2018 Most Endangered Buildings
Year Built: Early 1880s
Building Address: 966 S. High St.
Original Use: Residential
Current Use: Vacant, surplus
Building Condition: Structurally sound, poor interior condition
Owner: Columbus City Schools
Owner Address: 889 E. 17th Ave., Columbus
Owner Phone: 614-365-5164
Owner Phone: firstname.lastname@example.org
2.19.19 UPDATE – great news! A pair of anonymous philanthropists purchased the Maennerchor and are donating the building with funds for rehabilitation to The Jefferson Avenue Center, a non-profit that leases space to other non-profits. Columbus Landmarks is a longtime tenant of another Jefferson Avenue Center building at 57 Jefferson Ave.
This significant save is the result of the Brewery District Commission’s willingness to say “no” to a proposal that was not in keeping with the historic character of the neighborhood, and a truly remarkable act of generosity. We celebrate the outcome and thank our members, supporters and partners for their steadfast advocacy efforts.
Style and Significance
The original owner of the brick Queen Anne style house (visible at the rear) is not known, but the history of the building is most associated with two uses. The first was as the rectory for the Independent Protestant Church, formed in 1843 by Swiss immigrants. The church was known for its liberal policies which included giving women full and equal voice in church and Sunday school affairs. Columbus Maennerchor moved to this house in 1921. Maennerchor, founded in 1848, is the oldest continuing German singing society in America. Over the years Maennerchor added a basement rathskeller and an addition/new entry to the front of the building. Maennerchor occupied the building until 2010 when it sold the property to Columbus City Schools.
A development proposal called for demolition of the building to make way for a new apartment building on the site. The buyers backed out and the building and adjacent vacant lot will be available for sale to the open market via direct contract with Columbus City Schools. The building will remain on the Most Endangered Buildings List as we advocate for its reuse in a redevelopment plan.
Photos by Orbit Design & Richard Burry