Columbus’ endangered list includes house dating to 1825

The Columbus Landmarks Foundation put nine sites on its endangered list for 2022, including what Landmarks said is the oldest building he ever featured: a farmhouse built in 1825 now on the Far East Side of Columbus.

Also on the list: the south dormitory of the Columbus Public Health building and an old bakery in the Driving Park neighborhood.

This is the ninth annual list from Landmarks to identify properties at risk.

The home, located at 5961 E. Livingston Ave., has been vacant for several years, said Becky West, executive director of Columbus Landmarks.

West called it an “I-House”, a type of rural architecture common in the “I” states: Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa (“I” states). They are one room deep, two stories high, with chimneys at either end.

Susan Keeny, director of preservation at Landmarks, said “I” houses were usually part of farms. Keeny said the architectural integrity of the house has been maintained, but the house has been neglected.

According to Landmarks, the land of what is known as the Sprague House was granted in 1812 by President James Madison to Joshua Sprague, a refugee from Canada, under the Refugee Tract, which was land given as compensation to Canadians who had lost property due to their loyalty to America during the Revolutionary War.

Columbus Public Health’s South Dormitory, 240 Parsons Ave., in the Olde Towne East neighborhood was built in 1935 as part of the Ohio School for the Blind.

In November, the Columbus City Council voted to remove $2.75 million from Mayor Andrew J. Ginther’s $1.26 billion capital improvement budget that was intended to demolish the building. Schooley Caldwell, the architectural firm of Columbus, is currently conducting a full site assessment, West said.

In Driving Park, the Farm Crest Bakeries Building at 1826 E. Livingston Ave. was built in 1950 and according to Landmarks is an example of Modern Art, or Streamlined Modern, architecture that “emphasizes curved forms, long horizontal lines, rounded corners, roofs and minimal ornamentation.”

“It’s such a rare example of this type of architecture,” West said. “It has all these wonderful features.”

Woda Cooper Companies wants to build apartments on the site.

The other six sites:

• East 17th Avenue Garden Apartments, 1265-1271 and 1294 E. 17th Ave., South Linden. The two-story brick buildings date from 1928 and Landmarks says they represent an opportunity to help address Columbus’ housing crisis while preserving the fabric of the community.

• The Eldon Smith House, 2456 W. Broad St. The hilltop Greek Revival house which dates from around 1900 has leaded arched windows and a two-story portico with Corinthian columns and was used as a funeral home, photo studio, and a home for the Hilltop Historical Society.

• Original St. Stephen’s Community House, 379 E. Barthman Avenue. The brick building in the Hungarian village dates from around 1910 and was originally a theater.

• Ohio Avenue Church, 1013 S. Ohio Ave. The church, built in 1911 in what is now the Southern Orchards neighborhood on the South Side, was modeled after the church George Washington attended in Alexandria, Virginia. It is now vacant.

• Commercial building, 876 Cleveland Ave. The structure, built in 1915 in the Milo-Grogan neighborhood and now vacant, was used as a watch and jewelry repair shop in the 1920s and as a Kroger store in the 1940s, and was the Summit Grill in the 1960s and 1970.

• Main Theatre, 1336 E. Main St. The Near East Side Theater opened in 1937. It closed in the 1960s and has been used for different things ever since.

The public nominates the sites on the list, which are reviewed and selected by the Columbus Landmarks Defense Committee and approved by its Board of Directors. So far, of the 70 sites Landmarks has placed on its most endangered list, 27 have been saved, eight have been demolished; and 35 are awaiting redevelopment.

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