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A Camp Washington Restoration: The Prologue

Adam’s new project, an 1885 Second Empire home

Restoring a historic house is no small undertaking. It can take years, a decade, a decade plus–there might always be something left to do! Maybe it’s like painting a long roadway bridge. By the time painting is done from one end to the other, it’s time to start all over again.

This is Adam. He likes big, messy restoration projects.

Who doesn’t love a mansard roof? The advantage of a mansard is the added space it brings. Behind what appears to be a roof, there is room for a full floor instead of a teeny attic.

Some folks might do one house and be done. Not Adam Sanregret, Lead Agent of Cincinnati Historic Homes. Adam has restored multiple properties, including two of his own homes in Cincinnati. A magnificent Arts & Crafts home in the historic neighborhood of Westwood and a breathtaking Queen Anne Victorian in the Rose Hill Subdivision of North Avondale. His restoration work has been featured on local home tours and in the news and recognized as exceptional by local historic preservationists.

Adam’s beautifully restored Queen Anne Victorian

We don’t know, maybe old homes that need restoration are a little like potato chips. Can you eat just one chip, can you restore just one home?

Enter: 3071 Sidney Avenue in Cincinnati’s historic neighborhood of Camp Washington. A three-story, nearly 2700-square-foot, Second Empire home that has sat vacant for eight years.

Adam bought the home in April 2019.

Location of Camp Washington amongst Cincinnati’s many (52!) recognized neighborhoods.

Adam has found his next restoration project.

Why Camp Washington? Why not!

U.S. Chili Building located at the corner of Hopple Street and Colerain Avenue

Located in the Mill Creek Valley west of the University of Cincinnati, this historic neighborhood was annexed to Cincinnati in 1870. Its name originated during the 1846 mobilization for the U.S.-Mexican War, when this location was the encampment for the Ohio First and Second Regiments (both Ohio Volunteer Infantry). During the late 19th century, Camp Washington was the hub for Cincinnati’s meatpacking, slaughterhouses, and associated processing (the City was nick-named “Porkopolis” for a reason!) The community is an eclectic mix of 19th century homes and industrial space, where just recently Cincinnati City Council approved a Community Entertainment District. The boundaries of the proposed 132-acre district encompass much of the neighborhood, mostly stretching along Colerain Avenue through Camp Washington’s center. The district, plus recent rezoning measures and the acquisition by a neighborhood group of the historic gateway U.S Chili Building, will trigger revitalization and redevelopment.

As you may have noticed, only exterior photos of Sidney are included herein. That is entirely intentional. It’s a little rough inside and that’s “our hook”.  Join us on this restoration journey. What trials and tribulations will Adam encounter? What historic treasures will he uncover? Will his best laid plans be foiled by the passing of time and its effects on the house? Although restoration will still be mid-stream, his goal is to have liveable quarters by early 2020. Will Adam move in and  shower at the gym for a month like he did during his Queen Anne restoration?

Join us as our story continues over the next several months…or will it be years…?

Up next:

A Camp Washington Restoration: Bring On The Game Plan

(I wonder how many chips Adam eats in a sitting…)

Lay’s 1963 slogan was, and still is, famous: “Betcha just can’t eat one!”