HDC first worked with Kramer Engineers at Hocking College in 2013 on a feasibility study to renovate a former bookstore building for the School of Music. The team is currently working on a new storage building for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources in Fernwood State Forest. In the intervening years, major projects together include the Scioto Southland Recreation Center, Devon Pool Bath House and Mechanical Building, administration buildings in Clark County, and the John Bryan State Park Day Lodge. The relationship has also worked in both directions with HDC working as Kramer’s consultant on their projects for the Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and Department of Developmental Disabilities.
At left, the Hocking College Bookstore, which the team concluded was originally a modular building, and therefore not acoustically suited for a music school and at right, the interior of the John Bryan State Park day lodge, with built-in devices in the ceiling to lift the one-piece solid wood table.
At left, the new Devon Pool Mechanical Building designed to match the Bath House and at right, the Scioto Southland Recreation Center with the renovated gymnasium left of the new entry and addition.
In recognition of Juneteenth this month, HDC looks back on our projects that were associated with Black history.
In early 2002, HDC started a project to prepare a renovation master plan for the Gammon House in Springfield, Ohio. The Gammon House was built in 1850 by George Gammon, a Black abolitionist and is one of the few Underground Railroad sites in Ohio that was owned by a free person of color. HDC subsequently implemented the first phase of the renovation plan to stabilize the exterior.
The Gammon House before (left) and during (right) stabilization in 2007.
In 2003, HDC was commissioned to prepare a feasibility study to renovate the Lincoln Theatre in Columbus into a modern performing arts center. The Lincoln Theatre, an Egyptian Revival theatre that opened in 1928, was funded by a Black developer, designed by a Black architect and built by a Black contractor. HDC’s study was used to secure funding from the City of Columbus and Franklin County, with the remaining funds raised by private donors. The grand re-opening occurred in 2009, and the project received awards from Columbus Landmarks Foundation, Heritage Ohio and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.
The interior of the theatre before (left) and after (right) rehabilitation in 2009.
In 2005, the City of Wichita commissioned HDC to prepare a redevelopment study for the Dunbar Theater, which was constructed in 1941 and named after Paul Lawrence Dunbar, the Black poet and author from Dayton, Ohio.
It was the focal point of a commercial and entertainment hub that served the McAdams neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods that were predominantly African-American in origin until 1963, when the theater closed. Power CDC, a developer that specializes in inner-city Wichita, acquired the building in 2007 and restored the façade and marquee in 2012-2014.
The Dunbar Theatre continues to be a work in progress.
In 2007, HDC prepared a Historic Structure Report and implemented the stabilization and exterior rehabilitation of the Lathrop House, which was built c. 1850 by Lucian Lathrop, a prominent white abolitionist in Sylvania, Ohio. The house contains an Underground Railroad Museum in the new basement and HDC completed an update to the Historic Structure Report in 2021 to rehabilitate the interior of the house and make it accessible.
The Lathrop House before (left) and in 2021 (right).
In 2017, HDC prepared a master plan to rehabilitate the Ozem Gardner House in Sharon Township near Worthington, Ohio, which was built in the 1840s by a local abolitionist, into offices for the Flint and Walnut Grove Cemeteries. The Gardner Family donated the original land to create the cemetery in 1821. The pandemic set the project back from its goal of opening in 2021. It is currently anticipated to be completed in 2022.
The Ozem Gardner House before (left) and after restoring the original masonry window openings (right).
In 2020, the City of Athens commissioned HDC to prepare a renovation master plan to convert the Mount Zion Baptist Church, built in 1904 by a Black congregation, into a community center and museum of African American Appalachian culture. The study was used to obtain a grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation to start the rehabilitation process.
The Mount Zion Baptist Church in Athens, Ohio.
HDC recently worked with architect O.A. Spencer on the interior renovation of the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing and Cultural Arts Complex in Columbus, whose mission is to connect community through the arts by engaging central Ohio through performing, cultural and educational programs of high artistic merit that increase and disseminate knowledge regarding the vast and significant contributions of Black Americans to the culture and history of America and the world.
The main Auditorium with new flooring, ceiling and lights, looking through the updated column (left) and looking into the Lobby past the mural by artist Wali Neil (right). Photos by Shellee Fisher Photography.
