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Demolition Of Bexley Bungalow Approved

UPDATE 01.11.18 At its meeting tonight, the Bexley Architectural Review Board unanimously approved demolition of the house at 291 S. Columbia and...

UPDATE 01.11.18 At its meeting tonight, the Bexley Architectural Review Board unanimously approved demolition of the house at 291 S. Columbia and approved plans for its replacement. With this decision, Columbus is losing a piece of history. 

In November, we learned that the Bexley Architectural Review Board granted conditional approval October 12 of demolition of the 1914 bungalow located at 291 S. Columbia Avenue. A new house is planned for the site. The rationale for demolition of the existing structure presented by the architect of the new house stated the existing house is average for the period and neither historically or architecturally distinguished, and that its materials and details are not equal in quality to other homes on S. Columbia Avenue. We researched the home and submitted a letter objecting to the decision to Kathy Rose, the Director of Zoning and Building for the City of Bexley, on November 15. Columbus Landmarks’ objection to demolition is based on the following:

  1. The home was designed for Theodore S. Huntington, one of five sons of Peletiah Webster Huntington, founder of Huntington National Bank. Following his father’s death in 1916, Theodore became director and later chairman of Huntington National Bank. Following Theodore’s death, the residence at 291 S. Columbia Avenue passed to his only son, Theodore L. Huntington, and remained in the family until the 1950s.
  2. The home was designed by the architectural firm of Howell & Thomas who are credited with other significant homes for prominent residents, East High School, the Tea Room at the Lazarus Department Store, and numerous churches, including St. John’s Episcopal Church and the Schoedinger Funeral Company State Street Chapel.
  3. In 1915 Columbus, the design of this Bungalow style home was groundbreaking, with its steeply pitched roof that rolls over the generous front porch; and the distinctive columns that add a surprising, classical element to the warm and inviting facade. Bungalows by definition were simple homes designed for gracious living. This early simplicity movement called for harmony with nature and craftsmanship and this home is a very fine example, achieved in part by its intentional setting on a generous lot.   

We feel strongly the property is significant and contributes to the architectural heritage of Bexley and therefore should be saved. We also believe the house on its gracious lot is perfectly adaptable for modern living. The Columbus Dispatch published a story about the proposed demolition of the house on December 25 (»LINK to story.) The story was picked up by the Associated Press News Service and ran in numerous publications nationwide including U.S. News & World Report, The Chicago Tribune, the L.A. Times, and others. 

 

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  1. Laurie Cohen January 9, 2018 at 2:13 pm #

    That would be a shame if it were demolished. I remember going to see my classmate, Elizabeth Johnson, in that house more than 45 years ago.

    It was a beautiful and gracious house and i’m sure it remains so. If the plan is to tear it down to put up a McMansion, then the Architectural Review Board should be ashamed.

  2. Lee Ann Steed January 10, 2018 at 8:12 pm #

    Deserves to be preserved. We all need to be more passionate about our history, it is our future.

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