Monday, September 28, 2009

Historic Clifton Heights home is safe, for now

A historic Clifton Heights home has had a hold placed on its demolition, but it's not out of the woods yet.

Declared a public nuisance last November due to a dilapidated porch, deteriorating box gutters, and damage to portions of the wood framing, the circa 1838 house at 2210 Ohio Avenue was given a temporary reprieve by Property Code Maintenance Enforcement Division manager Ed Cunningham in order to give the neighborhood an opportunity to save it. 

Attempts to abate the hazard through criminal court were unsuccessful.

"Now the hard work starts!" says Matt Bourgeois, director of the Clifton Heights Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC).

Built around 1838, the Greek Revival house was later enlarged and Victorian elements added.

"As far as we can tell, there is nothing structurally wrong with it," says Margo Warminski, preservation director with the Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA).

The CUF Neighborhood Association (CUFNA) and CHCURC are working with CPA and the City to start a comprehensive housing revitalization program that would target similar buildings in the neighborhoods.

Bourgeois says that these discussions include ideas about neighborhood fa├žade programs, the buying and rehabbing of strategic properties and how to focus those resources geographically to make the most impact.

"Currently, we are simply not prepared to quickly and aggressively address a property like this when it comes up," he says. "The window of opportunity is slim and we need to have a process and resources in place to enable us as a community to be more proactive."

CUFNA has invited representatives from Dayton's South Park Historic District, which has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1984, to speak at its October 20 meeting.

Photo courtesy of Margo Warminski, Cincinnati Preservation Association.