Jump to content
Guest RestorationConsultant

Cincinnati: Historic Preservation

Recommended Posts

Some notable preservation victories highlighted in this week's Soapbox:  http://www.soapboxmedia.com/features/050812preservationmonth.aspx

 

Nice article.  I've been working on the Rauh House restoration in Woodlawn as project architect for 14 months now.  It's really coming together beautifully.  http://architectsplus.com/residential/historic-contemporary.html

 

Hey, that's great! I read about its story in Preservation Magazine. This deserves major attention, IMO.

 

And great article, Caseyc - thank goodness for Soapbox

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

May is Preservation Month and the Knox Hill Neighborhood Association is having its first ever "Preservation Opportunity" Home Tour this Saturday May 19th, 1800 Block of Knox street. Tickets are 10.00 and proceeds benefit KHNA's Save-not-Raze program.

 

Three under restoration homes will be featured on the tour and tour goers will  be able meet the owners and ask questions. In addition to the tour homes, there will be two Architectural  Walking tours at 12:30 and 2 PM, and there is also a classic car display.

 

The Knox Hill neighborhood features an outstanding collection of Victorian era architecture and the neighborhood is working on its National Registry Nomination.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recent news from Knox Hill. KHNA has started its second Save-not-Raze Project house in the 1800

Block of Knox Street. The home, built in 1885, is a three story Italianate, four bedrooms, 3 Baths and a full basement.

 

The home was converted to an illegal triplex years ago and had been vacant since 2006. KHNA is stabilizing the home, removing the front vinyl and insulbrick and restoring the facade to Secretary of the Interior standards. Once stabilization is somplete, the home will be resold with protective covenants that require it be exterior maintained to preservation standards. The interior restoration needs to be completed within two years and the owner must demonstrate funding to do the restoration. There are no restrictions on the interior design but the home must be converted back to a single family home.

 

The home is in very sound structural condition but will need  the usual new mechanicals. Interested individuials should contact me for details. This is a relatively easy restoration project and sits on a block with 6 other under restoration homes. Knox Hill Neighborhood association was formed in 2008 to foster Historic preservation in the Knox Hill area of Cincinnati

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recent news from Knox Hill. KHNA has started its second Save-not-Raze Project house in the 1800

Block of Knox Street. The home, built in 1885, is a three story Italianate, four bedrooms, 3 Baths and a full basement.

 

The home was converted to an illegal triplex years ago and had been vacant since 2006. KHNA is stabilizing the home, removing the front vinyl and insulbrick and restoring the facade to Secretary of the Interior standards. Once stabilization is somplete, the home will be resold with protective covenants that require it be exterior maintained to preservation standards. The interior restoration needs to be completed within two years and the owner must demonstrate funding to do the restoration. There are no restrictions on the interior design but the home must be converted back to a single family home.

 

The home is in very sound structural condition but will need  the usual new mechanicals. Interested individuials should contact me for details. This is a relatively easy restoration project and sits on a block with 6 other under restoration homes. Knox Hill Neighborhood association was formed in 2008 to foster Historic preservation in the Knox Hill area of Cincinnati

 

There has been a significant upgrade to the design on this project:

 

overlook+elevation.jpg

The revision makes some substantial design changes and works towards a higher level of design sophistication.
Read more and see a construction photo: http://victorianantiquitiesanddesign.blogspot.com/2012/12/overlook-project-design-revisions-mr.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

There has been a significant upgrade to the design on this project:

 

overlook+elevation.jpg

 

Looks like they're using Microsoft Paint for their renderings.

 

Hah... that's what I was thinking.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I'm confused by this.

 

On one hand, Paul hates others who slap on vinyl, choose a non-authentic paint color, adds non-historic features to their own residences. And then he goes and does this modern monstrosity. I suppose it's hard to make out what it will actually look like because of the rendering, but I see Paul holding a double standard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When restoring an old house, I've always believed that the way to go is either authentic to the period or ultra modern, depending on how much of the structure's original character is still intact.  But, I've always thought that about the interior; I've never considered an ultra modern exterior.  It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To Sherman,and others,  just to clarify. The overlook project is Modern for a couple of reasons. One, this particular house had virtually no historic fabric left.  Built in 1895 it had a major 'craftsman remodel' in the 1920's, a further remuddle in the 1950's when the garage was added with teh horrible stucco job, and a remuddle around 1997 when everything was vinylized . In short its a total gut. No useable plaster or period trim.

