Winter 2020

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.