Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Apotheke Building - 1833 Vine Street

Another repeat client recently adopted this building from OTR A.D.O.P.T. He wanted to know more about the history of the building that has stood at this corner of Vine, Findlay and McMicken for more than 160 years.
Google Streetview, August 2014
Commonly known as the Apotheke Building, because of the sign that was saved on its south facing facade, it appears from my research that it was built in 1851 for George Wurth. He leased it that same year to William Boettger, the first apothecary (Apotheke in German) to live and work in this building. William remained in business here until his death in 1878.
Cincinnati Enquirer (1872-1922); Jan 16, 1878; p. 8; ProQuest Historical Newspapers
1891 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The apothecary business carried on with Julius Greyer, who was in business here until 1900. He was well known in the pharmacy business and as a chemist, created some products of his own.
1899 William City Directory - Source
The Cincinnati Enquirer; Sunday, May 30, 1897; p. 3; Newspapers.com
From 1900 until 1914, William Scheidt took over the pharmacy business. In 1915, however, the storefront changed business entirely to a billiard and pool parlor. The upstairs apartments continued to be rented to various families through these years. The pool business did not remain for long. By 1920, Arthur Ehrmantraut and other fellow optometrists and opticians took up shop here. In 1925, Edwin Enz had his doctor's office here as well, delivering over 5,000 babies during his 48 years of practice. In 1930, a dentist was also added to the mix, although part of the storefront at 1835 Vine Street became a shop for Howard Cleaners.
1904-1930 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
Circa 1925 - Source
Because Ehrmantraut had his business here for so long and purchased it from the Wurth family in 1924, it was called the Ehrmantraut Building in city directories. By 1959, 1833 Vine Street was vacant and 1835 Vine Street had the Westendorf Men's Shop. Otherwise, the rest of the building no longer had tenants of any sort, either residents or offices.
Hamilton County Auditor; 1999-2003
In 1999, the building to the south was demolished, revealing the Apotheke sign. When this building was repainted, Don Heinrich Tolzmann, a local German history expert, encouraged the painters to keep the sign because:
“It's important we don't destroy the evidence and material culture that's here,” he says. “It's an integral part of the community identity. If you erase that, you succumb to historical amnesia.”… - Source
Now with a new owner, the building will return to active use, with commercial space on the first floor and two two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. With close access to Findlay Market and the famous Schwartz Point Jazz Club just across the street, this old building will soon get a new life and more history to add onto this story.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Casa de Milo - 424 Liberty Hill

At the request of my client, Andrew Howe of Cranewoods Development LLC, I researched the history of 424 Liberty Hill. What seemed to be a typical tenement building turned out to have an interesting history.
Google Streetview; July 2014
This building sits at the corner of Liberty Hill (formerly Liberty Street before it was extended to Reading Road) and Cumber Street. It is just east of the former First District School. Until the mid 1840s, Liberty Street was known as Northern Row, since it was at the edge of the town and section line of the city. North of this line was considered the "Northern Liberties" and outside the jurisdiction of the city laws.

1838, City of Cincinnati From Actual Survey by Joseph Gest Map - Source
Searching the city directories, I found the earliest address for George Hartburn, who was a carpenter, living on Northern Row between Spring and Pendleton in 1843. William T. Hartburn (possibly George's son) uses the same address starting in 1846 and in 1853, he lists his address as 96 Liberty Street, the address of this property prior to 1896.
1891 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source 
It is hard to determine whether this is the actual structure that William Hartburn lived in from the 1840s until his death in 1859. However, his wife Ann continued to live in the home until 1866. Ownership, as determined by the deed records, shows that William and Ann created a trust in 1851 to protect their real estate investments. The property transferred through the trust until her death in 1896 and then was given to her grandson, William Keever, her only living descendant, since Ann, who remarried at the age of 69 to Henry Daganar, outlived all her children. The Hartburn and Keever families are buried in Spring Grove Cemetery.

1860 United States Census
Ann Hartburn is listed as a gentlewoman with a real estate value of $50,000. She is living with five of her children.
Beginning in 1867, the building became a rental property benefiting Ann. Until the mid 1870s, J. Greiss and J. Stoehr, who were business partners in the wine trade, lived here with their families.
1870 United States Census
Other tenants from the 1800s include Albert Fischer, proprietor of the Star Preserve Works, packers of canned meats, fruits and vegetables; Maria Wooley, a teacher; and Jacob Haeussler, who was given a five year lease beginning in 1887. After William Keever's death in 1899, the property transferred out the of Hartman family and began a series of 19 owners until the present.

Here is a listing of tenants every 10 years, from 1900 until 1940, from the city directories.
Gorsuch Louisa, wid. Lowrey, h. 424 E. Liberty
Long Mary, laundress, h. 424 E. Liberty
Parker Chas. E. ink grinder, h. 424 E. Liberty
Taylor Wm. shoemkr. h. 424 E. Liberty
" Wm. F. motorman, h. 424 E. Liberty
Wiegand Laura, saleslady, h. 424 E. Liberty
“Louis, driver, h. 424 E. Liberty
“R. F. lab. h. 424 E. Liberty

Kummer Theo umbrella repairer h 424 E Liberty
Meister Caroline F dressmkr h 424 E Liberty
—Marianna wid Matthew h 424 E Liberty
Schwienher Addie with The Alms & Doepke Co h 424 E Liberty
—Catherine wid Henry h 424 E Liberty
—Emma seamstress h 424 E Liberty
—Ida forelady W M Norton's 612 Main h 424 E Liberty
—Louis H clk 1218 Broadway h 424 E Liberty

Coffey Wm with The John Shilitto Co h 424 E Liberty
Glassmeyer Herbert J pressfeeder h 424 E Libertv
—John B cutter h 424 E Liberty
James Luzerne clk Union Central Life Ins Co h 424 E Liberty
—Mabel L h 424 E Liberty
Jeffery Jennie timekpr h 424 E Liberty
Sweeney Scott Clarence elect'n h 424 E Liberty
Walke Paul trunkctr h 424 E Liberty
Young Etta saleslady h 424 E Liberty

Buell Roy E ins agt 2d fl 108 W 6th h 424 E Liberty

Doyle Sebastian (Mabel) mach h 424 E Liberty
Gore Dana C (wid Wm) maid h 424 E Liberty
" Duncan wrapper Taystee Bread Co r 424 E Liberty
" Helen slswn Woolworth's r 424 E Liberty
Grover John F (Lucille) mech h 424 E Liberty
Haley Carolyn waiter Mrs Helen Frey r 424 E Liberty
“John J (Louise) lab h 424 E Liberty
Syron Wm H (Vernon) h 424 E Liberty

1904-1930 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
1950 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
Andrew Howe, after his purchase of the building in January of 2015, updated the apartments and has had no problem renting them in this desired area of Prospect Hill. He recently added an addition to the chimney, the bust of a women he has named Venus. He intends to name the building Casa de Milo. I'm sure Venus has an amazing view of the city from her perch on this historic building.