Preservation Ohio announced Thursday 13 properties that face risk of demolition, dilapidation or “uncertain futures,” continuing the group’s compilation of threatened historic sites for the 22nd year.
“These properties could be gone forever if not recognized for the part they play in maintaining their community’s historic fiber,” said Marian Vance, the nonprofit’s president, noting the sites need statewide recognition.
Age, amount of deterioration, local groups invested in preservation, and a building’s or site’s impact on the surrounding community contribute to generating the list. Preservation Ohio receives nominations from citizens and organization, with its board of trustees making the final decisions.
Bob Johnson, chairman of a group that aims to restore the Stone Train Depot in Ashtabula, said the area wants to see Amtrak use the 19th century station as a working site, bringing a “new era” of tourism to a once flourishing manufacturing region. He says Ashtabula is a great spot for high-speed rail service between Erie, PA, and Pittsburgh.
Rep. John Patterson (D-Jefferson) said as a retired history teacher, he wants to “get on board” to preserve the depot, which is located near the disaster site of one of the deadliest train wrecks in the United States.
Also making the list is the Cedar Bank earthworks, a little-studied Native American earthwork from Adena culture not preserved as part of a park. Located north of Chillicothe in Ross County, its rare embankment wall is nearly two millennia old.
Two homes on the Ohio Wesleyan University campus in Delaware currently used for student housing together are one of the endangered sites, as they are slated to be razed by the university to make room for newer housing.
She said after receiving recognition through the group’s list, the Westcott House, a Springfield house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, was restored. Other successes include the Unionville Tavern in Madison, once part of the Underground Railroad, and the Columbus Athenaeum, a Masonic Temple.
In 2014, three of the 11 properties on the list were saved and one lost. The organization continues to monitor the remaining sites.
The 2015 List of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites includes:
-East Liberty Schoolhouse, Akron.
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