And finally, HDC is very honored to have been awarded the project to prepare a Historic Structure Report of the Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Lawrence County, across the Ohio River from Huntington, West Virginia. The church was built c. 1849 and is one of the first Black churches constructed west of the Appalachian Mountains. The team is looking forward to starting work in August!
The Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in South Point, Ohio.
The southwest corner (left) and interior of the building while under construction (left)
HDC was on M-Engineering’s team to design two buildings to house new backflow preventers and water meters where Ohio State University’s water system connects with the City of Columbus’ infrastructure. Construction completion was delayed due to issues in delivering the specified brick, but the contractor was able to achieve substantial completion in December of 2021. The available infrastructure made traditional floor drains very expensive, so the team was charged with coming up with another solution if the equipment suffered a catastrophic failure and flooded the building.
Our solution: flap valves on the rear elevation that only open with sufficient water pressure!
The southeast corner shows the round openings that are the flap valves that release water during a catastrophic failure
Left: front elevation of the Lane House on West Case Road, Right: the Red Barn and silos on West Case Road.
HDC is on MKSK’s team to prepare a feasibility study to convert the former OSU Sheep Farm into West Case Road Park for the City of Columbus Department of Recreation and Parks. The team is investigating the work and costs needed to repair/upgrade the existing brick farmhouse into a leasable event space, as well as convert the existing barns into vehicle storage buildings and possibly larger event spaces or picnic shelters. The house was constructed c. the 1880s and is one of the oldest structures remaining in northwest Columbus. Originally owned by William F. and Maude Lane, the house is a simple Federal style with windows that are three-ranked (three windows across on the second story with two windows and a door on the first story), stone lintels, and a hipped roof with exposed rafter ends. The overall building type is a hipped L, which is a two-story building with an L-shaped plan and intersecting hip roofs. The front door overhang and rear extension were later additions. The initial response was that the buildings should be demolished, but after the team submitted a draft assessment and rehabilitation report for the historic farmhouse and red barn, the City is now considering saving both.
Ziti’s personal best is 7.85 seconds in the 100-yard AKC Fast CAT course. When converted to miles per hour, Ziti clocks in at just over 26 miles per hour!
Ziti’s official ranking on the AKC website
Meanwhile, Ziti also racked up more points toward her FCAT ribbon by participating in four races at the National Beagle Convention, which just happens to be in Wilmington, Ohio, this year. Although she was a little off on Saturday, only running at about 8.4 seconds, it still qualified as the fastest time of the day. Ziti was awarded a bright pink ribbon for her time!
Photo of Ziti flying toward the finish line from official event photographer Dean Lake Photography (left) and Ziti posing with her ribbon (right)
Since 2016, HDC has been working with Metro CD Engineering on various renovation projects in Ohio for the General Services Administration (GSA). Early projects included a new exterior security gate at the Bricker Federal Building in Columbus and a study of architectural renovations needed to replace the existing fire alarm system at the Stokes Courthouse in Cleveland. Since then, HDC has been working on projects in Dayton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Akron, and Youngstown. These have included a wide variety of project types, including interior office renovations, a building generator replacement, installation of window security film, replacement of a fire alarm system, a life safety assessment, and improvements to an exterior transformer vault. Currently, two office renovation projects are scheduled to move forward in construction: one in the Bricker Federal Building in Columbus and one in the Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati.
The Bricker Federal Building in Columbus (left) built in 1977 and the Peck Federal Building in Cincinnati (right) built in 1964
HDC is once again working with THP Limited’s Cleveland office on the exterior envelope repair to the exterior of the Brain Spine Hospital at The Ohio State University. When HDC staff saw images of the building, their initial thought was why does it need envelope repairs? It’s a new building!
In fact, the building broke ground in 1984 and opened as the Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital in 1990, the same year HDC President Charissa Durst and HDC Project Architect Brad Curtis graduated from OSU. The building was under construction the entire time they attended OSU and remained forever fixed in their minds as a new building – when in fact, it is now more than 30 years old. HDC Project Manager John Creasy, who prepared the CAD floor plans and elevations, said it was a very tricky building to draw due to the changing planes of the elevations.
