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From an airport terminal to farmstead, here are 11 of most notable and fragile properties in Ohio

Norwalk Reflector Staff • Aug 6, 2014 at 10:07 PM

Preservation Ohio, Ohio’s oldest statewide preservation organization, has announced the 2014 Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites.

Gleaned from properties submitted statewide, these properties represent 11 of the most notable and fragile properties.

Some have been destined for demolition and others are falling to demolition because of lack of maintenance and care. Either way, their loss will deeply affect their community and reduce our list of historic properties statewide.

The list below tells the story of everything from an airport terminal to a farmstead -- mansions and those of a humble origin.

Preservation Ohio hopes that the attention brought to these properties through this listing will alert others to their plight and perhaps those of other properties statewide.

Here are the 2014 Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites:

Former Houghton Sulky Manufacturing Building

185 N. State St. & 150 E. Huber Streets

Marion, OH 43302

Built in 1845, the main stone building originally served as Marion's first church -- the Centenary Methodist Episcopal Church from 1845-1854.  It also served as church sites to other congregations, alternating amongst Catholic and various English and German speaking groups until each group was able to build their own separate facilities.  In 1866, inventor Edward Huber, instrumental in developing the Revolving Hay Rake, started his agricultural/farm implement-related business in this building. Huber later expanded his manufacturing efforts and partnered with other business leaders of the Marion area to form the Marion Power Shovel Company, which built the power/earth moving construction equipment that helped to build the Panama Canal.   In the 1920's the Houghton Sulky Company purchased the site and continued with the long-standing farm implements manufacture, serving clientele such as Jane Withers and England's Royal House of Windsor, through 2006.  This property is in imminent danger from demolition by neglect.

Columbus Municipal Light Plant

589 Dublin Rd. (Olentangy River & Nationwide Blvd, west of the Buggy Works)

Columbus, OH

The Municipal Light Plant was built in 1903 though the original pumping station was built in 1871 under the direction of Nathan Kelley, architect associated with the Ohio Statehouse.  The light plant (and water works) was important to the development of city utilities.  The sizeable building is decorated with brick hood molds over the windows and entrance and has clerestory windows.  Though neglected, the building is a delightful surprise to those who may be unaware of its presence or know the important history of Columbus' contribution to the civic utilities.  The building is eminently adaptable.  This property is in imminent danger from demolition by neglect.

Olive Branch High School

9710 W. National Road

New Carlisle, OH

Located in Clark County along the National Road, the Olive Branch High School was originally built in 1908 and was considered progressive for its time.  Following a devastating fire, the school was reconstructed in 1913, and stands as a good representation of a rural turn-of-the-century Craftsman-style high school.    Designed by noted Dayton, Ohio architect Charles Insco Williams, the building was used as a school house until the mid 1970s and still maintains its 1913 appearance. This property is in imminent danger from demolition by neglect.

Ellis House/Farm

7806 SR 22 & 3

Wilmington, OH

Built in 1860, the Ellis House represents the Italianate-style began in Europe as part of the Picturesque movement, a reaction against the formal classical ideals in art and architecture that had dominated the previous two centuries. It was inspired by the rambling, informal Italian villas of northern Italy with their characteristic square towers and asymmetrical, open floor plans.  Typical features include two or three, typically asymmetrical, L- or T-shaped stories; large eave brackets and a low-pitched, hipped roof.  This house currently sits idle on a 313-acre parcel, currently used for grazing cattle.  This property is in imminent danger from demolition by neglect.

Elks Lodge and Residence

110 North Sandusky Street

Delaware, OH

Built in 1840's as a home for the founder of the Wesleyan Female College, which existed in the city of Delaware many years prior to joining with the Methodists to form Ohio Wesleyan University, this home is important to the streetscape of Delaware and has been an integral part of the downtown for over 100 years. Currently known as The Elks Lodge, it has served The Elks since the early 1900's.