 

"Period restoration" of this size home would have been in excess of 450-475K and it wouldn't have been restoration , but rather re-creation. The only thing going for it was sound structure and frankly if we had not bought it the local slumlord/hoarder would have bought it and nothing would have happened to it and bulldozing would have been the result.

 

While the lower eastern end of Knox Hill has some great architecture, a nice 1865 center hall down the street and the Zahn Row a 4 unit attached shotgun cottage complex, but overall there isn't much "valuable architectural fabric". Most of the close area is industrial. 

 

The Lunkenheimer Building on between Waverly and Pinetree (where Covingtion Recycle is) is undergoing a marketing change next year with a shift towards Artist and photographer studio spaces with the vast majority of the complex, Covington recycle will be staying. There are a couple of other small industrial buildings being redone as live/works too, and there are a couple of restorations starting in the area in 2013. Also the private Roosevelt School has brought better educational opporunities to the area making it more attractive to young proffessionals with kids.

 

Because of misguided demo policys by South Fairmount CC, much of that lower area was bulldozed and there are a lot of infill site opportunities and if you have been up there you know the views are fantastic. We have identified some 45 vacant lots in the district. What we dont want is anotyher Citirama type of development with a bunch of vinyl sided 'burb houses' that look like they should be in the burbs, and we dont want any more habitat housing.

 

 

The "Overlook Project's" aim is to demonstrate that upscale Urban housing can be built in this area that utilizes those million dollar views at a far more attractive price point than Mt Adams. This property has  target sales price beween 325-350K and we are working with a buyer at that price.

 

The goal is that this project will spur further development interest. We are talking with some custom builders and we have some lots acquired. In fact my company will be building a new traditional style infill similar to some we built in Indy. the hope is that with new development comes greater preservation interest in the existing homes.

 

The neighborhood has been working on the  comprehensive overlook district plan for over a year now. The city has held off demolition of key property while the association works on strategies (like receivership) to get long vacant properties  freed up.

 

I am first and foremost, dedicated to preservation. But just historic preservation won't always work in every neighborhood situation. This is one of those situations.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

95 Mulberry is being offerred at sherriff sale on 1/3/2013. The building has had orders on it going back to 2002.  Opening Bid is 4993.72. Architecturally a very interesting structure and a good candidate for restoration. It is historic eligible.

 

According to the auditiors website the property is 3264 Sq feet, 10 rooms 6 bedrooms.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't gotten to read all of the posts on the forum but this looks like a good place to start.  My boyfriend and I are looking for a historical home in the Cincinnati area.  Primarily Avondale, North Avondale, OTR... and others similar to them.  We like the idea of Avondale because of recently announced grant money moving into the area.  However, I'm confused about that.  I've been told it's going to restoration companies and other times I've been told some is also going to individuals in the community.  If anyone had information about this or could explain it?!?  Anyway, we are young and I would love to have a historic home to renovate.  I did part of a renovation of a community center as my Girl Scout Gold Award project and loved it!  I know this would be a much larger scale and could use some tips or if anyone knows where to take classes or just anything at all I would appreciate it! We need a little (or a lot) of direction to get use started and hopefully the areas we picked will follow!  Like I said, we are young (25) and not much other than starting careers going on and feel we are able to take a chance in a "up and coming" neighborhood since it's just us and our dog with no intensions of children anytime soon!  Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You may be able to take on this house before they demolish it:

 

Mary Wolfe House at 965 Burton Avenue in Avondale is slated for demolition. Hannaford designed. Listed on the National Register.

