Throwback Thursday: Fire Company 16

Fire Co. 16 today

For today’s Throwback Thursday, we’re taking a closer look at the historic Fire Company 16, located at 773 E. McMillan St. The building was stabilized in 2012 by Max Construction Group using City of Cincinnati TIF (Tax Increment Financing) dollars, ensuring that it will remain standing in good repair for decades to come. The next step is to move forward with a full renovation and reuse! 

The dapper firefighters of yore
Fire Co. 16 in the 1930s

Designed by famed architect Samuel Hannaford, Fire Company 16 was built during a time of City expansion. Cincinnati in the 1850s and 1860s was booming. Transportation improvements allowed people to move further out from the Downtown area, and a vibrant suburb named Walnut Hills was annexed. Part of the annexation deal included City fire protection, and so Fire Co. 16 was founded. The firehouse was built in 1870 and put into operation on July 1 of that year. In 1871 it became a steam engine company, as Cincinnati was at the forefront of the steam-powered fire engine improvements happening across the country. Motorized engines were introduced in 1918, and Fire Co. 16 remained in operation for more than a century. In 1977 a fire damaged the firehouse, and on July 8, 1978 the station was disbanded. Fire Co. 16 still stands as Cincinnati’s oldest remaining firehouse.

Fire Co. 16 in the 1970s

Fire Company 16 is among the finest examples in Cincinnati of the Italianate architectural style, built with red brick and carved-stone window lintels. The first floor has a cavernous 15 ft. floor-to-ceiling height, and a the second floor has a 10 ft. height. Adjacent to the firehouse is another historic structure, the Hamilton House (currently undergoing stabilization), as well as assembled vacant parcels on both sides of McMillan ready for development.









Sources: ‘Cincinnati Fire History’, by Christine Mersch and Lisa Mueller (2009); ‘A Guide to Cincinnati’s Historic Firehouses’, by The Cincinnati Fire Museum and Charles E. Brooks (2003); (2013)

Throwback Thursday: Trevarren Flats

For today’s “Throwback Thursday”, we are highlighting the Trevarren Flats building (961 E. McMillan St.). This building is part of our successful historic tax credit application, and structural stabilization work on this structure will be completed in the Spring in anticipation of full renovation and reuse afterwards.

The seven-story tall Trevarren Flats was built in 1895, in the Victorian Eclectic style. It has a beautifully detailed front entry and semi-circular front window lintels. The interior has sustained a lot of wear and tear and some water damage over the years, but much of the beautiful historic woodworking  and finishing remain intact. We’ll keep you updated on stabilization as it progresses. For now, scroll through the pictures below and envision this building fully restored and filled with residents! We certainly are.


Photos by Andrew Stahlke (

Throwback Thursday: The Hauck Building

Entering 2013 we will continue to highlight the amazing historic building stock in Walnut Hills, in a series we’ve been calling “Throwback Thursdays” on our Facebook page. Over the next few weeks the focus will be on structures along E. McMillan Street that are (or soon will be) undergoing stabilization and renovation. Today, we’re looking at the Hauck Building at 975 E. McMillan St.

Built in 1893, the Hauck Building is a 5-story Romanesque-detailed building, and is part of the Peebles Corner National Historic District. It has a corner tower, sandstone trim, and a decorative stone first floor façade. The building’s original investor and namesake is John Hauck, co-founder in 1864 of the Dayton Street Brewery (later changed to the John Hauck Brewing Company). He was an illustrious man, serving as president of the Cincinnati Reds in 1886, president of the German National Bank, and saving the Cincinnati Zoo by paying off its debts.

Structural stabilization of the Hauck Building is commencing this week, with anticipated completion in Spring, 2013. Plans are also moving forward for complete renovation of the building into market-rate apartments and first-floor retail space, utilizing recently awarded State Historic Conservation Tax Credits. Check out some interior pictures of the Hauck Building below:

A Look Back at 2012

It’s been a great year for our organization and the neighborhood of Walnut Hills! As we prepare to launch into an even more fruitful 2013, we wanted to highlight some of the milestones and achievements of the past year:
Form-based Code Charrette, October 2012Neighborhood Developments: 2012 brought exciting new projects and developments into Walnut Hills on several fronts:

  • Entered pre-development on the Rhodes Buildings renovation, an $8-9 million project resulting in 30 new market-rate residential units and 3-5 new first floor store fronts. A major first step in this project was our success in partnering with the Model Group to apply for and receive State Historic Preservation Tax Credits, bringing in over $1.7 million in financing! Read our post for more details.
  • Helped facilitate the transfer of ownership of 5-10 buildings to positive and engaged ownership.
  • Facilitated the structural stabilization of the oldest firehouse in the city on E. McMillan St., with usable square footage of about 3,100 sf
  • Worked with the City of Cincinnati and the Walnut Hills Area Council to get Taft and McMillan converted to two-way streets
  • 30 new flower pots were added along the sidewalks of the business district

  • Created a grocery program that boosted the store’s revenue by over $10,000 a month and helped create an organic and natural foods section in the store.
  • Committed to be among the first neighborhoods in the City’s form-based code implementation, including a multi-day design charette in which dozens of Walnut Hills residents participated
  • Received a Duke Energy Revitalization Grant to fund facade improvements to buildings within the business district. This grant has helped to launch our Facade Improvement Program which is already leveraging significant private investment from business and building owners.
Neighborhood Outreach: One of our primary goals over the past year was to increase outreach efforts and community events in Walnut Hills. In 2012 we planned the Cincinnati Street Food Festival. This event attracted over 1,500 people to Peeble’s Corner! We planned monthly neighborhood meet-up events throughout the year. We also created a website, Facebook page,  Twitter account, Vimeo account, and Instagram account for the WHRF.


Organizational Growth: In 2012 we established a new mission, strategy and branding for the WHRF and hired a full-time employee (Business District Coordinator). The Business District Coordinator, funded through a LISC Community Safety Initiative grant, will prioritize making the business district and neighborhood both cleaner and safer.

Cincinnati Street Food Festival, October 2012

We can’t wait to get back to work in 2013, and are looking forward to continued success. Join us in improving the quality of life for all residents of Walnut Hills!