CAD drawing of the south elevation of the OSU Brain Spine Hospital
After completing the design and construction administration of 28 restroom improvements in 2020, Columbus City Schools commissioned HDC to design an additional 32 restrooms in seven schools: Buckeye Middle School, Lindbergh Elementary School, Marion Franklin High School, Moler Elementary School, Valleyview Elementary School, Westgate Elementary School, and Westmoor Middle School.
Check out these before and after photos of the Valleyview Elementary School boys restroom, which originally had a purple storage area and multiple floor finishes:
Valleyview Elementary School boys restroom BEFORE renovation (left) and AFTER renovation (right)
HDC President Charissa Durst receives Smart 50 Business Award
Since 2014, the Smart Business Columbus Smart 50 Awards have recognized the top executives of the 50 smartest companies in central Ohio for their ability to effectively build and lead successful organizations. All 50 winners were honored at a special celebration, and three organizations received specialty awards for their achievements in three category areas — innovation, impact and sustainability. Additionally, all guests were treated to a keynote address on what it takes to lead a successful “smart” company. Click here to read about what set the 50 honorees apart.
Five Oaks Historic Home project in the news
HDC teams with The Tradesmen Group to work on the Governor’s Residence
HDC is working once again with The Tradesmen Group, this time on a project at the Governor’s Residence in Bexley, Ohio. HDC had previously worked with The Tradesmen Group as the General Services Administration’s (GSA’s) representative during the construction phase of the exterior restoration of the federal courthouse in Toledo, Ohio. The two firms teamed to compete for the project to renovate/replace the existing pergola and portico roof on the rear elevation of the Ohio governor’s mansion, which was designed by Robert Gilmore Hanford, a Columbus-based architect, for industrialist Malcolm D. Jeffrey. The mansion was built during 1923–1925 and the Jeffreys lived in the house until Malcom’s death in 1930, at which point it was sold to his sister Florence Jeffrey Carlile. In the 1940s, Mrs. Carlile expanded the house with an addition of a screened garden room on the first floor that led to a covered portico and extended into a wooden pergola. On top of the portico was a small rooftop terrace that served an expanded master bedroom suite. Upon Mrs. Carlile’s death in 1954, the house passed into the hands of the Very Reverend Charles U. Harris, who sold the house to the State of Ohio in 1957, and since then it has been used as the official governor’s residence — or a meeting site if the governor chose to live elsewhere.
The current project is to replace the wooden portico, which itself is a replacement of an earlier version, with a structure that will have a life cycle of at least 40 years. The roof over the portico will be replaced with one that will allow the roof terrace to be more actively used, and any necessary structural repairs will be completed.
HDC Finds Success Working as a Consultant to Engineering Firms
In the past five years, HDC has been teaming with other architectural and/or engineering firms on a variety of higher education projects. At The Ohio State University, HDC has teamed with Monks Engineers on a variety of infrastructure improvement projects that required some architectural support. For example, at the OSU Newark campus, HDC designed a screening wall for a new generator outside of Reese Hall and also designed a set of concrete steps for access up the hillside. On the main campus, HDC provided details and specifications for historic material demolition and repair to support the replacement of electrical panels in Orton Hall. OSU also asked HDC to design a corten steel screening fence for the equipment yard with a custom pattern, but later determined that an electrical project could not fund a custom fence.
Ziti Graduates (barely) from Foundation Obedience Class!
Since the middle of August, Ziti has been in a weekly foundation obedience class held at the veterinarian’s office next door to HDC’s location in Clintonville. At the end of September, Ziti had her final evaluation. She lost points for sniffing while heeling (the beagle in her is absolutely fascinated with the smells on the floor), and she broke formation during her 1-minute sit-stay and her 2-minute down-stay (she only holds a stay when the reward is great — like dinner). She also didn’t manage to stand still the first time but did pretty well on the second try. However, she was perfect coming when called, which the instructor said is the most important command to know. So, overall, she scored about a 75. Charissa’s husband, Don, noted that Donut did much better at her graduation evaluation; he had to be reminded that Donut was almost a year old at that point and had already been through two Puppy Kindergarten and one Basic Obedience class with another instructor.
However, Ziti didn’t just spend all seven weeks in class and doing homework. One of the class assignments was to visit a new place every week. So, Ziti got to visit Highbanks Metro Park one weekend and had fun splashing and posing.