Save the Joffe Building!
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Hamilton Community Leaders and CORE Fund: we encourage your creativity and patience to save the landmark Joffe Furniture/Trebel Building at 216 S. Third Street in Hamilton.
The Joffe Building is a rare example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture in Hamilton. Clad in quarry-faced stoned and ornamented with gables, oriel windows, decorative metal spandrels, and brick corbelling, this craftsmanship cannot be recreated. These are characteristics important not just to fans of architecture, but have made this building a recognizable and curious icon that has been an eclectic part of our cityscape since 1890.
We believe the reasons to save the Joffe Building are many, including:
- PRIOR INVESTMENT: The City of Hamilton invested more than half a million dollars in streetscaping on the very block in which the Joffe Building sits. Across the street, Community First Solutions invested more than $5 million in the former Ringle’s Building to create their modern headquarters. To create a vacant lot in the center of this targeted revitalization area would fail to leverage these investments.
- CONNECTIVITY: As the corner of Third and Ludlow is revitalized, connectivity to High Street will be increasingly crucial. We know that new construction will be challenging, meaning the site will likely become parking. Creating a larger crater between the High Street corridor and Third & Ludlow would weaken redevelopment efforts of both areas.
- CORE FUND LEGACY: The CORE Fund has been an incredible model for repurposing real estate the city. This, however, would be the fifth building in a city or national historic district demolished as part of a CORE Fund project. While CHAPS recognizes that not every building can nor should be saved—and accordingly did not actively advocate against prior demolitions—this case is different given the significance of the Joffe Building. If the CORE Fund and city’s revitalization strategies are to be recognized as effective models of revitalization, it is important to continue applying the same level of creativity shown on other projects to the Joffe Building.
- UNNECESSARY URGENCY: To our knowledge, the Joffe Building is not in imminent danger of collapse that would require immediate demolition. Cities across the country, including nearby Cincinnati, have redirected demolition funds to stabilize important buildings until the market can support redevelopment. This option should be thoroughly considered.
- CURRENT MOMENTUM: Downtown Hamilton is going through an incredible revitalization, adding new businesses, jobs, and residences, largely thanks to the work of the CORE Fund and City of Hamilton. Demolition of the Joffe Building would be two steps backward for the future of our historic downtown, which was just listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The efforts of the CORE Fund and Hamilton Community Leaders leaders (including the City Manager, Mayor, & City Council) have taught us to believe in the City of Hamilton and its future. Their successes have demonstrated that we must make the bold step to invest in our community. We encourage these same leaders to extend this belief to the possibility of a creative solution for the Joffe Building and make its stabilization and redevelopment a priority.
For several years, a banner in the front window of the Joffe Building has read: “This building is finding new life.” Please continue working toward this important goal.
Today: CHAPS is counting on you
CHAPS of Butler County needs your help with “CORE Fund: Save the Joffe/Trebel Building!”. Join CHAPS and 398 supporters today.