One of the first Modernist homes in the region will be restored.
The Frederick and Harriet Rauh house in Woodlawn will be donated to the Cincinnati Preservation Society, along with the funds to restore it, by Emily Rauh Pulitzer.
"This important house has been at risk for several years," noted Paul Muller, Executive Director, CPA. "We are very excited by the opportunity to bring it back to its original 1938 design."
The home has been vacant since 2005 and is badly deteriorated. The home was stabilized in the fall of 2010. Research and testing of restoration methods have been underway for several months.
The house was built for insurance executive Frederick Rauh and his wife, Harriet, who raised two children, Louis and Emily, in the house and lived there until 1964. The couple were civic leaders, arts patrons, and champions of progressive causes.
The Rauh House is the "residential masterpiece" of John Becker, one of Cincinnati's pioneering Modernist architects.
Architectural historian Walter E. Langsam described the house as "elegant, pale and cool" with interesting massing, fenestration and materials.
Acclaimed landscape architect A. D. Taylor designed the original site plan, which will be recreated. Taylor's other Cincinnati area works include the Union Terminal Approach, the planting designs of Ault and Alms parks, and the Julius Fleischman Estate in Indian Hill.
In approximately 2005, the Rauh House and its supporting acreage were purchased by a third party who attempted to subdivide and develop the property. During this period of time, the Rauh House sat vacant. The roof leaked, vandals broke in, and original fixtures were stripped. The entire site was vandalized and continued to deteriorate.
In 2006, Margo Warminski of CPA brought the house's plight to national attention on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's "Preservation 911" site. The post caught the attention of Mrs. Pulitzer, the daughter of the former owners.
The house also found new champions: Gary and Gina Anaple of Springfield Township. The couple located Mrs. Pulitzer and contacted CPA for advice on preserving the home. The Anaples did research on the history of the house and its current situation at that time. Emily and her brother, Louis, formed a partnership to acquire and restore the house and grounds.
In 2010, the house was purchased by an entity controlled by Mrs. Pulitzer. In April of this year, the remaining acreage was purchased at a Sheriff's Sale. Now, with the house stabilized and the site reassembled, a full restoration can begin.
When completed, the Rauh House will be open for tours and lectures. If subsequently sold as a private residence, historic conservation easements will ensure that the house and landscape are preserved for the future.