Historic Glendale schoolhouse back on the market

Fate of property in limbo again after years of acquisition attempts, bidding wars
Eckstein School
Posted at 6:21 PM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 18:55:34-05

GLENDALE — A historic schoolhouse in Glendale that was once at the center of an extensive real estate battle is back on the market.

The building, previously a segregated schoolhouse reserved for Black children beginning in 1915, was posted for sale Thursday evening, said Realtor Adam Sanregret of Cincinnati Historic Homes.

Owner Denny Dellinger placed the winning bid on the property back in 2018 with the intention of developing it into a community arts center and event space. However, his failure to turn the property around over the past two years has driven Dellinger to move on.

“I would hope that somebody with the mission would be able to get the building and restore it and come up with the necessary funding to do so,” Dellinger said.

Dellinger beat out Bill Parrish, the president of the Eckstein Cultural Arts Center, in the 2018 bidding round. Parrish had tried as far back as 2014 to acquire the property from the village of Glendale with his own plans to turn the schoolhouse into a cultural organization and arts center. While Dellinger hails from Over-the-Rhine, Parrish is a Glendale native deeply invested in the area's Black history. Parrish's father also attended the Eckstein school as a child.

According to a village representative, Parrish was denied ownership of the building when he failed to provide sufficient evidence of his ability to finance the building's restoration. However, Parrish said he invested as much as $80,000 over the course of his attempts to acquire it, and that the village offered to give the building to him in principle. Parrish's 2018 offer of $10,001 was ultimately snubbed by Dellinger's bid for $25,000.

Parrish and his unidentified business partner declined to comment for this story, citing questions they had about the property.

The building is currently selling for $199,000. Dellinger said he removed a mezzanine system of shelves from the property to open up the interior, among other changes and investments he made into the building. He went on to say that while he reached out to a number of contacts to support his effort to revitalize the space, he never received the help he was looking for.

“I'm really disappointed that so many people are so resistant to change,” Dellinger said.

Dellinger, an architect, said he probably will not invest in another Glendale property and will instead focus on his own neighborhood of OTR for the future.

Sanregret says a handful of showings are scheduled with interested buyers at this time.

Monique John covers gentrification for WCPO 9. She is part of our Report For America donor-supported journalism program. Read more about RFA here.

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