Unionville Tavern

Route 84

Madison, OH

The Unionville Tavern is a 216-year-old wooden structure, which may be one of Ohio's oldest surviving taverns and certainly one of the oldest structures in the Western Reserve of Northeast Ohio.  This tavern served frontiersmen as a place for lodging and supplies and later served as a station on the Underground Railroad.  The sale tunnels are still present underneath the Tavern.  In the 20th century, the Tavern served various industrialists, such as Henry Ford, who vacationed along Lake Erie.  In addition, the Tavern served as the scene for generations of families celebrating the special moments of their lives.  This property is in imminent danger from demolition by neglect.

Port Columbus International Airport Terminal & Control Tower

4920 East Fifth Avenue

Columbus, OH  43219

On the National Register of Historic Places and owned by the Columbus Regional Airport Authority, the Port Columbus International Airport Terminal is on a downward spiral due to its idle status.  The two-story, octagonal control tower was built in 1920 by Allied Architects Association, a consortium of architects best known for their work to create a classic civic center after the 1913 flood.  Columbus marked the transfer point of New York passengers by railroad to the Transcontinental Air Transport Ford Tri-Motors to Waynoka, Oklahoma where they boarded another overnight train to New Mexico for a TAT flight to Los Angeles.  The entire coast-to-coast trip took only 48 hours. On July 8, 1929, with the appearance of famed aviators Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, and Henry Ford, the Port Columbus International Airport Terminal debuted air service in Columbus, Ohio.  The condition of the building had deteriorated over time and mitigation of hazardous materials remains a barrier to rehabilitation, although Columbus Landmarks Foundation recommends an adaptive reuse solution.  This property is in imminent danger from demolition by neglect.

Gen Richard Stephen(s) Farm

10417 Stephen-Young Road, Somers Twp.

Camden, OH  45311

On June 18, 1816, after serving in the War of 1812, President James Madison awarded General Richard Stephen "...lands of the United States in the territory north-west of the Ohio, and above the mouth of Kentucky river,..." and there he built a sturdy stone farmhouse with a frame addition, all assembled with rose head nails.  Today, however, this wonderful homestead has been unoccupied for 30 years and completely neglected.  Current owners attempting to sell -- this property is in imminent danger from demolition by neglect.

Markey Mansion

5486 Lexington Salem Road

West Alexandria, OH

Built in the mid 1850s, this 17-room grand Victorian mansion was built by J. H. Markey a Preble County Probate Court Judge and large farm owner.  The property changed hands many times, then in late 1960's/early 1970's Frederick Voge, a notable Preble County farmer bought the farm and the three historic homes on it and placed the farm under an agricultural conservation easement with the Three Valley Conservation Trust in 2006.  Over the past 40 years, the Markey Mansion (the most significant of the three homes) has been rented, but has been abandoned since 2004.  Since that time, the roof developed a hole and due to financial considerations, despite many requests, had not been repaired and the farm now sold at sheriff sale.  This property is in imminent danger from demolition by neglect.

Music Hall

1241 Elm St.

Cincinnati, OH 45202

Music Hall, a National Historic Landmark, was built in 1878 and has a significant connection to major themes in American history, including art, architecture, and music.

Union Terminal

1301 Western Ave.

Cincinnati, OH 45203

Union Terminal, an iconic symbol of Cincinnati and a world-class example of Art Deco architecture, was designed by the firm of Alfred Fellheimer and Steward Wagner, with Paul Cret, in 1933. (Credit: Courtesy of Cincinnati Museum Center)

Preservation Ohio is the state’s oldest statewide preservation organization. Originally established as the Ohio Preservation Alliance, Inc., it is an independent, non-profit organization recognized under Chapter 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Preservation Ohio was established to enhance understanding and appreciation for Ohio’s historic resources, and it serves as a focal point for Ohio organizations, municipalities, corporations and individuals who care about those resources and are concerned about preservation for future generations.

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