 

23354_10152434757620343_869821730_n.jpg

 

Public Nuisance Hearing on January 25 at 1pm.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It will be a sad day when they demolish 965 Burton, but I'm afraid it's inevitable.  The immediate neighborhood is far too deteriorated to justify the work and money necessary to get it back into shape.  I did some very brief research a few years ago when it was on the market.  My conclusion: it's certainly not a project for anyone without significant resources and experience in historic renovation and restoration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do you think it'd worth it to stabilize it so it doesn't deteriorate further.. until such time as one might have greater resources available for the restoration work? What do you estimate it would cost for stabilization? and restoration?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's on the National Register and was designed by Hannaford, so I would absolutely prefer that it be stabilized.  Unfortunately that is a really, really rough street.  Given that the house is almost 9,000 square feet and has sat neglected, incurring water damage and vandalism for the better part of a decade, I'd ballpark (very, very, very roughly) that it would cost tens of thousands just to stabilize and in excess of a million dollars to fully rehabilitate.  Note that I've never been inside, but I've driven past and walked around on a few occasions.  I'd be surprised if much of the historic interior remains intact.

 

I cannot envision an individual investing this kind of money to live in that neighborhood.  Preventing the demolition of 965 Burton will require a non-profit or wealthy benefactor interested solely in the preservation of a historic landmark.

 

If you're interested in some fascinating history about the house and the land it sits on, check out this blog post.

http://diggingcincinnati.blogspot.com/2013/01/a-missed-named-national-register-house.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have always been curious about the house located at 992 Marion (at the corner of Marion and Dakota in North Avondale). 

 

The building is quite large and ornate.... does anyone know any history of this place? Or where to find out?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

965 Burton would be a major loss to preservation. The house has been off and on the market for the last 4 years. The current out of state owner paid way too much during the real estate boom and thought he'd have cash cow. Last I heard they wanted about 90K for it. Ive seen it and stabilization costs, just stabilization, will be 250-350K. It needs a roof, soffit and gutter reconstruction. The house also is missing its original staircase which could be recreated. Much original detail is missing because it was a nursing home for many years.

 

Actual final cost for a period restoration to secretary of interior standards is likely between 1.7 to 2 million.

 

My best scenario for the house would be to use it as a training center for historic preservation trades people or for some group like CPA and say the builders association to partner with a non profit and do a decorator show house out of it and then make it a decorative house museum and hope that renovation that is starting over there picks up and 'someday' it could be sold with protective covenants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

965 Burton would be a major loss to preservation. The house has been off and on the market for the last 4 years. The current out of state owner paid way too much during the real estate boom and thought he'd have cash cow. Last I heard they wanted about 90K for it. Ive seen it and stabilization costs, just stabilization, will be 250-350K. It needs a roof, soffit and gutter reconstruction. The house also is missing its original staircase which could be recreated. Much original detail is missing because it was a nursing home for many years.

 

Actual final cost for a period restoration to secretary of interior standards is likely between 1.7 to 2 million.

 

My best scenario for the house would be to use it as a training center for historic preservation trades people or for some group like CPA and say the builders association to partner with a non profit and do a decorator show house out of it and then make it a decorative house museum and hope that renovation that is starting over there picks up and 'someday' it could be sold with protective covenants.

 

 

Since so little of the interior remains, could the restoration be turned into a renovation and significantly reduce the cost?  A high quality modern interior inside that handsome stone exterior would be amazing!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A renovation, rather than a restoration, is more economically feasible. Given that we are talking about a structure that has been significantly altered and unfortunately resembles very little of what it once was, except for its exterior facade, and in a location that is still not that great, it is hard to persuade someone to invest over a million to do a proper restoration.

 

Conducting a full-blown restoration may also hamper its ability to be sold, especially if the costs are astronomically high for a residence that borders Avondale and some of the worst streets in Cincinnati. A more contemporary restoration, like with most houses, enhances its ability to be sold and can be done for a much cheaper cost.

 

If anything, basic repairs to the roof, gutters and exterior, along with the gutting of the interior to the studs, would be much preferable. At least shell it out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably a good idea (in the short term, but given the property market movement I am seeing, and the levels of restoration, closeness to Xavier, if you are going to do it, doing it right makes sense.

