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Cincinnati: Schoolhouse Lofts (E. Walnut Hills)

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This should be a great project, the building is killer, but a huge eyesore and I am sure it is full of crackheads.

 

 

Old East Walnut Hills school to be reborn as condos

Glaser building on success of nearby DeSales Plaza

Dan Monk

Courier Senior Staff Reporter

Keith Glaser is getting ready to place the second bookend in East Walnut Hills.

 

 

Glaser, founder and principal of Excalibur Development Corp., hopes to break ground by October on Schoolhouse Lofts, a 31-unit condominium development in the old Burdett elementary school.

 

The $6.1 million Schoolhouse project is just a few blocks from Glaser's heralded DeSales Plaza, a $7.8 million mixed-use development that tucked Simone's Café, a 162-car parking deck and 45 new apartments into the northwest corner of Madison and Woodburn avenues. Two months after its grand opening, the DeSales apartments are 93 percent leased, which makes Glaser eager to get started on the Schoolhouse condos.

 

 

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This is some great news. Since my move to Cincinnati a couple of years ago I've always found East Wallnut Hills a very promising place. The Woodburn business district has some very great buildings and I believe it will soon be the new trendy place to live in town. By the way do any of you know if Desalles Plaza is done yet. Last time I drove by it looked to still be under construction and I'd like to try some of the restaurants there.

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^ I agree 100%. I lived just down the street in O'Bryonville, and I always really liked East Walnut Hills. The Woodburn business district definitely has some great buildings. Also, I love how Woodburn runs at an angle and gives a great view of St. Francis de Sales. I haven't been by the De Sales Crossing project in a few months. Does anyone know how it is going?

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I just drove by the old Walnut Hills High School and was surprised to see the building is finally being turned into condos.  This project has been talked about to death over the last 10-15 years and nothing has ever become of it.  The building is very cool, but is/was a huge eyesore for the Walnut Hills neighborhood.

 

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Awesome news!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Hello, Editor,

I was tickled to find your pic on the Website of the Burdett School in EAST WALNUT HILLS.  I think you actually have a better picture of the building from an aerial viewpoint if you look at your pic in the "East Walnut Hills" neighborhood shots--a view from the west, I believe.  You'll see a blue spire of the St. Francis de Sales Church, and the Burdett School to the right.  NOTICE all the significant roof structure EMBELLISHMENTS.  I understand from reading the "Communique'" a monthly newsletter from the East Walnut Hills Assembly (a city neighborhood preservation group trying to bring life to the area as a viable and historic neighborhood), that the Burdett School building roof burned down a number of years ago--I don't when, except that the last use was a school use, ending in 1979.

 

I have mentioned to one of the board members of the neighborhood group, my concern for the need to encourage the developer (or make a condition of financing loans from the city of Cincinnati) that the roof of the remodeled structure take on the historical appearance which is what really made the building--I think you will agree if you look at the "old" aerial picture.  The roof Turrets are fantastic and extend the wall architecture.  If you are interested, the East Walnut Hills Assembly have a pic of the old building with the original roof.  Its a view from the southeast, looking at the Burdett Steet side of the building.  Notice the beautiful WINDOWS and casings?  The photo shown in the communique' was taken circa early 1900's, probably around the 1920's.  An interested and good contact person would be Dorothea Kennedy, currently the Communique's editor. I have her email.  I have also sent this webpage on your writeup on the project to her.

 

It would be real shame to allow the developer to neutralize the building's key architectural character, using city fundings and lending support.

 

Why am I interested?  I live about 2,000 miles away here in Portland, OR, but have ancestors who were community builders in this neighborhood during the mid to late 1800's and were instrumental in the founding of the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church at Madison/MLK and Woodburn, as well as the schools.  Joseph Kleine (1814-1899) and his brother Frederick Kleine built a number of homes on Cleinview (originally, Kleine Avenue), Hackberry, and Chapel that still survive and two are on the National Historic Register.  This is a very historic area of Cincinnati and worthy of preservation and rehabilitation/rekindling (no not fire) and has obviously survived many challenges over the last 150 years.  Compared to European cities, this neighborhood is still very young.  Thank you for listening.  I hope the develper is too (besides just his pocketbook).  He needs to think period embellishment.

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ColDayMan - where was that taken from?  If it's publicly accessible, it would be really cool to see the area now without all the leaves...

 

<chuckles to self>

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Oh lord ;).

 

Go atop the Vernon Manor Hotel and go onto the top floor with the open-air balcony.  You'll get the best view of the city WITHIN the city.  And yes, that is with a zoom.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Here's an article on the condos from the 12/17/04 Enquirer:

 

 

Vacant ex-school to become 31 condos

By Ken Alltucker

Enquirer staff writer

 

A Cincinnati developer plans to spend $6.5 million to renovate a century-old East Walnut Hills elementary school into 31 condos.

