The Durable Restoration Company was awarded the Preservation Merit Award from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office for its restoration work on Eddie Rickenbacker’s childhood home. Awards were presented on Saturday, November 1, during a noon luncheon at the Toledo and Ohio Central Railroad Station in Columbus. The quaint house located at 1336 E. Livingston Ave. was built in 1895 by Eddie Rickenbacker’s father. From his humble beginnings, Rickenbacker later gained fame as a decorated WWI hero, Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, automobile entrepreneur and president of Eastern Airlines. The Columbus City Council purchased the house in 1998 after it had been boarded up for decades. Three years later, grant money was acquired and renovation plans began. The home now serves as a part of the Rickenbacker-Woods Technology Museum and Historical Park Board. “This job was a great learning experience,” said Steve White, who served as the foreman on the job. “It made me feel a connection to Eddie Rickenbacker,” he added, “who I always heard about growing up. ”Projects like this are practically a history lesson in themselves. Pictures and old documents must be studied in order to replicate certain elements of the structures. The Rickenbacker House is one of three Central Ohio buildings designated as a National Historic Landmark, the highest designation given. Others include the Ohio Theater and Statehouse, which Durable Restoration has also had the opportunity to restore.
The Durable Restoration Company was responsible for stabilizing the structure, rebuilding the chimney, installing a new slate roof and gutters, painting, exposing and repairing original siding, restoring and replacing the wood windows, building a wood fence and rebuilding the front porch on the house Rickenbacker once called home.
All were selfless and came together to preserve this important home of a “very famous man,” said Ohio Historical Society Executive Director and State Historic Preservation Officer William K. Laidlaw, Jr. The Preservation Merit Award is given for preserving Ohio’s prehistory, history, architecture or culture. See below for before and after pictures of the property: