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)
The Toledo Blade recently published a newspaper article on the Lathrop House in Sylvania, Ohio. HDC was quoted in the article about their involvement in the rehabilitation of the house.
In 2006, HDC was commissioned by Toledo Metroparks to prepare construction documents to stabilize the Lathrop House using transportation enhancement funds from the Ohio Department of Transportation. The house had just been moved from its original site to a location within a city park to save it from demolition. At the request of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO), HDC also prepared a historic structure report to guide the proposed rehabilitation of the property, which was completed in 2007. Upon OHPO’s approval of the report, HDC submitted construction documents to reinforce the first-floor structure, which consisted of tree limbs with bark still intact, rehabilitate the windows, replace the roof, and repair the siding to make the house weathertight.
The house was built in 1840 in the popular Greek Revival style of its time. In addition, HDC’s investigations revealed that what was assumed to be an addition was actually a separate older house, which had been repurposed and attached to the Lathrop House as an addition.
In 2014, the new basement was renovated into an Underground Railroad museum exhibit. Since then, visitors have been asking to tour the first and/or second floors, and in 2020 Heritage Sylvania commissioned HDC to update their 2007 Historic Structure Report to include the 2014 renovation and to recommend first and second floor rehabilitations, including the location of an elevator. Click here for a copy of the updated report.
Check out these before and after pictures of the house’s exterior renovations:
The Lathrop House under construction in 2008 (left) and the Lathrop House in 2020 (right)
Historical Marker Dedicated at OSU Mansfield
Construction of Mansfield campus’s new entry resulted in the demolition of most of the Ohio State Baseline’s remaining features (see the Winter 2020 blog). As mitigation for this loss, The Ohio State University commissioned HDC to prepare a historical report, design an interpretive sign, and review text for an Ohio historical marker. The report was completed in 2016, the interpretive sign was delivered to OSU in 2021, and the historical marker was dedicated in June. Click here for more on the dedication.
The Ohio Standard Baseline historical marker
How to Research the History of Rural Buildings
HDC had previously published a blog about using Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps to research the history of a building. However, Sanborn Fire Insurance Company only collected information on buildings located in densely populated areas that had a sufficient risk of fire. What do you do if your building is a farmhouse located beyond historic city limits?
HDC is currently working on a farmhouse constructed in 1842 that was recently acquired by the city of New Albany, Ohio. Since New Albany was a small village until the 20th century, it was never surveyed by the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company. Instead, HDC looked for historical county atlases that show property owners and sometimes actual buildings. Many can be found online at the Library of Congress or at a local library or historical society. The Franklin County 1856 atlas indicates that the New Albany property was owned by Lorenzo Taylor. From there, we used federal census records and birth and death certificates to piece together an ownership timeline.
L: The red rectangle indicates the location of the Taylor Farm property on an 1856 map. R: The southwest corner of the Taylor Farmhouse
The 1856 atlas also showed Sharon Township, the location of the Ozem Gardner Homestead, which HDC is rehabilitating for the Flint Union and Walnut Grove Cemeteries. The atlas indicates the location of the Gardner House and the “burial yard” to the west, which was donated by the Gardner family to create the Flint cemetery in 1821.
L: The “burial yard” and house are at the northern edge of the township. R: A mason working on repointing the brick this summer at the Gardner House.
HDC Documents Short North Property
HDC completed the HABS documentation of the building at 23 W. Second Ave. in the Short North, originally built in 1925 as the Glenn L. Myers Funeral Home. The report was accepted by the City of Columbus Historic Preservation Office with no comments. Click here for a copy of the report.
L: Northeast corner of 23 W. Second Avenue, showing the original funeral home on the right, the chapel in the middle, and the porte cochere on the left with the garage building behind. Photograph by Jeff Bates. R: HDC’s sketch plan of the first-floor layout.
HDC works at The Ohio State University and Kentucky State Capitol Annex
HDC is currently working with THP Limited’s Cleveland office on the exterior envelope repair to the north wall of Doan Hall at The Ohio State University. HDC completed the courtyard wall in 2019. SOM designed Doan Hall in 1947 and also designed an addition in 1953, both in the International Style popular in the middle of the last century. HDC prepared the CAD drawings of the north elevation and partial floor plans of each level. Construction on this project is scheduled to start soon, with HDC assisting with the construction administration.
CAD drawing of a portion of the north elevation of Doan Hall.
HDC is also working with THP’s Cincinnati office on the exterior envelope repairs at the Kentucky State Capitol Annex building in Frankfort. The first two capitol buildings in Frankfort were lost to fires in 1813 and 1824. The third building was constructed in 1830 in the Greek Revival style and served as the capitol until 1910. The current building was constructed in the Beaux Arts style, which was made popular by the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893. The Annex was completed in 1952 as a separate building to the south to provide much needed office space and automobile parking. It was designed in a classical style compatible with the 1910 building.
L: A portion of the north elevation of the Capitol Annex. R: Charissa Durst taking notes during the field assessment
Ziti Competes in AKC FAST CAT Events!
Ziti was AKC registered as a puppy under “All American Dog” (basically, a mutt), so she could participate in AKC events. Her DNA test revealed that she is 1/3 beagle, 1/3 “other” and the remaining third is split between American Staffordshire Terrier and Australian Cattle Dog. According to the AKC breed traits rankings, a Beagle is exceptionally good with other dogs, an American Staffordshire Terrier is especially affectionate with family, and an Australian Cattle Dog is extremely high energy. Ziti certainly takes the high energy level trait to heart! As a result, Ziti was enrolled in agility classes when she was 6 months old. Her energy level seemed to increase with age, so she was registered to run in a FAST CAT event in May at The Gated Dock and then in a second event in June. FAST CAT, which stands for coursing ability test, is a timed 100-yard dash where dogs run one at a time, chasing a lure.
L: Ziti looks like she’s having fun in her first event, coming in at 8.168 seconds. R: Ziti looks totally ripped as she finishes in 7.905 seconds at her second event! Official photographs were shot by Sabrina Vasko Photography
Over July 4 weekend, Ziti went to Chillicothe with her humans and ran around four state parks in the area: Scioto Trail, Pike Creek, Painted Creek and Great Seal.
Ziti in front of the smoke tower (built in 1925) in Scioto Trail State Park.
HDC Receives an Ohio Success Award!
The third annual Ohio Success Awards, presented by Ohio Business Magazine, recognizes companies, nonprofits, and government organizations for their
successful response to the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. Hardlines Design Company was one of three businesses recognized for “Company Rethinking of the Year.” Click HERE to read the entire article.
Scioto Southland Community Center Officially Opens!
After two years of public meetings and design work, plus two more years of construction, Indian Mound Recreation Center reopens as the Scioto Southland Community Center! Click HERE to read about the updated facility.
HDC Starts Work on Two Historic Building Documentation Projects
HDC was commissioned by two separate entities to prepare HABS documentation of buildings proposed for partial demolition and/or major renovation.
The building at 23 W. Second Ave. in the Short North was originally built in 1925 as the Glenn L. Myers Funeral Home. The funeral home had viewing rooms on the first floor and was connected to a formal chapel. On the second floor were residences, either for employees or family/friends travelling to view the deceased. At the rear was a hearse and ambulance garage. The basement level likely housed the rooms where bodies were embalmed and stored. The Myers business merged with the Shaw-Davis Funeral Home across the street in the 1950s and the building was sold to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). Local 683 IBEW utilized the building until 2016, when they moved to their current location on Goodale Boulevard. Plans for the property are flexible and possibilities include a restaurant, offices, and a new residential block in the rear parking lot.
Northeast corner of the main building at right and the chapel at left
The building at 359 E. Markison Ave. at the corner of South Washington Avenue in Merion Village was built in 1910-1922 as the Washington Avenue United Brethren Church. The church was also known as the Washington Avenue Evangelical United Brethren Church and became an affiliate of the United Methodist Church. When the Brethren Church closed in 2015 the United Methodist Church took over the property and sold it in 2016. The pastor’s house lot next door was split from the church parcel and sold in 2019. The lot is expected to have new residential units with portions of the church being incorporated into the design.
The former Washington Avenue United Brethren Church in Merion Village
HDC Provides Design Ideas for the King Arts Complex
HDC was asked by architect Othelda Spencer to assist with the interior renovation of the lobby and auditorium spaces of the King Arts Complex. We were charged with bringing color into the space and give it better acoustics and a more energetic vibe. HDC used the Kings Arts Center logo for patterns and colors for finishes on the floors, walls, and ceilings. HDC also proposed enclosing the plain concrete columns with painted drywall to give them a more dynamic visual impact. The Kings Arts Complex is currently going through a rebranding process so the ultimate colors and patterns may be adjusted in the future.
Left: Existing auditorium columns in the King Arts Complex. Right: proposed column cover.
Columbus City Schools Restrooms
Since HDC successfully completed the renovation of 28 restrooms in 6 schools in 2020, Columbus City Schools commissioned HDC to renovate 34 restrooms in 7 schools in 2021. The 2021 schools are Buckeye Middle School, Lindberg Elementary School, Marion-Franklin High School, Moler Elementary School, Valleyview Elementary School, Westgate Elementary School, and Westmoor Middle School.
Marion-Franklin High School is on the 2021 list, and it’s the third project HDC has worked on there. In 1999, our first project with Columbus City Schools was to replace the doors and windows at Marion-Franklin High School. We went out of the box and designed an integrated metal panel system with the windows to cover up window openings that were no longer needed. In 2006, HDC was hired to design the roof replacement at Marion-Franklin High School, which was a challenge since the school is over 100,000 SF with over 30 different roof levels.
Before and After images of the south elevation of Marion-Franklin High School
Ziti Gets Back to the Park
While the snow was melting, Ziti’s trips to the park involved a lot of splashing through soggy grass and large puddles. On one memorable occasion, the paved path at the park was in good shape when we first walked it, but 2 hours later on the return trip it was under water! Ziti and her humans had to walk the abutment to get past. After that, the water was 12 inches deep and the humans just made a run for it. Ziti, however, decided she was not swimming through a puddle and figured out a way around. Click HERE to see a video of Ziti and the flood.
Left: Ziti watching as we use the bridge abutment to cross the flooded area. Right: Ziti looks concerned about what happened to the silo.
When the snow finally melted, Ziti has been able to run through the grass again. After 6 months of going to Walnut Woods Metro Park (we call this Ziti’s park), her humans brought Ziti back to Prairie Oaks Metro Park (known as Donut’s park). There, we discovered a new set of farm buildings and an existing dilapidated barn that had collapsed even further. The collapsed barn looked like the inspiration for a Frank Gehry building!
Left: Ziti looking serious in front of the collapsed barn. Right: Frank Gehry building at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland
Nothing keeps Ziti down–she always ends up smiling at the park!
Happy Holidays From Hardlines Design Company!
Click here for the Hardlines Design Company holiday greeting featuring Ziti.
Woodward Opera House Wins Heritage Ohio’s Historic Theatre of the Year Award!
HDC’s Woodward Opera House in Mount Vernon, Ohio, was named 2020 Historic Theater of the Year by Heritage Ohio, the state’s official historic preservation organization. The award was announced by Heritage Ohio on October 1 as part of Ohio Preservation Month in October 2020. The Woodward Opera House shares the award this year with Holland Theatre in Bellefontaine in a tie for the honor. “It is rare that two major long-term historic theater renovations are completed in the same year, and it would be impossible to choose one over the other,” said Joyce Barrett, executive director of Heritage Ohio. “I’ve enjoyed watching the progress of the Woodward through the years, as they approached a diversified multi-use solution.”
Click here for a video about the theater and the award.
HDC Works to Restore a Historic African-American Church in Athens, Ohio
HDC was selected by the Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society to prepare a Site Investigation Report and Schematic Design for a historic church dedicated in 1909. The congregation of the Mount Zion Baptist Church started meeting at the home of Joseph and Henriette Miller in 1872, and by 1876 the congregation had grown large enough to construct a wood frame building on Lancaster Street. In 1902, church members started a fund to construct a larger, permanent building. Edward and Mattie Berry, who had gained fame and fortune as owners of the Berry Hotel in downtown Athens, donated the lot at the northeast corner of Congress Street and Van Street, which was renamed Carpenter Street by 1900. Services took place in the church basement as early as 1906 but the entire building, built by and paid for by member donations, was not dedicated until 1909.
At its height, the Mount Zion Baptist Church congregation was 250, close to its seating capacity of 300. The church was a destination for Black entertainers who came to town, sometimes to perform at Ohio University, and included Cab Calloway in 1942. After World War II the Black population of Athens dwindled, primarily due to the lack of jobs available to Black Americans, and the congregation had been reduced to about 10 in the 1970s.
In 1974, Dr. Francine Childs, who was the first tenured Black professor at Ohio University, as well as founder of the OU and Athens County NAACP chapters, moved to Athens and began a door-to-door campaign to rebuild the church. The church was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1980 and was in regular use through the 1980s. In the early 1990s, the church was renovated but was only used on a part-time basis. The congregation disbanded in the early 2000s and the building sat vacant. In 2013, a group of community members formed the Mount Zion Baptist Church Preservation Society with the mission of restoring the building into a community center of Black Appalachian culture and arts.
Click here for more on the society’s mission and goals.
The church structure consists of rusticated concrete block and Athens brick exterior walls with wooden floor and roof framing.
The church features some amazing stained-glass windows.
HDC Continues with The Ohio Baseline Project at OSU Mansfield
In 2015-2016, HDC prepared a historic documentation report of the Ohio Baseline, a geodetic baseline constructed on the Mansfield campus of the Ohio State University (OSU) in the mid-1960s. Geodetic baselines are used for extremely fine calibration of surveying equipment and to provide highly accurate measurements of the earth. Several such baselines were established in Europe and South America during the mid-twentieth century. Specifically, mid-twentieth century geodetic baselines were designed for use with a highly sensitive measurement device called the Väisälä Comparator, a precursor of modern laserlight measurement systems. The Väisälä Comparator required a quartz crystal of exceptionally precise dimensions to allow for the measurement of light. The OSB is the only such baseline to have been built in North America. The OSB, which consists of a set of concrete pillars spaced along a 500-meter distance, was scheduled for removal as part of the construction of a new entry road into the Mansfield campus from Lexington-Springmill Road, located along the western edge of the OSU Mansfield campus. A single pillar was to be retained with an interpretive sign. HDC prepared a layout of the sign in 2020, which was then approved and finalized by OSU. The sign is scheduled to be manufactured and installed in Spring 2021.
Click here for a copy of the report.
Final proof of the interpretive sign to be located at the 250-M pillar.
Ziti Enjoys a White Christmas!
Since it was such a mild winter in 2019, we were looking forward to seeing how Ziti deals with snow in 2020, and the weather cooperated with snow on Christmas Eve! Ziti went to the park for 2-3 hours at a time for three days in a row starting on Christmas Day. It turns out that her paws are not as sensitive as those of her beagle predecessors. When the temperature got down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, the beagles would stand on three feet and rotate lifting each paw off the icy ground. When we took her to the park for the first two days, the temperature was only 17 degrees Fahrenheit, yet all of her paws stayed on the ground the entire time. It must be the tough little pit bull in her!
Click here for a copy of Ziti’s 2021 calendar.
Ziti romping through the snow at a park on Christmas Day.
Ziti posing with one of her humans’ Christmas trees.
American Cultural Resources Association Holds its First Online Conference
Due to COVID-19, ACRA opted to hold its national conference online — from September 24-25, 2020 — rather than in person in San Antonio, Texas. Congratulations to the conference organizers as it was both well-attended and well-reviewed! HDC President Charissa Durst, a founding member of the organization, currently serves as the awards chair. Click here to view the video of the award winners. The video was highly rated and will likely be the presentation method in the future.
HDC Starts Work on Historic Veterans Cemetery Lodges
HDC had previously teamed with Tetra Tech, a provider of consulting and engineering services worldwide, on a series of preservation projects for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District. When Tetra Tech contacted HDC this summer to ask if we would be willing to work with them on the renovation of historic lodges at VA cemeteries, of course we said yes! The lodges in the national cemeteries were built by the U.S. Army Quartermaster’s Department to provide residential and office space for cemetery superintendents, as many were located on the frontier. Between 1867 and 1871 temporary wooden lodges and one-story masonry lodges designed by architect Edward Clark were built but deemed to be insufficient. Clark’s 1869 design for a 1 ½-story, L-plan house with a mansard roof in the Second Empire style was further refined over a two-year period before civil engineer Thomas P. Chiffelle drew a definitive version of it in 1871. Dozens of these lodges were built across the country in the 1870s. Charissa Durst and Cathie Senter flew to Omaha, Nebraska, and then drove three hours to Lincoln County to kick off fieldwork at Fort McPherson National Cemetery in Maxwell, Nebraska. The team then drove seven hours to work on the lodge at Fort Scott, Kansas. While there, the team learned all about the maintenance problems related to sand toads and ground flies!
The lodge at Fort McPherson National Cemetery (left) and the lodge at Fort Scott National Cemetery (right). Both were constructed c. 1874.
HDC Collaborates with M-Engineering
HDC first worked with the structural engineers at M-Engineering in the 1990s on the renovation of the Davis-Shai House in Heath, Ohio. Most recently, HDC has supported the engineers at M-Engineering on two projects: the replacement of the domestic water riser at Rhodes Hall on OSU’s medical campus, and the design of buildings to house new backflow preventers and water meters where OSU’s water system connects with the City of Columbus’ infrastructure. HDC’s input for the Rhodes Hall project included locating the new risers to avoid major building code impacts. For the backflow preventer and water meter project, the team looked at three possible locations: two along Lane Avenue and one along Herrick Drive. OSU did have HDC design a cute barrel-vaulted building to blend in with the existing structure at the Bloch Cancer Plaza, but this option was ultimately eliminated due to the uncertain timeline for consulting with the Bloch family.
