Help Make Preservation a Priority!

Save the Historic Franklinton Church

1.14.19 UPDATE: The East Franklinton Review Board will determine the fate of the 1912 West Side Spiritualist Church at a meeting on Tuesday, January 15 at 3pm, in the Michael B. Coleman Government Center at 111 N. Front St., Room 205. This significant structure survived the 1913 Great Flood, and its twin asymmetrical, westwork towers have long been beacons of hope. A proposal that would satisfy Gravity II’s requirement for affordable units calls for demolition of the church. Please join us at the public meeting to show support for keeping Franklinton authentic and for taking time to find a win-win solution that results in affordable housing + historic preservation. 

VIEW MEETING AGENDA & REVISED CONCEPTUAL PLAN »

READ COLUMBUS LANDMARKS’ 1.7.19 LETTER TO EAST FRANKLINTON REVIEW BOARD »

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Affordable Housing + Historic Preservation = WIN

We agree that affordable housing is Priority #1 for our rapidly growing city. But may we point to any number of larger, vacant parcels in the vicinity? Or better still – build on this small parcel with the church as the centerpiece of a signature, Franklinton pride-worthy design. Historic Preservation Tax Credits can help get the job done!

Adaptive Reuse over Demolition

Some will ask what can be done with a vacant, historic church? The possibilities for adaptive reuse are endless, but let’s start with just three productive examples where it has worked really well in our city:
1. Welsh Church »
2. First Baptist Church »
3. Christian and Missionary Alliance Church »

Sustainable Columbus

It’s ironic this announcement arrives as our City prepares to adopt climate change measures. The development proposal would not only haul tons of wasted materials to the landfill but also sacrifice all of the embodied energy of a 106-year-old building.


Franklinton is an Arts District brimming with people inspired by AUTHENTICITY. New, thoughtful infill development is adding more vibrancy, attracting new residents and businesses, creating jobs, and connecting neighbors east to west. But let’s work together to preserve the precious few remaining historic assets that are not only the physical evidence of Franklinton in an earlier heyday, but the potential catalyst for something truly INSPIRING and uniquely COLUMBUS … and not what you see in a generic anyplace.

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Save the Church!

ATTEND » the 1/15 East Franklinton Review Board Meeting at 3pm (details at top)

SIGN » the petition to make preservation a priority

LEARN » more about the history of the building

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c1891 First Spiritualist Church at 79 McDowell St. in Franklinton

Photo: Cols Metro Library, Columbus Memory Collection > Doug Davis 1913 Flood Collection View of the West Side Spiritualist Church at 75 McDowell Street. The flood destruction of the Doddington Company Lumber Yard can be seen in the foreground.

4 Comments

Brian – December 21, 2018

Yeah, this probably isn’t the historic preservation hill to die on. The Land Bank put at an RFP for this church a couple of years ago. We looked at it. So did a lot of other developers. The building itself has a hard floor plate to work with, the roof pitch is steep and immediate so there’s no room for fly space if you wanted to do a theater, it would be a great restaurant or community space, but we couldn’t figure out how to make that cash flow, with or without Federal/State historic tax credits. I assume that the other developers studying it came to the same conclusion, which is why nobody bought the building.

Affordable housing it at least a reasonable outcome for the site.

Lin Duren – December 23, 2018

YES!!!!
Columbus has been a DISPOSABLE CITY!
I THOUGHT Columbus politicians and controlling factions LEARNED A LESSON during the DESTRUCTION of the Neil House and Mill Restaurant, our Railroad Depot (dastardly night destruction to AVOID COURT ORDERED STAY OF EXECUTION- saving only one ARCH), the near loss (and auction off of all interior furnishings already) of the lovely Ohio Theatre (home of the annual Nutcracker), and loss of others.
Guess those people are gone or dead now… FAILING TO PASS ON WHAT WAS “DISCOVERED”.
STILL STANDING 106 year old building DESERVES TO BE SAVED…. ANOTHER “STAY OF EXECUTION”, please.

Michael – January 14, 2019

Can the church be moved and do so cost effectively?

Becky West – January 15, 2019

The East Franklinton Review Board asked this question at their business meeting last week. There was a discussion of the inherent challenges and cost associated with moving a building. They asked Homeport to conduct a feasibility study regarding saving a portion of the church, such as the facade. We believe the context and site matter, and that the building or a portion of it should be reused in place.

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