Saturday, March 09, 2002

Historic church gets a reprieve

By Tom O'Neill,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        An embattled but historic 117-year-old church building in Walnut Hills dodged a date with the wrecking ball Friday.

        At least for now.

        Ohio Sen. Mark Mallory successfully appealed to its owner, the Rev. Donald Jordan, to postpone demolition of the old Walnut Hills Presbyterian Church structure, until the senator can make a proposal for state funding for its restoration.

        Mr. Mallory, D-Cincinnati, had said he would request $500,000 from the state's next capital budget, to be set this spring. “We've got one last chance to preserve a piece of history,” Mr.Mallory said. “I am going to work hard to try and make this happen. I am hoping we are not too late.”

        The church was built in 1885 by affiliates of the Lane Theological Seminary, key players in the pre-Civil War movement to abolish slavery. The stone structure at the corner of Taft and Gilbert avenues is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, but is now closed and in disrepair.

        The Rev. Mr. Jordan, whose Thompson Hall & Jordan Funeral Homes is next door, planned to raze the building and extend the funeral home, after he ran out of money to fund renovation.


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