Residents and community groups rallied to save a historic, eight-sided house [Click here to see Forgotten Ohio's page about the house.] from the wrecking ball to make way for a Wal-Mart Supercenter planned for the property along Rt. 23 just south of town. The Roundtown Conservancy announced yesterday that volunteers persuaded a Columbus developer to give the organization the nearly 150-year-old house. The group is raising money to relocate and refurbish the structure.
Bart Dingey of Dingey Movers in Zanesville said he expects to move the house by the end of February. The key to the success of the project is Dingey’s willingness to wait two months for payment, said Josephine Hall, executive director of the Pickaway County Visitors Bureau.
Supporters need $130,000 to move the house, said Franklin Conaway, a preservationist hired by the conservancy. The nonprofit group will borrow funds if necessary, Conaway added.
Hall would not say how much money has been collected so far, but acknowledged it is less than needed. "We have not nearly enough money to pay for the move," she said.
Renovating the building will cost another $400,000, Hall said. Volunteers have sold Tshirts, hosted a barbecue dinner and sought corporate donations to preserve the house, which features a free-standing spiral staircase.
Hall would like to use the building for a community center.
Local historian Wally Higgins said he thinks the original owner, George Gregg, built the house about 1855 to mimic the octagonal courthouse that once stood in the middle of town. The courthouse was demolished in the early 1840s when Circleville was reconfigured from a circle into square city blocks.
Only 34 octagonal buildings remain in the state, according to the Ohio Historical Society.