As part of its development of the James E. Hoff, S.J. Academic Quadrangle (The Quad), Xavier University will demolish a number of homes on Ledgewood and Dana Avenues which have served for a number of years as student residences and University offices. Nineteen homes are scheduled to be removed beginning in late July or early August. The Mission and Identity House, Residence Life and the Bellarmine Parish House will NOT be removed
Xavier has made an effort throughout all of its recent development to recycle where possible and to send the least amount possible to landfills. To that end Stacey Decker, assistant director of campus services, donated about 35 mattresses and bed frames, dressers, clothing armoires, desks and chairs, couches, end tables, refrigerators and stoves to MAP Furniture Bank of Columbus. Some of the furniture came from the Ledgewood houses while some came from Brockman Hall which is being rennovated during the summer.
“We knew we would not be reusing this furniture and someone else here at Xavier had worked with this organization in the past,” said Decker. “So we figured it could go to help someone trying to get back on their feet who would really appreciate it and put it to good use.”
MAP Furniture Bank provides free furniture to central Ohio residents dealing with severe life challenges ranging from previous homelessness to mental disability. MAP acts as a valuable community partner by preventing usable materials from being sent to area landfills. If all of the furniture items collected and redistributed by MAP in just the past year were piled onto a one-acre plot of land, that pile would be 23 feet deep.
“We genuinely appreciate the opportunity to partner with Xavier in recycling used furniture,” MAP president James Stein said. “It provides much needed assistance while preserving limited landfill space.”
Additionally, Michael Williams of Wooden Nickel Antiques of Cincinnati toured the homes recently. The Wooden Nickel has been in business since 1976 and specializes in architectural salvage, Victorian furniture, chandeliers, fireplace mantels and much more.
Williams is working to savage a number of items from the residences, including French doors, stair rails, built in kitchen cabinets, light fixtures and pedestal sinks. However, not every architectural item can be saved.
“Many of these doors are covered in layers of lead based paint,” explained Williams. “People are not going to want to put these in their homes.”
While some of the windows have beautiful woodwork, they are comprised of single pane glass, which is not energy efficient. Williams and his crew will try to salvage some of the very decorative Rookwood tiles in some of the fireplaces.
Some of the previous owners of the homes are also working to salvage items, including cabinets, light fixtures, floor radiator covers and even faucets.
Many of the students and staff who resided in the homes wrote farewells on the walls. “Cheers to the best room I ever had,” said one note.
Most of the homes have already been completed cleared out. Work crews are capping off utilities and conducting environmental inspections in preparation for the demolition.