Tuesday, September 4, 2007

GET UPSET- Firestone Mansion to be Demolished

The historic Firestone Mansion owned by the normally good-doing Columbus Foundation is set to be demolished as part of their expansion plan. React and speak up. Don't let another Union Station demolition happen under your nose.

In response to Columbus Foundation’s announcement of plans for rehabilitation and expansion of their headquarters in the Old Governor’s Mansion at 1234 East Broad Street, Columbus Landmarks has called a special meeting of its Board of Trustees to address the issue of the proposed demolition of the Firestone Mansion. Since the announcement, Columbus Landmarks’ officers have met with Doug Kridler, Executive Director of the Columbus Foundation.The Board and staff of Columbus Landmarks Foundation welcome your input regarding this issue. Please address your comments to Kathy Mast Kane, Executive Director. The Board will be meeting Wednesday September 5th.

The Firestone Mansion at 1266 East Broad Street, named on behalf of the original residents, Joseph F. and Josephine Firestone, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places* in 1987 as a contributing building in the East Broad Street Historic District. This district nomination is part of a larger collective nomination called the East Broad Street Multiple Resource Area, which includes not only this linear district, but also several individual and clustered buildings along the East Broad Street corridor between Parsons Avenue and Nelson Road. These listed resources “represent the remaining wealth and diversity of structures along East Broad St., the major residential corridor and east-west axis in Columbus during Broad Street’s major period of growth and development from the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-1930s.” (National Register nomination)

The Firestone Mansion was built ca. 1906, soon after construction of the Old Governor’s Mansion. (The Old Governor’s Mansion was built in 1904 as the home of Charles Lindenberg, president of the Lillia Regalia Co., which produced flags and bunting. It got its’ popular name from having served as the residence of 10 governors between 1920 and 1957.) The Firestone Mansion was designed in the Second Renaissance Revival architectural style, one of 17 high styles of architecture represented along the historic residential corridor. The style was popular for major commercial, public and residential buildings from the 1890s through the 1930s. Architectural historians speculate that this building was designed by local renowned architect Frank Packard, like the Governor’s Mansion next door. Research is still being conducted, however.

The Firestone Mansion is unusual among the residences on East Broad Street in that it has the effect of a raised basement and is a full three stories. It was built as a substantial house of fine materials with many expensive details. All four elevations are laid in Flemish bond, a form of brickwork in which every other brick is laid with its short end exposed for the resulting pattern. Flemish bond is more expensive than conventional brickwork because it takes greater skill to lay and uses many more bricks. That all four elevations of the house are laid in Flemish bond is indicative of the fact that this is a house on which no expense was spared.

The Firestone Mansion is also recognized as historically important for its association with Joseph F. Firestone, a vice president and manager of the Columbus Buggy Company at the time the house was built. The Columbus Buggy Company was a thriving business by the late 1800s. The company expanded to a new factory at 400 Dublin Avenue after the turn of the century, not long before Joseph Firestone had this house built. The company was focused on preparing to exhibit its new Firestone-Columbus automobile at the 1909 Chicago Auto Show when the Joseph Firestone family moved in. The company was soon to sell over 2,000 cars a year. Firestone died in 1914 and his wife lived at the residence until her death ca. 1918. The house was converted to six luxury apartments by the late 1920s.Joseph’s brother, Clinton D., was founder of the Columbus Buggy Company along with Oscar and George M. Peters in 1875. Clinton, president of Columbus Buggy Company, also lived on East Broad Street, at #580. After he died in 1914, the house became the longtime offices of Columbus Mutual Life Insurance Company. It was demolished in 1962.

For more information on how to get involved in saving Firestone or other
historically significant structures in Columbus, visit

1 comment:

Walker Evans said...

Got the following from an anonymous email:

A demolition permit was awarded on Oct 29 for Firestone Mansion at 1266 E Broad. EPA will generally take 2 to 3 weeks unless it has already been ruled asbestos free, then its just a matter of when a crew and machinery can be scheduled. I know the power has been cut already. I hope you'll share this on the Underground so that nobody is shocked when it vanishes. (I would look for it to happen on a Saturday morning while the press sleeps- just as they did at Children's with the garden house).