Left: The new riser extends from the basement to the 5th floor mechanical room of Rhodes Hall. Right: Preliminary design section for a water meter and backflow preventer building at the OSU’s Bloch Cancer Plaza.
Devon Pool Mechanical Building Demolition Starts!
The City of Upper Arlington decided that that it would be easier to enforce COVID-19 rules at the smaller Devon Pool, so work on the new mechanical building could not start until the pool closed in mid-August. Setterlin Construction is the general contractor, and the initial work involved removing the pool equipment inside the buildings and the concrete deck that is to be replaced. Almost immediately, the 1930s-era concrete deck was found to still be in place around the east side of the pool, which was not the case at the west end near the Bath House. During progress meetings, the team determined which drain lines could be relocated and which could not, resulting in channeling of the 1930s concrete. Meanwhile, work continued on the excavation for the new underground tank and demolition of the existing frame buildings.
Left: Most of the concrete deck to be replaced has been removed. Right: The north mechanical building’s frame structure is down.
Ziti Continues to Visit State Parks
With COVID-19 restrictions, Ziti has not had to endure staying in a kennel for 10 days while her humans take a long vacation out west. Instead, Ziti has accompanied her humans on shorter driving vacations. Over July 4 weekend, Ziti got to visit Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia. In August, she got to see the stone arches in Red River Gorge National Recreation Area in Kentucky. Both parks are about a four-hour drive from Columbus. And she may yet get another long weekend trip later this fall to another adjoining state!
Ziti enjoying Blackwater Falls State Park in West Virginia (left) and posing at Double Arch in Red River Gorge National Recreational Area in Kentucky (right).
May 11 is Ziti Day!
Ziti celebrated her one-year anniversary with us on May 11, 2020. She got her annual shots and weighed in at 30 pounds, exceeding earlier predictions of 26 pounds. Ziti’s vet is conveniently next door to the office, and new COVID-19 rules mean we have to call them at the front door, and they take her away for her exam and then return her while we wait outside. On a nice day, many people wait outside instead of in their cars. Ziti has taken to barking at some of them, probably because faces covered by masks and sunglasses just don’t look right to her!
Ziti as she appeared on May 12, right after her annual exam.
Scioto Southland Community Center is Open!
Construction on the renovation and addition to the Indian Mound Recreation Center, renamed the Scioto Southland Community Center, did slow down with the onset of COVID-19 but is now almost complete. The parking lot was paved at the end of April, and the contractors are just correcting items on the punch list. When recreation centers were allowed to open at the end of May, staff slowly started moving in and setting up. The facility is partially open for structured programs they had previously committed to, but it is not yet open to the general public.
Overall exterior view, with the original gym at the left, next to the new entry spine.
On the left is the new entry lobby with plentiful natural light. On the right is the existing gym that was saved and refurbished, with new windows and seating.
Construction Commences on Columbus City Schools Restroom Project
HDC has been reviewing shop drawings and submittals for the project, and the first of the weekly construction progress meetings was held on-site in mid-June at Winterset Elementary School. Each week the team will meet at a different location to view construction progress until the project is completed in early August. The construction contract is being led by Tommy Bocook of Bomar Construction Company, which is working on several restroom packages this summer.
Left: The old partitions at Winterset Elementary School have been removed and accessories stockpiled for reinstallation on new partitions. Right: The doors on the terrazzo stalls at Hamilton STEM school have been removed, leaving the panels ready for cleaning.
Gardner Homestead Roof Work is Complete
Construction on the first phase of the Flint Cemetery Office / Gardner Homestead rehabilitation project is complete. Steller Construction LLC of Powell completed work on the attic structural reinforcement and new roof, gutters, downspouts, soffits, fascia, and rafter tails. The firm had previously worked on the chimney flashing repair and removal of the bathroom addition, and it hopes to be able to complete the remaining two phases of the project.
On the left is the south side elevation of the Gardner Homestead. On the right is a detail of the completed soffit, fascia, gutter, and downspout.
Ziti in the Office and at Home
Since Ziti is so friendly, people have wondered how anyone can get anything done when she’s in the office. In reality, if everyone sits still and works at their desk, then Ziti is content to take a nap in her bed. Once people start moving around, the cattle dog in her kicks in and she wants to herd everyone around. When we’re working in the garden, Ziti constantly runs back and forth checking that we’re still where she left us. This also happens if one of us is upstairs and the other is downstairs.
Click HERE to watch the video of Ziti going nose-to-nose with a doe that has been following her around for the past two weeks on her midday walk at the office. Neighbors think the doe seems lonely and Ziti may remind her of a fawn.