We are developing a list of structures in Worthington that could be
designated "Heritage Preservation Sites" kind of like the National
Register of Historic Places only local instead of national.
The following is the criteria:
1. Exemplify or reflect the broad cultural, political, economic or
social history of the City of Worthington.
2. Be identified as a site of a significant historic event.
3. Be identified with a person or persons who significantly
contributed to the culture and development of the City of Worthington.
4. Embodies the distinguishing characteristics of a architectural
style, period, form or treatment.
5. Identifies work of an architectural or master builder whose
individual work has influenced the development of the City of Worthington.
6. Represents the notable work of a master builder, designer,
landscape architect, engineer or architect.
One site that you mentioned in the past was the band shell and well as
Chautauqua Park as a whole. I would think the band shell with it's NYA
link would fall under the #1 and the park wold be #2 as well as #1.
Of course the places on the National Register: (Kilbride Clinic,
Dayton House, Citizens' National Bank, and the Hotel Thompson) would
be listed. I would think the Rail Road Depot and some of the churches
would play into the social history of the city. Anything you can add
to the list?
Just off hand, Pat - I think you might weigh Memorial Auditorium -
The auditorium was built in 1931 as part of the contract which
also resulted in Central Elementary. The auditorium has the same art
deco motif as the school - the acoustics in the Auditorium are
The auditorium has been Worthington's music hall, concert
hall, lecture hall through passing decades. Hal Holbrook did his
evening with Mark Twain performance there before he went to Broadway
with it. Tennessee Sen. Estes Kefauver held a rally there in his 1956
bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Jessica Dragonette, a
nationally-known singer and network radio performer, did a concert at
the auditorium on the night of Pearl Harbor. The Corn on the Cob shows
lately are a unique Worthington feature. The high school held pep
rallies there through years; WHS basketball games were played there,
along with many tournament games. It has been the site of the concert
series through half-a-century - the only concert series Worthington
has had. It was the setting for a host of high school and city band
concerts, choir concerts, Christmas concerts.
The auditorium was scheduled for razing when the old high
school went down. Worthington protested and the City Council was moved
to take over the building from the school board - one instance when
historic preservation succeeded.
Oh - "Memorial" - it was built as a war memorial, a memorial
to Worthington servicemen in World War I.
If it's all right I will send you some thoughts on local buildings of
historic interest as they come to me - you can decide whether they
meet the criteria you set out. Maybe they are something you want to
consider, maybe not.
The old post office building at the corner of Third Avenue
and 11th Street. That dates to (about) 1934. It is in the federal or
federalist style of architecture which was popular with U.S.
government planners of that time. One interesting thing about it: it
was a part of the New Deal effort to create jobs and to stimulate
local economies. There were the public works agencies - PWA, WPA,
etc., - but the Post Office Department (there was a Post Office
Department then) the PO Dept. also was being liberal in authorizing
new buildings. Franklin D. Roosevelt's name is carved into the
cornerstone. (I haven't looked for a while; I think Henry Morgenthau,
Secretary of the Treasury, and James A. Farley, Postmaster General,
also have their names there.) Loretta Harper, who was Worthington's
only woman postmaster, served her term there. Ray Schisler, who also
was Worthington's mayor, was postmaster there. Mail arrived on trains
and there was a truck to deliver mail to and from the depot and post
office, making regular runs along 11th Street.
Immediately before that time, Worthington's post office was
located in the brick building which faces on Fourth Avenue and which
is behind the Cow's Outside. The post office leased that space; the
government did not own it. I understand Phil Willardson just bought
that building. The building is a good one and it has a root which is
very close to 100 years old, give or take.
Across the street, in the building at the corner of 4th and
10th where the used book store is now - the exterior mucked up with
plastic siding - I believe that building is 80 years old this year.
That was built by Elmer Ahlf and it was Ahlf's Drugstore from 1927
until Ahlf's moved to Northland Mall in 1976/1977. The thing
interesting about it which can't be shown any longer is that it was a
corner drugstore. Corner drugstores were an American icon through the
first half of the 20th Century. There was a lunch counter/soda
fountain where downtown people went for sandwiches/coffee. But
(especially) that was where the high school kids went for Cokes and
malted milks. After school every day and through the early evening it
was full of kids, as were the sidewalks out the front door.