The abandoned First German Reformed Church is located along Freeman Avenue in Cincinnati, Ohio, and was constructed in 1850 as the First German Reformed Church. It later became the First Reformed Church and then the Freeman Avenue United Church of Christ before closing in 1975.

Constructed in 1850 as the First German Reformed Church,1 the building was features a front limestone exterior with a side and rear constructed of brick. The northeast corner features a steeple constructed with a limestone facade, and a bay of four large, stained glass windows on the southern and northern walls. A parsonage was constructed in the lot to the south of the church, fronting Findlay Street. The church served the West End, a German-American neighborhood.

First German Reformed Church

First German Reformed became known as the First Reformed Church in 1918, owing to the changing demographics and anti-German fear post-World War I. After the neighborhood began to decline in the 1960s, resulting in a dwindling congregation, the church was forced to sell the property in 1970. The Freeman Avenue United Church of Christ was relocated into the building later that year,2 although it lasted only five years before closing.1 The property was then transferred to Seven Hills Neighborhood Houses, Inc. on November 18, 1993.

First German was slated for demolition until Over-the-Rhine Adopt was established and began matching property owners to prospective buyers. The church was marketed for a discount rate, with the condition that the new owners make necessary repairs to stabilize the building and pay all back taxes and fees. On January 20, 2011, Teddy Aitkins, Manny Hernandez and Skye White purchased the church and have begun making repairs to stabilize the property and get it back within city compliance. Windows and doors were secured, and roof repairs were started.

Digest

  • Name: First German Reformed Church, First Reformed Church, Freeman Avenue United Church of Christ
  • Location: Freeman Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Years of Significance: 1850, 1918, 1970
  • Status: Abandoned

Sources

  1. “German Evangelical & Lutheran Church Records.” Cincinnati & Hamilton County, Ohio Resources. 20 July 2009 Article.
  2. First Reformed Church. “Church records, 1844-1977.” Genealogical Society of Utah (Salt Lake City) 1993. 22 July 2009. Microform.