I love a good story. Especially one that is centered around unexpected philanthropy.
It goes like this:
After a decade of neglect and damage, a 125-year old building, which was once a thriving gathering spot, was slated for demolition to make way for condos.
The Columbus Landmarks Foundation listed the building on its 2018 “most endangered buildings” list, which got the attention of the community. Their advocacy, coupled with a historic commission’s leadership in denying demolition, saved the building from almost certain demise.
The story could end here — historic building saved from demolition — and we would be grateful, but it gets better.
Two young philanthropists noticed the story and wanted to ensure the building would not only be saved, but once again become a thriving gathering spot.
They turned to a nonprofit, the Jefferson Avenue Center, with a gift and a request. The gift was the purchase of the building and the dollars needed for renovation, and the request was that the revitalized building to be used to house nonprofits.
Katharine Moore, executive director of the Jefferson Avenue Center, took on the challenge and began renovations of its 10,700 square feet. The Good Haus, named in honor of the community’s German heritage, will become more than a landmark when it re-opens next year. It will be a lantern of hope for the nonprofit missions who will call it home.
The two philanthropists are not putting their names on the building, rather, their gift is completely anonymous. Their act of remarkable generosity was done because it was the “right thing at the right time.”
An article in The Columbus Dispatch stated, “It’s a building that has a lot of emotion tied up in it, because it has been a place of culture and identity to such a large group of Columbus residents over the years.”
Thanks to the leadership who said “no” to demolition and “yes” to purchase and renovation. While the donors are anonymous, their gifts will not be forgotten. To them we say, “thank you.”
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.
Article by: Kerri Laubenthal Mollard, Founder & CEO