Historic Mt. Auburn cable house demolished

The building stood for over a century. It was purchased by the Hamilton County Land Bank last year.

Crews on scene of partial building collapse in Mt. Auburn

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - As quickly as it entered into our public consciousness, the Mt. Auburn Cable Railway Building has now departed.

Demolition crews began tearing down the building’s walls Saturday morning, five days after its roof collapsed under the weight of snow.

Located at Dorchester and Highland avenues in Mt. Auburn, the historic building was owned by the Hamilton County Land Bank.

Cincinnati firefighters responded to the building collapse Monday night. Assistant Fire Chief Michael Washington said a large portion of its roof had fallen into the basement.

The city’s Building and Inspections Department investigated the building’s structural integrity following the collapse and apparently found there were problems.

The Mt. Auburn Cable Railway Building at Dorchester and Highland avenues.
The Mt. Auburn Cable Railway Building at Dorchester and Highland avenues. (Source: Kareem Elgazzar/Cincinnati Enquirer)

The cable house was built in 1884 for the Mount Auburn Cable Railway, which emerged as an alternative to the city’s inclines for transporting passengers from the urban basin to uptown neighborhoods that were then still considered suburban.

The privately financed line ran from Fourth Street to Avondale. Its car barn at the southeast corner Liberty and Sycamore streets is currently Nicola’s restaurant.

The line enjoyed a short-lived existence. After opening in 1887, it was sold in 1902 and closed altogether in 1904.

The cable house was purchased by the Land Bank on July 1, 2020.

CFD said Monday the building had been undergoing renovations, though no city construction permits have been filed for it going back a decade.

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