 

Big obstacles are finding deep pockets. If you could do the project as a decorator show home ( donated time and materials) you could keep costs down. St Margarets Guild up in Indy for example ,does an annual decorator show house, Kips bay is another. There are ways to do it right. I am not convinced you can write the neighborhood off. I could see the apartments demoed and new infill condos for example. the existing housing stock in the area has quality.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

965 Burton and 400 Forest were actually the two we were looking at (we literally walk neighborhoods with our dog and look for the crappiest cool house) and are trying to partner with the Avondale Counsel to see funding options.  I was thinking because we're young and the "professional" type that just maybe we would inspire others to look at the area as well.  We both enjoy the preservation of history and are not too worried about the current state of a neighborhood.  Just as long as it has plans to turn around.  I may have taken a peak at the inside and it would be a total renovation.  I didn't know the likely hood of any of the those restoration show being a possibility to apply?  I know that neither of the houses are currently on the market but Forrest is in foreclosure from it's records.  It's just a dream at this point but we figured while we were young and can still do things ourselves we might as well look into it! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

965 Burton and 400 Forest were actually the two we were looking at (we literally walk neighborhoods with our dog and look for the crappiest cool house) and are trying to partner with the Avondale Counsel to see funding options.  I was thinking because we're young and the "professional" type that just maybe we would inspire others to look at the area as well.  We both enjoy the preservation of history and are not too worried about the current state of a neighborhood.  Just as long as it has plans to turn around.  I may have taken a peak at the inside and it would be a total renovation.  I didn't know the likely hood of any of the those restoration show being a possibility to apply?  I know that neither of the houses are currently on the market but Forrest is in foreclosure from it's records.  It's just a dream at this point but we figured while we were young and can still do things ourselves we might as well look into it! 

 

I've done a lot of renovations through the years on homes ranging from the 1870's to the 1960's.  965 Burton would be a daunting task for a first timer.  DEEP pockets can overcome almost anything however.,,,,  I mean DEEP.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I haven't gotten to read all of the posts on the forum but this looks like a good place to start.  My boyfriend and I are looking for a historical home in the Cincinnati area.  Primarily Avondale, North Avondale, OTR... and others similar to them.  We like the idea of Avondale because of recently announced grant money moving into the area.  However, I'm confused about that.  I've been told it's going to restoration companies and other times I've been told some is also going to individuals in the community.  If anyone had information about this or could explain it?!?  Anyway, we are young and I would love to have a historic home to renovate.  I did part of a renovation of a community center as my Girl Scout Gold Award project and loved it!  I know this would be a much larger scale and could use some tips or if anyone knows where to take classes or just anything at all I would appreciate it! We need a little (or a lot) of direction to get use started and hopefully the areas we picked will follow!  Like I said, we are young (25) and not much other than starting careers going on and feel we are able to take a chance in a "up and coming" neighborhood since it's just us and our dog with no intensions of children anytime soon!  Thanks!

 

A few pieces of advice... 

 

1) select a small house. It's your first time, so the less rooms you have to work on, the better.  Save a "grand old mansion" project for when you have some experience and are ready for kids to fill those extra rooms.

2) find a place that hasn't been redone recently.  Lots of owners fix things the wrong way, and it's often easier to fix something right the first time than it is to correct someone else's mistakes.

3) work from outside-in.  Your first priority should be preventing damage from the elements, so you should address issues with the roof, chimney, windows, foundation, etc. before anything inside. Nothing is more frustrating than finishing a room, only to have it ruined by a leak you were unaware of.

4) hire a pro to do "dangerous" work. This includes plumbing, roofing, and electrical. It's fine to muddle through things like painting and refinishing floors as a first timer, but you should have a pro handle anything that could seriously injure you or your house.

5) if you work downtown, you should also consider Newport or Bellevue. Both have a large collection of small historic houses that are just waiting for someone to restore them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It should also be good to note that some work, like electrical, needs to be done by licensed technicians in order to pass inspection.

