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    Preserving History: The Story of the Andrew Jackson House on 277 East Mill Street, Akron, OH

    By Mike Farist

    Nestled in the heart of Akron, Ohio, the Andrew Jackson House at 277 East Mill Street stands as a remarkable testament to the city's history. This beautifully restored building holds a rich heritage, intricately intertwined with the growth and development of Akron over the years. In this 1000-word blog post, we will explore the history of the Andrew Jackson House, the contributions of the GAR Foundation and the Knight Foundation, and Roofsmith Restoration's role in preserving this historical gem.

    The Andrew Jackson House: A Glimpse into the Past

    The Andrew Jackson House was built in 1868 as the private residence of Akron lumber magnate Andrew Jackson. Jackson was one of the owners of Jackson, Buchtel & Co., a lumber business he operated with William Buchtel, the brother of John R. Buchtel, the founder of Buchtel College, which later became the University of Akron.

    It was then sold to John Johnson for his residence in 1910. In 1918, it was sold to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a service fraternity that sought to use it as their temple. The house was used by Odd Fellows for 70 years until it was sold to an individual in 1988. For the next 20 years, the house sat vacant as the owner tried to convert it into a coffee house for the University of Akron students. The renovation never came to fruition; the house fell into significant disrepair. Over time, people experiencing homelessness occupied the house built fires on its floors, and even used some of its historic trim as fuel to keep warm.

    In 2006, the building was condemned for multiple code violations, but in 2007, The Chesler Group, a Cleveland-based historic property solutions company, acquired the house to renovate it as a commercial building for GAR Foundation. The property was fully restored by 2009. Although virtually all systems and components are new, many notable features of the 1868 building remain, including the quarter-sawn oak floors, solid walnut doors, and unique cast bronze hinges. Over 100 construction workers were employed on the project.

    The GAR Foundation: A Legacy of Support

    The history of the Andrew Jackson House is closely tied to the GAR Foundation. Established in 1967 by Galen and Ruth Roush, the GAR Foundation has played a vital role in preserving and enhancing Akron's historical and cultural landmarks. Galen and his wife Ruth loved their home area of Akron and Summit County, so they never stopped investing in their community.

    GAR Foundation's commitment to Akron's heritage and its support for the restoration of the Andrew Jackson House has been invaluable. The foundation has provided funding and resources to ensure the preservation of this historic gem. This support has enabled the house to stand as a symbol of Akron's rich past and a place of education and inspiration for generations to come.

    The Knight Foundation: A Beacon of Cultural Enrichment

    In addition to the GAR Foundation, the Knight Foundation has also contributed to the restoration and development of the Andrew Jackson House. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation is a national organization with a focus on fostering informed and engaged communities.

    The Knight Foundation's investment in the Jackson Home and other cultural landmarks in Akron demonstrates a commitment to preserving history and enhancing cultural opportunities for the community. Their contributions have made a significant impact, helping to transform the Andrew Jackson House into a hub for cultural enrichment and historical education.

    Roofsmith Restoration: Preserving the Past

    Roofsmith Restoration, a distinguished company in the field of historical restoration, has played a pivotal role in preserving the Andrew Jackson House. Their commitment to preserving Akron's historical landmarks has made them an essential part of the restoration project.

    One of the most critical aspects of preserving historical buildings is maintaining their structural integrity. Roofsmith Restoration, known for its expertise in roofing, took on the challenge of replacing the Andrew Jackson House's roof. Their meticulous work not only ensures the building's longevity but also enhances its aesthetic appeal.

    The result of Roofsmith Restoration's efforts is nothing short of breathtaking. The new roof seamlessly blends with the historical architecture, maintaining the house's authenticity while providing the necessary protection from the elements. The meticulous craftsmanship and attention to detail are evident in every aspect of the project.

    The Andrew Jackson House on 277 East Mill Street, Akron, OH, is more than just a building. It is a living testament to the city's history, a symbol of preservation, and a place of cultural enrichment. The contributions of the GAR Foundation and the Knight Foundation, along with the expertise of Roofsmith Restoration, have transformed this historical landmark into a beacon of pride for the Akron community.

    The preservation of the Andrew Jackson House serves as a reminder of the importance of cherishing our history and heritage. It is a testament to the dedication and vision of those who recognize the significance of preserving the past to build a brighter future. As the Andrew Jackson House continues to inspire and educate generations to come, its story stands as an enduring part of Akron's rich history.