 

The Burdett Elementary School on Ashland Avenue has been vacant for more than two decades. But developer Keith Glaser sees the 19th-century building's cathedral ceilings and Romanesque architecture as a natural fit for a condo project.

 

E-mail kalltucker@enquirer.com

 

http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041217/BIZ01/412170398/1076/BIZ

 

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Another article with some more info...

 

Looks like they are going to add a few stories and a sloped roof similar to what was there originally.  I have an old pic of the school if someone can host it for me, let me know..

 

From school to 31 condos

New life for Walnut Hills structure

-- ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

By Greg Paeth

Post staff reporter

 

The original Walnut Hills High School , built in 1893, is being transformed into condominiums in a $6.3 million project.

Cincinnati city officials and representatives of the East Walnut Hills neighborhood teamed up Thursday for a ceremonial welcoming of the development company undertaking the project.

 

The project, called the Schoolhouse Loft condominiums, will convert the old school into 31 condos ranging in price from $140,000 to $230,000.

 

 

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sounds like the west tech high school lofts and the upcoming john hay high school condos projects in cleveland. i like this reuse of classic old high school buildings. for once a nice real estate trend!

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:x  didn't know it would involve any demolition.. I happen to like the back half of that building dangit!

 

School Torn Down In E. Walnut Hills

 

RELATED PICTURES

 

Click for larger images.

 

 

Demolition began Tuesday morning

(WCPO/WCPO.com)

31 condos will be constructed on the land

(WCPO/WCPO.com)

 

 

Reported by: 9News

Web produced by: Mark Sickmiller

Photographed by: 9News

Last updated: 1/18/2005 11:59:09 AM

Part of an East Walnut Hills eyesore started coming down Tuesday morning, to make room for new condominiums.

 

The tear-down is part of ongoing urban development in the neighborhood.

 

Crews are tearing down the back portion of the original Walnut Hills High School, built in 1893, and located at the intersection of Ashland Avenue and Victory Parkway.

 

The formerly abandoned landmark will soon be the "Schoolhouse Loft Condominiums." The building will hold 31 condos, starting in the $140,000s.

 

The portion demolished Tuesday was an extension to the old school, and housed the gymnasium and cafeteria

 

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At least it was an extension, and not part of the original building...but why the f#ck do they have to tear stuff down instead of looking into adaptive reuse??

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According to the auditor's website, the addition that was torn down appeared to be 66'x39', which would give it about the square footage of a newer suburban house.  It also had a 13'x16' corridor leading into it.

 

Sorry, no pics.

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I shouldn't complain about the partial demolition since the building is being used for adaptive reuse and made into condos.This will be a great oppurtunity for new residences in Walnut Hills.

It is a real shame that the church up the street got the wrecking ball. Hopefully the tower will be saved. The church like all Hannaford creations to me  are Cincinnati's Gems of architecture that need to be preserved.

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It makes me furious to think that the city doesn't care more about preservation.  The only thing I can conclude is that they are retarded!

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dglenn - There's only so much money to go around.  When you can't pay for decent snow removal or police or human services, it's hard to justify spending money on historical preservation.  I may disagree with where we place our priorities - but I'm not up for election every two years.

 

So we have to rely in large part on limited federal grants, or else private funding.  In the case of the Walnut Hills Presbyterian Church (scroll down), it was just a really sad situation - the funeral home owned it, I believe, and desperately needed parking space.  It was willing to work with preservationists to sell the building and buy other space for parking, but funds kept being promised and not delivered.  At one point, after trying for years to find a solution that saved both their livelihood and the building, they finally had to shit or get off the pot.  And they certainly did shit...everything but the tower was torn down.  Now the efforts are to preserve at least the tower.  It's truly heartbreaking.

 

If I have my facts wrong there, please correct me - I did a quick search on this forum for something on it and didn't see anything, but don't have time to google the full facts up...I could be wrong on the players and motivations...

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I agree with what you're saying as far as the difficulty in balancing a city budget.  But when a city like Cincinnati fails to preserve its' historic buildings, it just perpetuates its own cycle.  In other words, historic buildings and districts are economic assets -- it's been documented that they create jobs, raise property values, increase tax revenues, and facilitate a healthy economy generally....so to let them be destroyed is nonsense, especially when the city SPONSORS demolition at a cost of like $20,000.

 

As for the Walnut Hills Presbyterian Church, to me that's a case of allowing private concerns to trump what's in the public interest.  The funeral home was permitted to destroy what was essentially a public good (the church) for their own private profit.  This is the downside of the value we place on private property rights in this country. 

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tower.gif

 

I believe they (whoever they are) were successful in saving the tower, which is why it is still standing and they are building around it.

