Crews begin demolition of historic Gamble House in Westwood - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Crews demolish historic Gamble House

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WESTWOOD, OH (FOX19) -

A four-year battle to save the historic Gamble House came an end Monday as crews demolished the home.

"It's just a real sense of loss, a sadness that we can't explain.  There's some of us that have invested years," expressed Cathy McMahon.

She's lived across the street from the Gamble House for more than 25 years, and has fought to save it.  But, after crews started tearing it down Monday morning, all that's left is a pile of bricks, wood and questions.

The house, built in the 1830's, was the home of James Gamble for nearly six decades. Gamble was the inventor of Ivory Soap.

Since 2009, preservationists have been trying to save the Gamble House.

"It didn't matter the approach that we took, whether it was historical or emotional, and every aspect, we came from every angle to preserve it, and it just doesn't make any sense to any of us," added McMahon.

The house stands as a legacy to Gamble' devotion to community and philanthropy.  Gamble lived a life of service and donated large sums of money to build Cincinnati's Christ Hospital and Nippert Stadium.

"I hate to see anything of the past, you know, go away because this is something that's irreplaceable," explained Westwood resident Rick Kesterman. "Once it's gone, it's gone and you need to have some of the past to know where you've been."

President of the Westwood Historical Society, Liz Kissel, says demolition of the Gamble House will be a needless loss.

"This is a clearly historic building for our community in particular because part of that building goes back to the 1840's," said Kissel. "[It's] very sad that people had it in their ability to help us save this and they chose not to."

Kissel says that preservationists offered to buy or renovate the Gamble House but were turned down by the Greenacres Foundation which owns the property.    

FOX19 attempted to reach out to the Greenacres Foundation to get their side of the story but they have not responded.

However, published reports from the foundation's attorney, C. Francis Barret, states that restoration of the Gamble House is "not economically feasible."

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