Firestone Mansion Falls to Wrecking Ball

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Efforts to save the city’s Firestone Mansion from demolition have failed. Workmen have completed salvaging pieces from the 3-story home built by Columbus carriage maker Joseph Firestone.

The Columbus Landmarks Foundation wanted to save the Firestone mansion at 1266 E. Broad St. It put together a team of preservation consultants, architects, engineers, developers, and contractors who drew up alternatives to demolition. There were negotiations with the building’s owner, the Columbus Foundation. But in the end, the owners decided to tear the building down. Columbus Foundation spokeswoman Carol Harmon.

“Our governing committee has decided as it did last summer that the structure did not have viability and we’ve delayed its removal as long as we can,” Harmon says.

“So any idea when it will be torn down?”

“We’re beginning the demolition now,” Harmon says.

The Columbus Foundation determined that the building would be too expensive to restore and said it did not fit with the foundation’s plans for redeveloping the site.

Landmarks Foundation director Kathy Mast Kane says the building’s loss is one more blow to the integrity of the dwindling East Broad Street historic district.

“It was a single family house to a prominent family who made a very major contribution to the automobile industry in Columbus, it was then apartments,” Kane says. “It’s had great transition but I think it also had great potential and it’s just hard to say a good bye to one more historic resource in the city.”

Spokeswoman Carol Harmon says the Columbus Foundation does care about its East Broad Street neighborhood. The evidence, she says, is in the substantial investment the foundation is making.

“The Columbus Foundation honors the importance of Broad Street and their history and we’re investing in two properties on our block which is the former governor’s mansion and the carriage house in which we are investing over a million dollars,” Harmon says.

Harmon says the land where the building once stood will become green space.

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