings have vintage appeal with some ornamentation and large windows. Grassy courtyards with mature trees separate each building, creating a quiet rhythm and walkability. Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) acquired the Grant Oak Apartments in 1992 for potential expansion of the Main Library. The recent library expansion did not necessitate use of the buildings so the CML Board of Trustees issued an RFP for redevelopment proposals in 2017. The Pizzuti Companies was selected in January 2018. The proposal calls for demolition of the seven buildings for two new buildings with 120 apartment units and first-floor retail space facing Grant Avenue. The plan addresses CML’s desire for direct access to their parking garage.

Greater Columbus Antique Mall

Owner: Fred Altevogt

Photo by Brent Warren.

The building at 1045 S. High Street was built in 1889 and is an example of Victorian Eclectic Italianate with a distinctive belvedere. George Janton, Sr. was the original owner – a Bavarian immigrant who was a soap and candle manufacturer. George, his wife and oldest son died in 1897, and the home passed to a younger son, Fred Janton, who owned it until 1924. The house then became the Woodyard Funeral Home, and later Hughes Funeral Home. The building was an Elks Lodge from 1952 through 1970s. The current owners purchased the building in 1979 and their Antique Mall is a much-loved enterprise. The building is believed to be haunted, and the owners have graciously entertained Columbus Landmarks ghost tours over the years to meet the “gentleman with the handlebar mustache” thought not to be Mr. Janton, but possibly one of the embalmers. The building is threatened with demolition to make way for a drive-thru restaurant proposed by Jared Schiff of Schiff Properties.

Holy Rosary Church Campus
Owner: Rock of Faith CDC

Photo via Columbus Landmarks.

The Holy Rosary Church Campus includes four significant, historic buildings. The Rectory is an 1840’s farmhouse originally on the site when it was acquired by the Columbus Diocese. The convent was built in 1905 and originally served as a school/church. The church was built in 1916 in the Northern Italianate Style with an ornate Renaissance Revival interior. The Holy Rosary Catholic High School Building (previously listed on the Most Endangered Buildings List) was built in 1928 in the Northern Italianate style to complement the church. Both buildings incorporate distinctive clay tile insets into the exterior décor of the brick. The convent building at this site has received some rehab and stabilization. A contract to buy the convent was not completed in 2017. The high school building is vacant, unsecured and deteriorating. The rectory and church buildings are in use, but also show signs of water damage and deterioration. Rock of Faith CDC is seeking redevelopment proposals for the campus.

Macon Lounge
Owner: Yhezkel Levi, Z on Main LLC

Photo by Anne Evans.

Built as the Macon Hotel in 1888, the building is a good example of the iron frame commercial brick structures of the era with stylized cornices and window corbels highlighting the exterior. The Macon became best known as the regular lodging of African American jazz musicians visiting Columbus in the early to mid-20th century. After World War II, the Macon was transformed from a hotel to a club and lounge. The Macon is listed in the Columbus Register of Historic Properties and is very significant to jazz history in our city. Z on Main LLC purchased the building in 2017 and announced plans to rehabilitate the building into micro-unit apartments. No progress has been made to date, and the building is threatened with continued deterioration and vacancy.


Owner: Columbus City Schools

Photo via Columbus Landmarks.

The history of the Maennerchor building is most associated with two uses. The first was as the rectory for the Independent Protestant Church, formed in 1843 by Swiss immigrants. Columbus Maennerchor moved to this house in 1921. Maennerchor, founded in 1848, is the oldest continuing German singing society in America. Over the years Maennerchor added a basement rathskeller and an addition/new entry to the front of the building. Maennerchor occupied the building until 2010 when it sold the property to Columbus City Schools. Columbus City Schools is now selling this surplus building. A pending redevelopment proposed by 966 S. High Street LLC calls for demolition of the building to make way for a new residential building and rehearsal space for Maennerchor.

Marble Cliff Gateway Mansion
Owner: Dr. Kathryn Gardner, Marble Cliff Manor LLC

Photo by Anne Evans.

Renowned Columbus Architect Frank Packard designed this gracious Tudor Revival style house for William Lanman of the Columbus Bolt Company and his family. The Packard-designed residences in Marble Cliff are character-defining and set the village apart from every other neighborhood in Columbus. In 1935, William “Billy” Ingram, founder of White Castle, purchased the home when he moved the company from Wichita, Kansas, to Columbus. Burgess and Niple Engineering moved their offices from downtown to the house in 1953. The building has remained in commercial use since that time. This building is threatened with demolition to make way for a new apartment building proposed by F2 Companies and Elford Development.

Ohio Baptist General Association Buildings

Owner: Ohio Baptist General Association

Photo via Columbus Landmarks.

Modest in style and standing, these three vacant buildings in the historic Woodland Park neighborhood have significance in the story of Columbus. Founded in 1896, the Ohio Baptist General Convention formed as a merger of three regional groups with an anti-slavery and social justice perspective. Located in Columbus for several years, the Convention moved to an American Foursquare with bungalow touches at 32 Parkwood Avenue in 1954. With the passage of time, the Convention came to be known as the Ohio Baptist General Association and acquired nearby property at 40 and 48 Parkwood Avenue. 40 Parkwood is a Midwest Modern simple brick apartment building built in 1963; 48 Parkwood is an American Foursquare of the 1910-1920 era. The Ohio Baptist General Association moved to a new location in 1983. Since that time these buildings have been safely secured but empty. Immediately across the street from East High School, these landmark buildings are threatened by long-term vacancy.

Salesian Boys and Girls Club
Owner: Salesian Society Inc.

Photo via Columbus Landmarks.

The Salesian Boys and Girls Club was built in 1927 as an Athletic Club, Auditorium and Headquarters for the Knights of Columbus. Designed by the significant local architecture firm, Richards, McCarty and Bulford, the building is five stories tall and ornamented and decorated in the Beaux Arts style popular in that period. The building was acquired by the Salesian Society in 1968 and used as a Boys and Girls Club. The building was last used by the Bosco Center until May 2017. The building is available for sale. The status and future of the building is uncertain, with rumors of redevelopment plans that call for demolition.

For more information, visit www.columbuslandmarks.org.

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