Preservation Merit Award to Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati and the Woman’s Art Club Foundation of Cincinnati for rehabilitation and adaptive
use of the 1924 Resthaven Barn at 6980 Cambridge Avenue in Mariemont as the Woman’s Art Club Cultural Center.
This project highlights a success story of rescuing a historic building from demolition, redefining its use, and turning it into a viable community asset.
The 1924 Resthaven Barn was part of Cincinnati philanthropist Mary Emery’s plan and eminent town planner John Nolen’s design for the Village of Mariemont.
The village, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, gained National Historic Landmark status in 2007 for its significance as a planned
community. The Resthaven barn is situated on 26 acres and was part of a model farm and dairy that operated from 1924 to 1940. When farm operations ceased,
the Village of Mariemont took over the buildings to accommodate the Village’s Maintenance Department which used the facility to house their large equipment
and offices until 2006. The Mariemont Preservation Foundation conducted a village wide survey of its residents and the majority response was to save the
building but with an estimated cost of over $1million dollars for renovations the barn was under threat of demolition unless a purchaser for the building
could be found.
The Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati, founded in 1892, was looking for gallery space and headquarters and recognized the possibility of converting the 10,000
square foot barn into an arts center with a permanent gallery and artists’ studios. The club purchased the barn in late 2006.
Maintaining as much of the original elements and details as possible, architect John Grier and the Hudepohl Construction Company worked with the art club
to carry out the work, which has resulted in a functional gallery and work spaces, as well as offices that retain the open space character of the barn and
many original features.
Funding for the project was secured from the state of Ohio, local foundations and the local community for this extensive renovation project. The
involvement of community volunteers including high school seniors and Boy Scouts has also been notable.
As part of a two-phase project, the Woman’s Art Club of Cincinnati Cultural Center opened in April 2008 with the completion of a main gallery for exhibits,
artist studios, and rooms for art classes, as well as a much-needed community meeting facility.
to return to the list of 2009 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.
for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.