Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Apotheke Building - 1833 Vine Street

Another repeat client recently adopted this building from OTR A.D.O.P.T. He wanted to know more about the history of the building that has stood at this corner of Vine, Findlay and McMicken for more than 160 years.
Google Streetview, August 2014
Commonly known as the Apotheke Building, because of the sign that was saved on its south facing facade, it appears from my research that it was built in 1851 for George Wurth. He leased it that same year to William Boettger, the first apothecary (Apotheke in German) to live and work in this building. William remained in business here until his death in 1878.
Cincinnati Enquirer (1872-1922); Jan 16, 1878; p. 8; ProQuest Historical Newspapers
1891 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
The apothecary business carried on with Julius Greyer, who was in business here until 1900. He was well known in the pharmacy business and as a chemist, created some products of his own.
1899 William City Directory - Source
The Cincinnati Enquirer; Sunday, May 30, 1897; p. 3; Newspapers.com
From 1900 until 1914, William Scheidt took over the pharmacy business. In 1915, however, the storefront changed business entirely to a billiard and pool parlor. The upstairs apartments continued to be rented to various families through these years. The pool business did not remain for long. By 1920, Arthur Ehrmantraut and other fellow optometrists and opticians took up shop here. In 1925, Edwin Enz had his doctor's office here as well, delivering over 5,000 babies during his 48 years of practice. In 1930, a dentist was also added to the mix, although part of the storefront at 1835 Vine Street became a shop for Howard Cleaners.
1904-1930 Sanborn Insurance Map - Source
Circa 1925 - Source
Because Ehrmantraut had his business here for so long and purchased it from the Wurth family in 1924, it was called the Ehrmantraut Building in city directories. By 1959, 1833 Vine Street was vacant and 1835 Vine Street had the Westendorf Men's Shop. Otherwise, the rest of the building no longer had tenants of any sort, either residents or offices.
Hamilton County Auditor; 1999-2003
In 1999, the building to the south was demolished, revealing the Apotheke sign. When this building was repainted, Don Heinrich Tolzmann, a local German history expert, encouraged the painters to keep the sign because:
“It's important we don't destroy the evidence and material culture that's here,” he says. “It's an integral part of the community identity. If you erase that, you succumb to historical amnesia.”… - Source
Now with a new owner, the building will return to active use, with commercial space on the first floor and two two-bedroom apartments on the upper floors. With close access to Findlay Market and the famous Schwartz Point Jazz Club just across the street, this old building will soon get a new life and more history to add onto this story.

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