Where: Columbus, OH
When: 2003 or so?
The Hartman is a really old exploration. I don't remember many of the details of it now, but I'll do my best.
Andy of Forgotten Ohio and I walked through the Hartman back when it was being renovated for what is now used as a banquet center. There are also lofts for sale in the building from what I understand. More info can probably be found at their site HERE.
The building has served a few purposes over the years. The most notable were Hotel, Hospice, and Banking center. There are several vaults in the building, some of which were left after the renovation.
The building was actually standing wide open when we visited. I believe the owners figured that's better than having people try to break in. There was nothing there to steal or damage, so they had nothing to worry about.
First floor main vault.
The basement was the coolest part in my opinion. We found several vaults and storage areas. One section was full of water. There were other sections that had complete darkness. I don't recall the exact reason but there was a moment where we turned the lights off and sat in silence. I believe we thought we had heard someone. I just recall me thinking that if my light had failed to come back on, I would have never found my way out. I felt a slight bit of panic for some reason. The mind can be a real pain in the butt at times.
I do recall that there were birds in the building a black powder that had been used for sand blasting I assume. Other than that, there wasn't too much to see since it was being gutted.
The Hartman is located right in the midst of the the City near City Center Mall (soon to be featured on this site if they don't get some more business in there soon unfortunately). The building was empty through much of the 1990s.
The Hartman is named of course after the same Hartman's as everything else in the city with that name. Mr. Hartman made quite a chunk of change selling a product that, from what I have read, didn't do much of anything... other than make Mr. Hartman money. I suppose there is more to it than that.
The Vaults throughout the building are left over from a bank that had a branch on the first floor from the late 1920's. Huntinton eventually bought the branch and later closed the location during a time when the City wasn't doing too well.
Ceiling that had been covered until the renovation.
Eventually the city partnered with another company to restore the building and it seems to have worked out rather well so far. I've yet to go inside, but driving by reveals an amazing turn around for a building that was really in pretty bad shape.
The renovators seemed to really make an effort to retains some of the original charm of the building. I hope to some day take a trip through to get some new pictures.
We explored the rest of the building and even sat on the roof to BS for a while about the state of whatever was going on at the time. We mused about going in to the old Ohio furniture building which I later was able to explore, although it took me about 4 years before I got around to it. (see the main street buildings section).
Before and After
The rear of the building before renovation.
The rear of the buildin after renovation.
I ripped off the above picture from Andy's Forgotten Ohio site to use as a comparison to this more recent picture that was taken once the work was completed. They really did a good job in my opinion. The enclosed stairwell actually adds a nice touch compared to the missing fire escape on the left.
Safe in the Basement
That's really about all I can recall from this old trip. There are more pictures in the gallery if you're interested.
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More pictures can be found in the gallery here.