Category Archives: Architecture
HDC Looks Back On and Forward to Black History Projects
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.
Interesting Feature of a Water Meter and Backflow Preventer Building
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
Can this team save the former OSU Sheep Farm?
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 is the Fastest Beagle in the Country!
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)
HDC Works with Metro CD Engineering on General Services Administration Projects
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 Prepares Exterior Drawings for Ohio State Brain and Spine Hospital
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
HDC Completes Restroom Improvements for Columbus City Schools
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.
HDC President Charissa Durst presents at Circleville Rotary Club
After the article on Ohio’s historic theatres appeared in the Ohio AAAMagazine in November, HDC received a call from Bob Sneed to give a presentation on historic theatres to the Circleville Noon Rotary meeting in January.
Woodward Opera House featured in Revitalization Magazine
HDC’s opera house project appears in the Spring 2019 edition of Heritage Ohio’s Revitalization Magazine.
HDC completes drawings of the Ballville Dam
In 2017, HDC was asked by Commonwealth Heritage Group to join their team to provide Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record (HABS/HAER) documentation of the Ballville Dam on the Sandusky River, which was scheduled to be demolished. After the team was awarded the project, HDC conducted research at the city engineer’s office in Fremont, Ohio, and looked through construction drawings, historical photographs, and inspection reports of the dam. The team documented the dam prior to its demolition and during demolition in the summer of 2018, and in the first quarter of 2019 completed the drawings
Construction of the dam started in 1912 to provide hydroelectric power to the area, but the Great Flood of 1913 almost destroyed the dam. The dam was rebuilt and expanded in 1914-1916 with a steam plant added in 1916 to boost production needs. The steam plant closed in 1929, was reactivated during World War II, and then was demolished in 1954. The City of Fremont purchased the dam in 1960 to divert fresh water for storage and renovated it in 1969 to treat fresh water. The City constructed a new water treatment plant in 2013, and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources made plans to remove the dam to allow the Sandusky River to revert back to its natural state.
HDC historic architect Charissa Durst completed the drawings, Commonwealth Heritage Group historian Elaine Robinson wrote the background history, and Dietrich Floeter took the large-format photographs before and during the dam demolition.
Devon Pool Bath House nears completion
With a Memorial Day pool opening closing in fast, the work on the Devon Pool Bath House is nearing completion. All of the exterior walls and and the roof structure are up, and the remaining work consists of installing exterior wall and roof finishes and interior work. The wet weather delayed construction, but work is still expected to be completed in April with the pool scheduled to be open Memorial Day weekend. Some last-minute, change-order work included adding a manhole to access an unknown sanitary line tap and providing a new tap and pipe for a future pool equipment building, which HDC has also been commissioned to design.
HDC starts work on Devon Pool Phase III
In January, HDC started work to design the final phase of improvements to Devon Pool. The project consists of replacing the two existing pool equipment buildings (one built in the 1930s and the other in the 1960s), replacing any pool equipment near the end if its life cycle, replacing the remaining old concrete deck, and making repairs to the toddler pool. The new equipment building will sit on the foundations of the existing buildings and enclose the space in between to create additional indoor storage space. Later this spring, the City of Upper Arlington will decide whether to retain the toddler pool as is, upgrade it to meet state health code, or replace it with a new amenity, such as a sprayground or splash pad.
OSU Cockins Hall Fourth Floor also nears completion
The renovation of the fourth floor in Cockins Hall at The Ohio State University for the Statistics Department reached substantial completion in March. The project started off as a fire alarm replacement project, but the scope expanded when OSU required the abatement of the asbestos-containing plaster ceiling between the fourth floor and the attic. OSU then required that the replacement ceiling not bear on any of the partition walls, to make future floor plan modifications possible without major construction. The Statistics Department then requested the renovation of the fourth floor to include a conference room named for a recent alumni donor. HDC was already working with Monks Engineers, a TEC company, on the fire alarm project and was tasked to lead the renovation work. This project consisted of alterations to the floor plan and new floor, ceiling and wall finishes along with the named conference room. During design, the existing 40-year-old air handling unit in the attic failed, and replacement of the HVAC system for this floor was added to the project, requiring alterations to an attic dormer and a new attic plenum to bring in sufficient outside air. Construction is scheduled to be completed by May to allow the Statistics Department to move back in over summer break.
Retrospective of HDC’s office beagles
The first office dog at Hardlines Design Company was Bagle the Beagle. Bagle came from the Delaware County Humane Society and of the six dogs available for adoption that day in 1993, she was the only one who didn’t bark. Bagle had previously been adopted but was returned because she was too afraid of the family’s son, and the shelter thought her original owner probably included males who beat her. Bagle was about a year old when she joined HDC, and it soon became evident that she was an alpha dog who loved to track rabbits.
At the end of 1996, a client in Athens, Ohio, who knew we had a beagle kept calling to see if we wanted to adopt a second beagle that was at Athens Pound Rescue. Sadie the Beagle came to the office over Christmas break and tried soooo hard to be Bagle’s best friend, but Bagle was not having any of it. As the alpha dog, Bagle expected Sadie to acknowledge her lead and do what she was told. I think Bagle expected this of the humans as well! Over the next few months, it was evident that Bagle was very unhappy at not being the only dog anymore, and she started limping and dragging her rear leg. Don’s mother’s daschund had died the previous year, so Don’s thought was to train Sadie to be a replacement dog for his mother. The Monday after Don took Sadie to Akron for the weekend, Bagle’s limp was cured and HDC’s employees were amazed at the spring in her step and the shine in her eyes, which they had never seen before. Bagle was perfectly happy to host Sadie for visits, as long as Sadie went home afterwards.
Bagle died of a heart attack in April 2004 at just over 12 years of age, probably as a result of chemotherapy for the thyroid cancer that was diagnosed in February 2004. Donut came from the Franklin County Dog Shelter in May 2004 as a wild eight-week old puppy who had been found on the street when she was four weeks old. However, she was so cute we spent the first year in weekly puppy training classes, trying to get her domesticated. Sadie actually came to the office for a visit and met Donut as a puppy, but you could tell Sadie was expecting to see Bagle. Just before she turned 12 in 2006, Sadie left us after developing a fast-growing stomach cancer.
Unlike Bagle, Donut had no concept of how to track rabbits. Donut’s DNA test indicated that she was 10-20 percent rat terrier, and I think the terrier portion was all in her brain. Donut loved to chase chipmunks and catch mice and play with them by tossing them in the air, which apparently is what rat terriers do. We said goodbye to Donut in December 2018 after her kidneys started to fail when she was almost 15.
Who will be the next HDC office beagle? That still remains to be seen, but it will likely be a puppy since Donut was the only beagle who was able to be trained to (mostly) come when called off leash. Stay tuned for updates!