Website spotlights Cincinnati’s at-risk historic buildings

By Mark Shuller - Email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati is home to some of the best historic architecture in the country. Unfortunately, negligent property owners are putting that history at risk.

Historic buildings around Cincinnati are falling into disrepair with dangerous consequences. Despite the City of Cincinnati's best efforts and warnings for property owners to comply with basic public safety laws, these at-risk buildings are deteriorating due to neglect, lack of maintenance, and abandonment.

The City's website now spotlights some of these properties in hopes that they might be saved.

"We don't want to see Cincinnati lose its history and identity. Historic buildings are part of what makes Cincinnati so unique. But we have to balance historic conservation with public safety concerns when these buildings deteriorate," said Ed Cunningham, head of the City's Property Maintenance Division.

The list of at-risk buildings, and their code violations, is available under Features at This list represents a portion of the vacant and deteriorating historic buildings in the City. It is not all-inclusive and is subject to change, but it represents the most critical cases.

"The City cannot stabilize every historic building in danger -- there simply isn't the money or time for it. We hope that by singling out at-risk buildings, someone from the private sector will step forward and take necessary steps to address the immediate repairs required," Cunningham said.

Many of the buildings are in areas of the City undergoing revitalization, and Cincinnati is ranked in Remodeling Magazine as the No. 1 residential remodeling market in the country for 2011.

The buildings featured on the At-Risk webpage are in the Code Enforcement process the City follows for all buildings found in violation of the building code. City inspectors follow a proscribed process of issuing warnings and trying to collaborate with building owners on compliance plans to prevent a worst-case scenario. Demolition of a building is considered a last resort when all other efforts to save the buildings -- including criminal prosecution of the owners -- have been exhausted.