historic buildings approved

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 3, 2007

Two historic commercial architectural landmarks in Ironton’s downtown district are a step closer to being placed on the National Register.

Friday morning the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board recommended to the State Historic Preservation Officer that nominations for the Brumberg Building and the Marlow Theater be forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places for further review.

By law the Keeper must make a decision within 45 days if the two sites will get National Register status. That means by February a decision should be reached.

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The Brumberg Building, at 222 S. Third St., is a five-story 1906 structure that housed an upscale men’s department store run by A. J. Brumberg.

The Marlow Theater is a two-building complex in early 20th Century Neoclassical style at the corner of South Third Street and Park Avenue.

One structure housed C.F. Johnston’s & Co. Department Store from 1920 to 1932 and later Stiffler’s Department Store. The other building was the Marlow Theater operated by the Stern Brothers that offered first-run movies from 1920 to 1952.

Among the criteria necessary for placement on the National Register, a structure must be associated with events or people who have made a contribution to the country’s history. Both Ironton buildings were chosen as representatives of the city’s early years as a thriving commercial center.

Renovators of structures placed on the National Register may be eligible for state and federal tax credits.

Speaking on behalf of the nominations Friday in Columbus was Ralph Kline, executive director of development and planning for the Community Action Organization.

He sees National Register classification as having advantages.

“This is one key step to hopefully finding reuses for those buildings,’’ he said Saturday. “If you are going to put significant investment in a building you may be able to take advantage of tax credits.’’

Two other buildings — the one-time Marting Hotel and the Roosevelt Apartments — received National Register status and were renovated into housing complexes.