 

Here are some other pieces of advise:

1. Choose an area that may be prime for an increase in value. It's always great to choose a house in a distressed area, but it may not be a positive return on investment of the rest of the neighborhood doesn't follow. Northside was a huge steal for the longest time, but it also has the highest increase in property values. Rehabs typically sell within one to two weeks.

2. Work with the city and do it on the books. A house next to mine is being rehabbed, and they missed a critical appointment with the city for an exterior inspection. The inspector was visibly upset; that's something you don't want to happen.

3. Apply for tax credits, abatements, etc. You can command a higher selling price, sometimes $10k to $15k more, if the house has a city property tax abatement. For instance, instead of paying $1,000 on property taxes, that person may pay $250. That's a huge sell and very easy to apply for.

4. Don't worry about LEED certification or other "green" nonsense. It is sometimes a lot of extra money for very little return. It makes sense to go ahead and make the home as energy efficient as possible. Install new windows; Andersen Windows sells some great units, both wood and vinyl, that are appropriate for historic rehabs. Insulate, insulate, insulate. Exposed brick is cool, but so is a foot of insulation. (In my house, I have exposed brick built-in bookcases, but 1-foot of insulation nearly everywhere else.) New HE furnaces and water tanks (or on-demand units) are always a good bet. But don't go and add solar panels, solar heaters, rain barrels, etc. that not everyone will go for. You may price yourself out of the market, your budget and not everyone will appreciate it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We have recieved a lot of email from across the state about what an bad use of moving forward monies are for demo. Our engineer has ooffered that if the part of zahn row is demoed (they pulled the sign from the side the land bank has going to sherrif sale in august), that there would be significant structural compromise to the east side of the Overlook projects lot which has the primary access steps and a side patio, The loss of the 24 inch thick stone wall that makes up the foundation wall of Zahn Row would require the construction of  new retaining  wall structure that would cost an estinmated 20-22,000 dollars. A cost the city will have to bear because its the city's demolition action that causes the issue.  The city legal department is being advised as are several legislators in Ohio and of course the feds that brought the lawsuit making the dispersements of these funds possible. In short smart money should be to stop demo.

 

On much brighter news a major problem property owner in Knox Hill has left and has agreed to sell to a responsible individual with proven restoration track record who has done work in the Pendleton area. That home a 1912 Craftsman Bungalow will certainly be  contributing structure post restoaration.

 

Even better news is the acquisition of the Gertrude Holtz house on Fairmount Ave. That house a 1890 victorian sits on three lots, has a restored tin roof and nice gardens. The gardens are being restored now and its hoped that a new 4 color preservation paint job and recreation of the original front porch will begin in the next few weeks.

 

The stabilized restored exterior home, will then be resold with a protective deed covenant that requires the exterior be maintained to preservation standards, and that it remain a single family. Interior design is up to the owner but interior renovations must take place within 24 months.  The home is 1800 square feet 3 bedrooms 1 1/2 bath with a full basement. It will need ubstancial interior restore including mechanicals. However there is much intact woordwork and the staircase/stairhall area has some unusual "moorish "design, lincrusta wallpaper.

 

So even though Knox Hill is fighting the city on one front, we are saving on two other fronts. Blight DOES NOT have to equal a bulldozer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Backers: Tax credit 'incredible' for historic buildings

Historic buildings benefit from state program

Jan. 15, 2014 

Written by Bowdeya Tweh

 

 

Abandoned but not forgotten, some of the region’s oldest buildings are getting new lives as office and retail space, apartments, bars and restaurants – and remaking neighborhoods in the process.

 

It’s the result of a state tax credit that promotes the preservation of historic buildings and makes otherwise complex and economically daunting projects possible.

 

Tuesday, supporters of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program visited Cincinnati to tout the 7-year-old program that’s helping cities redevelop their urban cores.

 

http://news.cincinnati.com/article/20140114/BIZ/301140122/Backers-Tax-credit-incredible-historic-buildings?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...