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Thursday, February 22, 2007

the trolley-wreck building

I guess it's goodbye soon to the trolley-wreck building. City Council has approved purchase of the building by Economic Development, to tear it down and sell the lot to Minnick Mfg. next door for expansion. The Preservation Commission reviewed the issue at yesterday's meeting.
The building evidently sits in a flood plain, like Creamer's Hotel and other buildings on that block, so can't get financing due to insurance problems. It has been in such poor shape that it was never added to the Ohio Historic Inventory. And that area is zoned industrial.
All things considered, the Commission is not going to oppose demolition.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

new septic tank rules

New statewide rules have gone into effect for residential sewage/septic systems. You can find out more about the rules at the Ohio Public Health website. Here's the best starting point for information (it's hard to find directly from the odh homepage):
The new rules are intended to bring all counties under uniform compliance with the force of law.
We had an update this morning at Coldwell Banker Mattox McCleery from the Richland County Health Department. Here are a few of the highlights from my notes that aren't covered so well from the state website:
Older systems will continue to be used. No new inspections will be mandated. Typically an inspection takes place when a home is being sold, and if it passes under the old rules, there is no problem. If part of the system is broken, then it can be repaired (county health dept. should be notified by the installer). If a system discharges off the lot, it won't become an issue unless it is identified as a public nuiscance (i.e. your neighbor complains about you discharging raw sewage in the stream etc.) Variances for off-lot discharge (after treatment) will be given for existing lots that were too small.
Most new installations will require:
Soil scientist report which involves at least two test holes (about $100 per hole). Some scientists will do 3 holes minimum. Can no longer rely on soil maps. County will give a letter of suitability based on a soil scientists report, so this would be the extent of what needs to be done with a new lot prior to marketing it.
System Designer
Total cost being talked about at this time is $20,000.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

More about Arlin Field

The News Journal had an editorial today about the effort to nominate Arlin Field. Their position was very supportive and I appreciate that. I want to make it clear that even though I disagree with the State Preservation Office opinion, I understand and I'm not angry about it or anything.
But here's my take on it anyway: the basic structure of the stadium has not been altered, and the additions are to the backside and haven't been incompatible. The new press boxes are perhaps the most noticeable change, but don't represent an irreversible alteration. All in all I think there should be a lot of weight given to the fact that the use of the stadium has remained the same and less weight to the alterations.
It seems adaptive reuse projects like the Voegle building on N Main St, which was nominated and renovated several years ago, got a lot of leeway with the alterations required for reuse. Specifically on that building, the white vinyl windows seem out of character, although they were installed with State Preservaton Office approval via the federal tax incentive program under which it was renovated. After the renovation, I'm afraid if the Preservation Office applied the same standards as they did to Arlin Field, then the Voegle building would fail the test as well.

I'm under the impression that a property being considered for nomination because of the tax incentive programs will be given a lot more leeway than we were given with Arlin Field.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Arlin Field

Dick Shasky of the athletic boosters came to me with the idea of trying to get Arlin Field listed on the National Register and we submitted a preliminary questionnaire to the State Preservation Office in December. I thought we had a good shot at it. The stadium was built by the Athletic Association in 1947. Herbert Jones of the Althouse and Jones firm was the architect. His other works included the Richland Trust building, Farmers Bank building, Westbrook Country Club, Ohio Brass office building, and Park Avenue Baptist Church. Harold Arlin, who was president of the school board and chairman of the Athletic Association is in the sports record books as the first radio sports announcer, from his days with Westinghouse and KDKA radio in Pittsburgh.
We just received word this week however, that later additions and updates to the stadium have made it a poor candidate for National Register status. The 1.7 million dollar 1989 renovation including new press boxes, have had the greatest impact on architecture. I tend to disagree with this kind of strict assessment, but I'll put this on the shelf till about 2050 when the alterations have achieved 50 year old status and we can try again.

Friday, February 2, 2007

The Endly house at 103 W. Fourth Street has a new roof. The house was built by hardware merchant A. J. Endly in about 1850 .
When the Civic Center Authority bought the house in 2000 it was slated for demolition but this was forestalled by pressure from the Preservation Commission. When the Authority dissolved and the house was resold, an investment group bought it for possible future restoration as part of the Chamber District revitalization project. While there has never been any guarantee that the house would be saved, the new roof is making its future prospects look brighter.
Another house at 130 W. Third Street that was torn down by the authority was recently determined to have possibly been the Robert Bowland mansion which would have even older. It had been converted to flats and had even escaped notice in the Ohio Historic Inventory due to severe alteration

moved squarelog

The spammers hijacked SquareLog as a conduit for emails and it's been shut down the last couple of days. By taking it off my own website I can try to get it back up and running. I uploaded my cannon picture to see how everything works here. I'll paste my cannon post below.
The four cannons on the courthouse lawn are interesting Civil War relics. An 1896 federal act allowed obsolete cannons in the federal inventory to be given to municipalities and veterans organizations that applied for them. Our cannons are 42-pounder seacoast guns, model of 1845. According to a register of Civil War cannons, there are 29 survivors of this type. All four of our cannons were made for the US Army at the Tredegar Foundry in Richmond Virginia in the late 1850s. The foundry became an important Confederate asset at the outbreak of the Civil War.  [there are errors in the identification of these four guns and I will be posting an update shortly.  I have been informed that two of the guns were made at the West Point Foundry and other details.  05/15/2013]
Benjamin Huger was the inspector whose initials are stamped on the face of the muzzle. Huger became a Confederate inspector after the outbreak of the war. The 42-pounder has a 7 inch bore and weighs 8500 pounds. They are fully lathe-turned. 318 were built by Tredegar Foundry, West Point Foundry, Fort Pitt, Alger, and Bellona. It''s interesting that all four of our cannon came from Tredegar.
The 42-pounder is a "gun", meaning that it is meant for level firing rather than lobbing a shot or shell at a high angle into the air. In sea-coast defense they were meant to fire directly at enemy ships. They fired a round "shot" and also were used to fire "hot shot" which are cannonballs heated red hot in a furnace to become an incindiary device. At 4.5 degrees elevation the range is 1955 yards. I checked out the cannon at the Northwest corner of the square shown in the picture above and figure from the direction it''s aimed, John''s Park would just about be in range if it was adjusted down to normal elevation, but then Richland Engineering and the Olympic Lounge would be in its sights just across the Square.
I wonder if the people who mounted these guns had any qualms about pointing them out at the city? I grew up with the admonishment not to ever point a gun at anyone, not even an empty gun or toy gun. The cannon at the southeast corner points point-blank at the roof of the church across the street.',