Paul McKibben reports:
Another symbol of Greater Cincinnati’s past could be demolished as soon as this week.
Businessman Jeff Black, who owns the early 19th century Twenty Mile House in Deerfield Township, said Wednesday the former stagecoach stop will be torn down “probably real soon” – preferably this week – but didn’t give a date.
Black, who is paying for the demolition, plans to close on a deal soon to sell the property.
Plans are under way to build a Big Mike’s Gas n Go fuel station and convenience store at the site, the corner of Columbia Road and U.S. 22/Ohio 3 in Warren County. Another 1,200-square-foot structure would also be built.
“I feel sad that the thing couldn’t work out, but it’s not meant to be,” Black said.
When the wrecking ball is unleashed on the vacant Twenty Mile House, it’ll join another landmark demolished recently.
On Monday, demolition workers took down the Westwood home of Ivory soap inventor James N. Gamble, the son of Procter & Gamble co-founder James Gamble. The Werk Road Victorian mansion graced the site for more than 160 years.
Residents have tried to save the Twenty Mile House. The private investors who own Big Mike’s have met with Friends of Twenty Mile House Inc.
In a Feb. 17 letter to Mike Schueler of Henkle Schueler & Associates in Lebanon, which is affiliated with Big Mike’s, Friends President Steve Link proposed that the company retain ownership of Twenty Mile House.
The company could subdivide the parcel and sell, lease or donate it. Link said recipients could be the county, a historical society, the state, parks, a foundation or a business, and the Friends group would raise $50,000 to caulk, paint, seal and protect the exterior.
“We need your help,” Link wrote in a separate Dec. 9 letter to Schueler. “We stand ready to help you or any owner with fundraising, volunteer services and publicity if preservation is the goal.”
But Black said residents have never offered him any concrete plans for the property “other than trying to be in the way.”
“They’ve never come up with a plan on what to do … other than me (giving) them the property, and I can’t do that. I have a mortgage on it.”
Black said the Twenty Mile House is outdated and not functional and he is losing money on the property he bought in 2004 for $1 million.
The Red Rock Tavern was the last occupant.