Thursday, March 3, 2011

Historic George Hatch House to be auctioned in April

One of Cincinnati's most historic houses will be auctioned off to the public April 16 at 1 P.M.

The George Hatch House at 830 Dayton Street in the West End, also known as "Hatch's Folly", was designed and built by nationally-renowned architect Isaiah Rogers.

Built between 1850 and 1853 for a cost of $50,000 (more than $1.3 million in 2010 dollars), the 8,000-square-foot Greek Revival house with Italianate accents is one of the few surviving examples of Rogers' later work.

No minimum bid has been set for the auction.

The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places both individually and as part of the Dayton Street National Register Historic District. It is also recognized locally as part of the Dayton Street Protection Area, of which Rogers was a prominent, original developer.

Best known for Hatch

The house is best known as the residence of former Cincinnati Mayor George Hatch (1861-1863), although he sold the house to distiller Adolphus H. Smith a year before taking office.

One of the City's most controversial mayors, Hatch built his fortune as owner of the John E. Hatch Co., a local manufacturer of soap and candles.

As mayor, Hatch is best known for organizing the Black Brigade of Cincinnati, which in 1862 helped save the City from Confederate attack during the Civil War.

But Hatch had strong Southern sympathies, and, a year after his term as mayor ended, he fled Cincinnati and purchased St. Vincent Island in Florida.

Latest folly

Hatch's Folly, LLC purchased the vacant mansion in 2007 with the goal of restoring the house as a museum and educational facility depicting the life and times of Hatch, Cincinnati's Civil War history, and the Black Brigade of Cincinnati.

The group secured several state and federal grants to develop a five-year restoration plan and to stabilize the building, and performed several exterior improvements, including window replacement.

Now, cost estimates for a full restoration are more than $1 million.

Preservationists are closely watching the building to make sure that none of the interior components are removed prior to the auction.

Previous reading on BC:
Cincinnati to apply for $191K for George Hatch House (6/9/09)
Cincinnati approves another grant application for George Hatch House (3/17/09)
Cincinnati approves grant application for George Hatch House (2/10/09)
George Hatch House hoping for another grant (1/27/09)
Three Cincinnati buildings nominated for Register (4/1/08)