The Louis Sullivan Building of Newark Revitalization Update
Posted on 06/10/2016
Since early 2014, the Licking County Foundation and a team of community volunteers known as Team Sullivan have been working to develop a plan for the Louis Sullivan Building of Newark’s restoration and reuse. The vision has always been to create a valuable space that is financially self-sustaining and open for the public to enjoy, celebrate and study.
Reimagine & Reuse: Partnering with Explore Licking County
The Licking County Foundation and Explore Licking County are pleased to announce that a partnership has been formed to reimagine the Louis Sullivan Building of Newark as a starting point for visitors and residents to experience all of the great sites and attractions that Licking County has to offer. Explore Licking County plans to relocate the visitors center and their offices currently at the Newark Earthworks in Heath to the Sullivan Building in downtown Newark after its restoration is complete (projected for late 2018).
Explore Licking County’s Executive Director, Dan Moder stated, “Residing in the Sullivan Building fits and furthers Explore Licking County’s core mission of helping our community and visitors find their way to a one of a kind Licking County experience. We’re looking forward to telling the story of this architectural treasure and using it as a jumping off point for telling the stories of many other Licking County attractions and destinations. Ideally located on downtown Newark’s Courthouse Square, the building was a prominent site in 1915 as the Home Building Association Bank and it remains so today, joining many other revitalization initiatives nearby.”
Licking County Foundation Director, Connie Hawk said, “We are excited that this unique community asset will be stewarded by our area’s tourism experts to bring fresh insights, new programming and another generation of people who appreciate the remarkable genius of Louis Sullivan. One of the goals for this ongoing partnership will be to develop specific tourism and outreach programs for the Louis Sullivan Building of Newark and engage other partners in these endeavors.”
Restore: Crafting a Master Plan
2016 is a pivotal year for the future of the Louis Sullivan Building. In 2015, the Foundation’s architectural firm, Rogers Krajnak Architects, Inc., finalized a Physical Assessment & Stabilization Plan for the building which identified the basement / sidewalk rehabilitation project as one of the priorities. The firm followed up with a proposal for the second phase of the project—which includes the preparation of a Historic Structure Report (a document of the National Park Service for ensuring high restoration standards and treatments for significant historic properties) and the completion of schematic design phase services to produce a cost for the total restoration project.
As part of this process, nationally-respected experts from Illinois and Wisconsin evaluated the condition of the building’s ornate terra cotta, decorative paint murals, opalescent stained glass and intricate mosaics to develop a proposal for preservation and restoration in February 2016. Brett Laureys from Wiss Janney Elstner Associates has worked on the Washington Monument, and examined every piece of terra cotta on the Sullivan Building to assess its condition. Eileen Grogan from Conrad Schmitt Studios tested various cleaning solvents on the building’s murals, and discovered that at least 17 colors were used by Sullivan in their creation.
Renovate: Taking the First Step
The first step in renovating the Sullivan Building will be to preserve and rehabilitate the building’s historic basement spaces which will start in June 2016 and finish in October 2016. Danis Construction Company has been retained to oversee this work which will be conducted in coordination with the City of Newark’s utility/streetscapes project schedule.
Louis Sullivan had an unusually small (but significant) parcel of land to work with in Newark. This coveted and compact 22’ x 60’ parcel was the former site of the City Drug Store and was purchased for $26,250 by the Home Building Association Company for its new building in 1913. As a result, the basement of the Sullivan Building was designed specifically to house public areas (e.g., publicity department, safe deposit boxes, locker room, restrooms, etc.)—which makes the area historically pertinent. These basement spaces will be preserved by replacing the existing sidewalk structural deck; adding new waterproofing, insulation and drainage; and installing new steel beams and concrete slab. The rehabilitated portion of the basement will serve as an important foundational step in the building’s restoration. This work will commence in June and is scheduled to be complete by the end of fall 2016.
Support: Funding a New Beginning for “The Old Home”
Funds are still needed to complete the planning process and the basement rehabilitation in 2016. The cost for this portion of the project is estimated to be $636,150; $430,750 has already been secured; and $205,400 remains to be raised. The Licking County Foundation received a grant of $27,250 to support the preparation of a Historic Structures Report from the Jeffris Family Foundation, a Wisconsin-based funder dedicated to the Midwest’s cultural history and heritage through preserving regionally and nationally important historic buildings. Generous local donors, committed to the revitalization of our downtown and the continued growth of our county, have already contributed $403,500. Gifts and pledges have been received from the Jerry McClain Companies, the LeFevre Foundation, Park National Bank, the McConnell Fund, the Lindorf-Warner Memorial Fund, the Cecil L. Mauger Trust, the Port Authority Charitable Fund, the Alford Family Fund, Mortellaro McDonald’s, the Havens Family Fund, the Reese, Pyle, Drake & Meyer Community Fund, Southgate Corporation and Denison University.
At the end of 2016, a master plan and an estimate will be in place for completing the restoration of the Louis Sullivan Building of Newark, commonly known as “The Old Home” in 1915. In 2017, a capital campaign will be launched to raise funds for transforming the building as the new home of Explore Licking County by late 2018.
Contribute: Making a Gift to the Sullivan Building Preservation Fund
After serving the Newark community for the past 100 years, the Sullivan Building is poised for its next evolution and ready to be reimagined for the next 100 years. To sustain this project’s momentum, $205,400 in funds are needed to preserve the basement spaces, complete the Historic Structure Report and prepare the restoration plan. To make a gift: please send a check payable to the Licking County Foundation (with Sullivan Fund on the memo line) to PO Box 42121, Newark, OH 43058-4212 or visit www.thelcfoundation.org and click on “Donate Now”.
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About the Louis Sullivan Building of Newark
The Louis Sullivan Building of Newark has graced the Courthouse Square for over a century at One North Third Street. It was built in 1914 and opened its doors on August 25, 1915 as the Home Building Association Bank, commonly known as “The Old Home”. One of only eight banks designed by noted American architect Louis Sullivan, it is both a national treasure and a treasured piece of Central Ohio’s heritage. Through the years, the Sullivan Building was also home to a butcher shop, a jewelry store and eventually an ice cream parlor. With each new tenant the interior was altered, but the building’s historic and architectural significance never changed. In 1973, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2013, the building was generously gifted to the Licking County Foundation by Newark native, Stephen Jones.
About Explore Licking County
By subscribing to their mission of promoting economic development through tourism, Explore Licking County actively engages with community partners to create unique, educational and fun experiences for both visitors and residents in Licking County. For more information on Explore Licking County, visit Explorelc.org.
About Licking County Foundation
Established in 1956, Licking County Foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life in our community by helping caring people meet their philanthropic goals. LCF is a nonprofit charitable organization composed of 232 funds given by generous individuals, businesses and organizations. In 2015, these funds had a combined market value of more than $82.2 million; and $2.7 million in grants and scholarships were awarded to benefit many worthy local projects, programs, organizations and students. These grants enhanced almost every aspect of life in Licking County—including education, arts and culture, youth and families, health and human services, parks and recreation, and more. For information, please call 740.349.3863 or visit www.thelcfoundation.org.