Impact Buildings


Every year CPC votes on a number of buildings that are in need of our attention. Nominated buildings can be considered important for many reasons. Some are architecturally important and speak to a certain period in Cincinnati history. Others possess historical significance or were host to important people and events. Other Impact Buildings serve as an anchor in a community or district.

Our Impact Buildings could be in critical need of renovation, are in danger of demolition or are just in need of some attention.  Impact Buildings are nominated by the community and voted on by our Members.

We seek to have an impact by working with:

  • Building owners
  • The community around each building
  • Partner organizations
  • City officials
  • Building developers and other professionals


We also maintain a Building Defense Fund to uphold preservation ordinances that relate to historic preservation in the City of Cincinnati.

Our goal is to maintain and improve these examples of Cincinnati’s unique built environment and to ensure that our Impact Buildings live on for future generations.


C.H. Burroughs House

CH Burroughs

Address:   1010 Chapel Street
Neighborhood: Walnut Hills
Year Built: 1888
Current Owner:  Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs
Status: Not in danger of demolition. Needs financial support for needed renovations.

The C.H. Burroughs House has an incredible history that is extremely important to Cincinnati’s architectural and cultural heritage. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the C.H. Burroughs House was constructed in 1888 for the home’s namesake owner by renowned Cincinnati architect Samuel Hannaford.

The building was subsequently purchased by the Cincinnati Federation of Colored Women’s Clubs in 1925. The organization purchased the building at a time when black groups and individuals were often denied mortgages because of the color of their skin. After 20 years, the group had fully paid off the mortgage, and owns the building to this day.

Not only is this building important for the stunning architecture, but the social impact this building has had on generations of black women is an inspiring human story.

Cincinnati Yellow Lamps


Image via Cincinnati Yellow Lamps Facebook page

Address:   Multiple
Neighborhood: Multiple
Year Built: Early 1900s
Current Owner:  City of Cincinnati
Status: Lamps are not actively being removed, but are currently not replaced if destroyed.

The Cincinnati Yellow Lamps are a peculiar piece of Cincinnati that is the source of urban legends and a beloved oddity by residents. The yellow lamps were originally set up to notify motorists of raised medians in the street. These lamps were often, though not always, an indicator of a streetcar or bus stop.

Spread out all across the city, they are clustered around Downtown and currently stretch as far as Madisonville, Kennedy Heights, College Hill, Westwood, and Riverside. Atlas Obscura once featured the lamps in an article with a history of them and a photo gallery of ones that are still standing.

These lamps are often known as “Turtle Lamps,” but the official name for them from the city is Island Lights. Unfortunately, they are slowly disappearing from city streets. Occasionally, a bulb burns out, a car strikes one, or the shell breaks, and the lamps are decommissioned. The high cost of replacements means that the city is no longer replacing these interesting pieces of history once they are broken or burnt out.

First German Reformed Church


Address: 1815 Freeman Avenue
Neighborhood: West End
Year Built: 1850
Current Owner:  Columns LLC
Status: In early stages of redevelopment. In need of financial support.

The First German Reformed Church is one of the oldest structures remaining in the West End. It is located along Freeman Avenue at the intersection with Findlay Street. In addition to the church, a parsonage is attached. The building is one of the oldest churches remaining the in the city, and an excellent example of gothic architecture.

The building was owned by a church for decades and fell into disrepair when all of the church activities finally left the building in 1993. It currently needs a new roof, structural support for the stone facade and brick walls, and a complete renovation including utilities.

The building was listed on the OTR ADOPT website and eventually purchased to be converted into a music venue in 2010. OTR ADOPT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that helps property owners find suitable new owners for often dilapidated buildings in Over-the-Rhine and the surrounding areas. The ownership group Columns LLC was unable to move forward on its plans, and the decay of the building has continued.

New interest has been expressed in the building, and OTR ADOPT is once again working with interested parties in finding a new owner who can stabilize the building and bring it back to productive use. Cincinnati Rocks, a proposed rock climbing gym is interested in the space, as is a West End community art gallery. Options for funding are currently being explored, and between these entities, there is hope that walls can be stabilized for a new roof to be put onto the structure before winter.

Lafayette-Bloom School


Address: 1941 Baymiller Street
Neighborhood: West End
Year Built: 1915
Current Owner: Zada Development Group
Status: Purchased for redevelopment. Timeline unknown.

This historic school building in the West End was built in 1915 and was designed by Garber & Woodward. Due to declining population in the West End and lack of enrollment, the school closed in 2009. The building is part of the Dayton Street Historic District and is an example of 2nd Renaissance Revival. It was purchased at auction in 2012 by the Zada Group for redevelopment.


2448 Auburn Ave.


Address: 2448 Auburn Avenue
Neighborhood: Mt. Auburn
Year Built: 1860
Current Owner: Christopher Hardy
Status: Listed as available as a redevelopment site. In danger of demolition.

2448 Auburn Ave. was built in 1860 as the mansion for meatpacker Ellmore W. Cunningham. It was designed by Anderson & Hannaford (Samuel Hannaford).

Eugene Zimmerman owned the building after Cunningham. Zimmerman was a steamboat captain in Civil War who started a lumber mill when he returned to Cincinnati. He sold this business and then made his fortune in the oil industry and then sold his company to Standard Oil. Zimmerman later became vice-president of the Cincinnati, Hamilton & Dayton Railroad Company.

