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Historic Mt. Auburn building demolished after roof collapse

Posted at 1:38 PM, Feb 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-27 14:54:52-05

CINCINNATI — Demolition has started on a building with almost 150 years of history in Mt. Auburn.

The Mt. Auburn Cable Car Building at the corner of Dorchester and Highland started to come down on Monday when accumulated snow caused a partial collapse of the roof, according to the Cincinnati Fire Department. Building contractors were on site during the collapse but no one was injured.

Demolition of the historic Mt. Auburn Cable Car building started Saturday after snow accumulation caused a partial roof collapse on Monday.

Crews started to demolish the rest of the historic building on Saturday. The Cincinnati Preservation Association said the decision was a sad but necessary one made by the Hamilton County Landbank who acquired the building last summer.

"Cincinnati Preservation Association had hoped that the vacant Cable Car Building could find a new use, but we recognize that the Hamilton County Landbank had to make a tough decision to protect surrounding buildings," read a release from the organization Saturday afternoon.

The building was originally constructed in the early 1870s as a powerhouse for the cable cars transporting passengers from downtown up to suburban Mt. Auburn. The building was presented to the Cincinnati Opera by the Taft Broadcasting Company in 1985.

“It is especially painful when a building of such historic significance is lost. The buildings and systems connected to transportation tell us a great deal about how people lived and about how our communities developed. We should use this loss to find ways to avoid future losses,” said Paul Muller, executive director of the Cincinnati Preservation Association.

A placard centered in the front of the building commemorates the year it was destroyed by a fire. The building burned down in March of 1892 and was reconstructed in June of the same year.