 

Here is what the Cincinnati Preservation Association had to say about it (please note the info is somewhat dated)

 

HELP SAVE THE TOWER

 

CPA will lead a campaign to raise $300,000 to purchase and restore the former Walnut Hills Presbyterian Church tower. Although much of the church has already been lost, CPA recently entered into an option to purchase the remaining tower from property-owner Reverend Donald Jordan. The freestanding tower and entry area will be stabilized and renovated for reuse as a cultural heritage site.

 

Last year Ohio Sen. Mark Mallory came forward to stress the importance of saving the site - both for its historic value and the role it can play in revitalizing the present community of Walnut Hills. The church was designed by renowned Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

 

Over the years the church has been a gathering place for community residents. The campaign to save it has once again united the community. " It is about saving that corner and trying to revitalize an entire neighborhood that has a strong sense of history," said Jim King, director of the Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation and CPA Trustee.

 

The site also has national significance with strong ties to the development of the abolitionist movement. CPA anticipates leasing the tower to an appropriate organization that would create an interpretative exhibition detailing the rich history of the area, including James Kemper's gift of land to the Lane Seminary and the nationally significant 1834 anti-slavery debates organized by Theodore Weld. Due to the efforts of the Lane Seminary, Walnut Hills became the first integrated neighborhood in Cincinnati. Saving the tower will provide a powerful endorsement and visible reminder of Walnut Hill's nationally significant commitment to diversity, equality and community.

 

Together with the Harriet Beecher Stowe House, this small exhibit could build upon the heritage tourism potential of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and homes of prominent African Americans such as Laura Knight, principal of Harriet Beecher Stowe School, and Wendell Dabney, publisher of Cincinnati's first African-American newspaper. In this way, the tower will continue to provide a physical link to this important history while reinforcing the many neighborhood revitalization initiatives underway.

 

CPA has already raised $88,500 of the $300,000 needed to purchase and restore the tower for reuse. We would like to thank our generous primary donors for helping us get the campaign off to a fabulous start: The City of Cincinnati Arts and Culture Committee provided $50,000; Robert Lindner donated $25,000; and Paul Muller and Teresa Schnorr donated $10,000.

 

Additional funds must be acquired in the very near future in order to close the purchase contract with Reverend Jordan. Your support could make all the difference. If you would like to contribute, call (513) 721-4506.

 

 

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As for the Walnut Hills Presbyterian Church, to me that's a case of allowing private concerns to trump what's in the public interest. The funeral home was permitted to destroy what was essentially a public good (the church) for their own private profit. This is the downside of the value we place on private property rights in this country.

 

Then the city has got to step up to the plate.  The alternative is telling a business to shoulder the entire responsibility.  Do that and businesses go out of business, and they won't be able to shoulder the responsibility anyway.

 

I agree it was a treasure, and a heartbreaking one to lose.  This is my neighborhood, and I'm poorer for losing it too.  But blaming business is just off the mark in this particular situation.

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That was a real heart break.. Peebles corner area needs someTLC before more of it's buildings come down. I know it was the funeral homes property but to have a parking lot put there is just awful! I get bummed everytime I go past there so I try to avoid that area for now.

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I guess I'm not sure what exactly "blaming the precedence of individual good over public interest" means.  If it means the city ought to have stepped up to the plate, then I think we're completely on the same page.  If it means individuals ought to forego their own good for the sake of public interest, then I could just rephrase what I said:

 

Then the city has got to step up to the plate.  The alternative is telling an individual to shoulder the entire responsibility.  Do that and individuals become insolvent, and they won't be able to shoulder the responsibility anyway.

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yeah, we're saying the same thing...I think the city should have stepped up to the plate, because it was in the PUBLIC INTEREST to do so.  And I think in general historic buildings should be proctected from destruction for reasons of private gain (i.e. local historic district status).  But yeah, I think we're on the same page.  I wouldn't expect a funeral home to save an old building rather than make a parking lot...I just wish they had more incentive to do so.

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The city would have more money if they would cut some funds to the bums who are leeches sucking the green out of our coffers. Less money for the degenerates is key. Young and old  people move to the city for the old architecture not for cookie cutter homes in the burbs.

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I just found a rendering of the rehab of the school.  All I can say is 1: it is just a rendering, and  2: at least they are fixing up a long vacant building, 3: but ick! 

 

I will try to link to the photo, but here is the link if it does not work.  I think the rendering shows the back of the building, while the old photo shows the front.

 

http://www.preferredgrouprealtors.com/displaylist.asw?listnum=916719&mls=cincy

 

Also, since the MLS site is now gone, I highly recommend this one, it is almost identical to the original MLS site!

 

 

 

916719l2.jpg

 

And another historic shot...

916719l.jpg

 

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WHAT ON EARTH!??!


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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