Zimmerman sold 2448 Auburn to the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church gave it to the congregation of Holy Name Roman Catholic Church who used it as their rectory. It was bought in 2016 by Christopher Hardy and is being marketed as a redevelopment site. 

A.E. Burkhardt Mansion


Address: 400 Forest Avenue
Neighborhood: Avondale
Year Built: 1886
Current Owner: Avondale Capital LLC
Status: Unknown

The original owner of the 400 residence was Adam Edward (A. E.) Burkhardt (President of The Burkhardt Bros. clothing store on 4th St.). His two sons ran the operation up until the 1980s. A. E. Burkhardt was also president of the Cincinnati Zoo for 14 years. His father-in-law, Andrew Erkenbrecker, was the founder of the zoo. The mansion was designed by Samuel Hannaford & Sons and was built in 1886. Called Edgewood, the residence contains 33 rooms with 10 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.

It was sold in 1902 to an iron merchant who lived there until 1936. There have since been 5 different owners of the building including and it was used as a nursing home in the 1960s. The current owner paid $250,000 for it in 2005. He was unable to convert the building to office space due to the economic downturn in 2008. Today it sits with many of its windows boarded up as a way to prevent vandalism.

Benjamin Harrison School


Address: 675 Steiner Avenue
Neighborhood: Sedamsville
Year Built: 1900
Current Owner:  Monica and Edward Gable
Status: Unknown

The Benjamin Harrison school is a prime example of Cincinnati’s public school infrastructure from the turn of the last century. It rises high above the neighborhood of Sedamsville and serves as an architectural and historic anchor for the surrounding area. It presents a unique opportunity for redevelopment, but is currently in a state of deterioration.

Vine Street Hill Cemetery Chapel


Address:  3701 Vine Street
Neighborhood: Clifton
Year Built: 1884
Current Owner:  Vine Street Hill Cemetery
Status: The cemetery is actively working to redevelop the structure. They are in need of financial support.

The ‘Kappell’ was built in 1884 and is currently closed to the general public as it is in need of significant repairs.  The structure was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. The cemetery would like to renovate the structure and utilize it for services but is in need of financial support to make that a reality. 


Casino Regal Theater


Address:  1201 Linn Street
Neighborhood: West End
Year Built: 1914
Current Owner: Hamilton County Land Reutilization Corp. (Cincinnati Land Bank)
Status: Currently in no danger of demolition.

The Regal theater was built as The Casino theater in 1914 by the architects Rapp Zettle Rapp of Cincinnati. Originally a vaudeville house, it transitioned to film exhibition as the medium grew in popularity. The theater was purchased by the Goldman family in the 1940’s and became part of their chain of cinemas that catered to a primarily African American clientele. By the 1990’s the interior  was “twinned” and then “tri-plexed” by separating the balcony into two and then three screens. The main floor with the stage, Wurlitzer organ, and fly space remained. The Regal ceased operating in the 1990’s.


3303 Menlo Ave.

Address:  3303 Menlo Avenue
Neighborhood: Hyde Park
Year Built: 1914
Current Owner: Caroline Scemama
Status: Demolished

Bavarian Brewery


Address: 522 W. 12th Street
Neighborhood: Covington
Year Built: 1866
Current Owner: Kenton County
Status: Actively being renovated

Dennison Hotel

Photo via 5chw4r7z, Flickr

Address: 716 Main Street
Neighborhood: Downtown
Year Built: 1892
Current Owner: Columbia REI (Joseph Auto Group)
Status: Demolished

Flatiron Building

Photo via Scott, Flickr

Address: 1833 Sycamore Avenue
Neighborhood: Mt. Auburn
Year Built: 1875
Current Owner: National Foundation for Community Partnerships
Status: In danger of demolition



Address: 1440 Walnut Street
Neighborhood: OTR
Year Built: 1911
Current Owner: Martin Wade
Status: Unknown


Davis Furniture Building

Photo by Jared Presley

Address: 1119-1120 Main Street
Neighborhood: OTR
Year Built: 1870
Current Owner: Stough Group
Status: Actively being pursued for demolition. Currently in arbitration between Stough and the City of Cincinnati.

2012-2014 Vine

Screen Shot 2017-09-28 at 12.41.45

Address: 2012-2014 Vine Street
Neighborhood: OTR
Year Built: 1884
Current Owner: Vine Street Project LLC
Status: Unknown

Paramount Theater

Photo via Cinema Treasurers

Address: 900 E. McMillan Avenue
Neighborhood: Walnut Hills
Year Built: 1931
Current Owner: Dahlia Dealings LLC
Status: Actively under redevelopment by Walnut Hills Redevelopment Foundation

1606-1608 Walnut


Address: 1606-1608 Walnut Street
Neighborhood: OTR
Year Built: 1880
Current Owner: Fred Berger
Status: Purchased and stabilized

1706 Lang

Photo via Picssr

Address: 1706 Lang Street
Neighborhood: OTR
Year Built: 1855
Current Owner: Cincinnati Land Bank
Status: Stabilized by the Land Bank


Never miss out on the latest in old buildings: