2018 Most Endangered Buildings
Year Built: 1942
Building Address: Oak Street & Grant Ave., Columbus
Original Use: Residential
Current Use: Residential/ Apartments
Building Condition: Good/Some Deferred Maintenance Needs
Owner: Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees
Owner Address: 96 South Grant Ave, Columbus
Owner Phone: 614-645-2275
Style and Significance:
The Grant Oak Apartments are one of the few examples of historic residential apartment buildings remaining in downtown Columbus. Sitting on a 1.25 acre site, the 130 apartments are an important and nearly singular source of attainable housing for downtown workers and students. The sturdy, brick buildings have vintage appeal with some ornamentation and large windows. Grassy courtyards with mature trees separate each building, creating a quiet rhythm.
Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML) acquired the Grant Oak Apartments in 1992 for potential expansion of the Main Library. The recent library expansion did not necessitate use of the buildings so the CML Board of Trustees issued an RFP for redevelopment proposals in 2017. The Pizzuti Companies was selected in January 2018. The initial proposal called for demolition of the seven buildings for two new buildings with 120 apartment units and first-floor retail space facing Grant Avenue.
1.22.19 UPDATE: The Columbus Downtown Commission approved The Pizzuti Companies' plan to save four of seven Grant Oak Apartment Buildings, sensitively updating and re-integrating the 70 apartments into an improved plan with landscaped walkways connecting to a new 80-unit apartment building that overlooks the Topiary Park. While three buildings are sacrificed to achieve this plan, Columbus stands to gain increased density; retention of the attainable apartment inventory the old buildings provide; streetscape improvements on Oak Street; needed on-site parking; and burial of overhead utilities on Library Park North. We believe the refined design works well to integrate the old and new, and we commend The Pizzuti Companies for approaching this project with consideration for preservation, sustainability, and thoughtful design.
Photos by Orbit Design & Richard Burry