Preservation Magazine, Winter 2017

An Ohio Community Mourns The Loss Of A 132-Year-Old Schoolhouse

photo by: Karen Schiely/Akron Beacon Journal

The Lichtenwalter Schoolhouse prior to being gutted by an arson fire in August 2016.

In each Transitions section of Preservation magazine, we highlight places of local and national importance that have recently been restored, are currently threatened, have been saved from demolition or neglect, or have been lost. Here's one from Winter 2017.

In August of 2016, arsonists destroyed the roof and interior of the 1885 Lichtenwalter Schoolhouse in Green, Ohio, where children had been educated until the early 20th century.

When the building was threatened by the expansion of the Akron-Canton Airport in 1960, local farmer Robert Boettler, who owned the structure and surrounding land, paid to have it moved to a new farm he had purchased down the road, in an area now known as Boettler Park. In 2000, the schoolhouse was restored and equipped with period books, desks, and a potbelly stove, serving as an educational asset for local schools.

Five teenagers from a neighboring township were taken into custody in connection with the arson case days after the fire, and two had accepted plea deals as of press time. The state fire marshal declared the building a “total loss,” but its four walls are still structurally sound. The city of Green plans to reinforce and weatherize them for potential future reconstruction, and members of the Green Historical Society hope to see the schoolhouse rebuilt.

Katherine Flynn is a former assistant editor at Preservation magazine. She enjoys coffee, record stores, and uncovering the stories behind historic places.

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