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2 Middletown buildings put on list of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites

Published: May. 23, 2022 at 9:16 AM EDT

MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WXIX) - Two buildings in Middletown are now on the list of most endangered historic sites in Ohio: Manchester Inn and Armco Research Building.

Preservation Ohio is the state’s oldest statewide historic preservation organization, an independent, non-profit organization. They put the list out each year and are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2022.

Manchester Inn

“In our view, the Manchester is the second most historical nonresidential building in Middletown, next to the Sorg Opera House. The Manchester Inn will celebrate its 100th Anniversary this year. The Sorg and the Manchester structures have played important roles in the cultural life of the community, and the list of social, political and celebratory events held in both is impressive. The building has sat vacant for a few years after different investors failed to make progress with redeveloping the building. The goal of listing is to raise awareness that the Manchester is a significant historical building in Middletown and to convey to the City Council that a comprehensive feasibility study needs to be conducted before any arbitrary decisions are made regarding its future.”

Two buildings in Middletown were added this month to the latest list of most endangered...
Two buildings in Middletown were added this month to the latest list of most endangered historic sites in Ohio: Manchester Inn and Armco Research Building.(Citizens for Historic and Preservation Services)

Armco Research Building

“The site was the location of the Armco headquarters for decades. The adjacent buildings began to be demolished in 2009. The large research facility was opened in 1937 and the front is a metal panel structure. The facility had more than doubled in area in 1961. Another major addition took place in 1976. The brick rear and sides of the building have a unique green glaze.  It is the last piece of Armco Architecture left and it is a unique building with the metal panels and chrome, with the flair of art deco. We would hope that this would bring attention to the industrial & scientific history of Middletown. That the citizens of Middletown would embrace this architecturally unique structure and let the city know, to preserve it for future generations.”

Armco Research Building is now on a list of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites.
Armco Research Building is now on a list of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites.(Citizens for Historic and Preservation Services)

Preservation Ohio says on its website it received a large number of nominations for the list.

This “confirms that much of our state’s historic properties remain at risk and that interest in preservation is growing across the state of Ohio,” their website reads.

Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites is unique in that it highlights historic buildings and sites submitted from local citizens and advocates, each hoping to bring attention and to identify ways to give important historic properties a future. Out of the many properties nominated this year, Preservation Ohio’s board was tasked with choosing the most at risk. Thirteen properties representing all areas of Ohio are included in this years edition.

Preservation Ohio accepts nominations from any citizen or organization. Since its inception in 1993, being named to the list has contributed to saving examples of Ohio’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage. Circumstances that contribute to the endangered status and result in sites being named to the list typically include one or more of the following factors: demolition threat, abandonment, neglectful owner, deterioration, obsolete use, lack of funding for repairs, location or development.

The Manchester Inn – Middletown, Butler County

In our view, the Manchester is the second most historical nonresidential building in Middletown, next to the Sorg Opera House. The Manchester Inn will celebrate its 100th Anniversary this year. The Sorg and the Manchester structures have played important roles in the cultural life of the community, and the list of social, political and celebratory events held in both is impressive. he building has sat vacant for a few years after different investors failed to make progress with redeveloping the building. The goal of listing is to raise awareness that the Manchester is a significant historical building in Middletown and to convey to the City Council that a comprehensive feasibility study needs to be conducted before any arbitrary decisions are made regarding its future.

Armco Research Building – Middletown, Butler County

The site was the location of the Armco headquarters for decades. The adjacent buildings began to be demolished in 2009. The large research facility was opened in 1937 and the front is a metal panel structure. The facility had more than doubled in area in 1961. Another major addition took place in 1976. The brick rear and sides of the building have a unique green glaze.  It is the last piece of Armco Architecture left and it is a unique building with the metal panels and chrome, with the flair of art deco. We would hope that this would bring attention to the industrial & scientific history of Middletown. That the citizens of Middletown would embrace this architecturally unique structure and let the city know, to preserve it for future generations.

Preservation Ohio is Ohio’s oldest statewide historic preservation organization, an independent, non-profit organization.

Preservation Ohio was established in 1982 to enhance the understanding of and appreciation for Ohio’s historic resources and to serve as a focal point for Ohio organizations, municipalities, corporations and individuals who care about these resources and are concerned about preservation for future generations. 

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