project leader
Cody G
100 Williams Street
latest update rss
First Believers

the project

We are Lockland Rising, a group of people dedicated to saving Lockland Ohio’s historic buildings. Today, we are asking for your help to save the Stearns and Foster building.   



The historic Stearns and Foster General Office Building desperately needs a new roof. In the last 15 to 20 years, as the building sat empty, it was ransacked and almost completely destroyed. Today, repairing the roof is our first step in saving this building. With a new watertight roof on the building, we can begin cleaning it out and working on it. We are asking for you to invest in the future of our region. We are asking for your financial support to save the roof and begin cleanout.


We are seeking $30,000 to remove all existing rubber roof and replacing it with new EDPM, new insulation, and repairing water damaged decking.


In one year, it might be too late. We are asking you, the community, to consider donating:





the steps


Once we recieve funding we will start by tearing off the old roof completely and repairing any decking under the rubber. This tear off process will start at the end of October. Immediately following tear off we will replace the roofing with new insulation and EDPM rubber. This all will need to be done before another harsch winter further saturates the building. 


After a new roof, we will be able to empty the building out (there is trash and debris) and begin to showcase our vision and plan to the community and potential investors. We will be able to remove the boards over the windows and repair the broken glass and any rotted windows from the leak. A new roof will be the first step in saving this building returning it to its prominence in the community. 



So far, our team has made progress in saving this historic building. 

Our restoration efforts up to this point include:

  • Boarding up windows to protect them from being broken by vandals. Painting the boards in bright colors has helped make a positive impact on the community.

  • Uncovering the front door and coating it with an oil-based stain to help prevent further damage Hauling away five abandoned cars and endless amount of trash and debris.

  • Cutting down overgrown brush and trees and added fresh landscaping along Wyoming Ave.

  • Tearing off and rebuilding the garage roof. This roof had completely collapsed and rotted. The brick walls were beginning to cave in and frankly most people would have torn the building down. We replaced all of the beams with Douglas Fir shipped in from Montana and reused the original hardware to anchor the beams to the walls.

  • Repairing all the broken window panes in the garage.

  • Beginning to paint the trim around the windows and doors in the garage.

  • Adding electric, following  the original placement of lights in the garage.

  • Repurposing the dilapidated and almost completely lost garage as a retail storefront which now houses Gertz Garden Center. This once empty eyesore is now one of the brightest places in the community.

Relying on the help of friends and family and serving as our own general contractors has already saved us approximately $60,000. We will be good stewards of the money raised in this campaign and all funds will go to the roof and cleanout.

why we're doing it


As an important piece of Lockland’s and the Mill Creek Valley’s history, this building has an important role to play in the revitalization of our region. The building sits in the center of the Mill Creek Valley. When it was first built, the building represented the heartbeat of a vibrant community and economy. The office building was crafted with attention to detail. From the soaring windows to the exterior architectural tiles, no corner was cut. .


Sadly, once the company’s local operations declined, so did the building and the surrounding neighborhood. As factories closed and jobs were shipped away, life got harder for the people and businesses still here in the Lockland area. Over the years, the building housed several other small offices. It struggled to stay occupied until eventually became abandoned--left to sit empty for years.  


The building’s deterioration echoed through Lockland and beyond.


With new ownership in 2015 came brightly colored windows for the building and a retail garden center that literally brought life (in the form of plants) back to this important piece of property. Gertz Garden Center slowly cleaned up the property, and people noticed.


We noticed that our neighbors have new excitement about revitalizing Lockland. People are beginning to take a strong interest in the possibilities for our region.


We are asking you to invest in this project for the benefit of our region.


Returning the Stearns and Foster office building to a vibrant, useful space will act as a catalyst for growth in the area. It’s the perfect opportunity to start to the change we want to see for our community.



Lockland Rising is committed to turning Lockland's vacant buildings into usable spaces that grow businesses and benefit the entire community.


Our first goal is to reinvent this building as a small business hub/incubator to spur economic growth for the neighborhood. As part of this incubator, small start-ups will be able to rent desk space and access office amenities such as higher-speed internet, conference rooms, small meeting space, a mailing address and more. In addition to the business incubator and co-working space, the restored building will offer community space to provide training opportunities and meeting rooms.


The renderings below, drafted by A359, show our vision for a completely revitalized building.



Disbursed budget (11.29.18):

$12,000 Labor
$1,086.41 Misc Roofing Materials that were not donated
The project will cost more than what was raised. We got a bulk of the materials donated, but still have to purchase about $4,000 in materials and dumpster rentals. 

RAISED = $13,514.00
less ioby Platform Fee $35.00
less ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $392.59
TOTAL TO DISBURSE = $13,086.41


Original budget:

Materials: $15,000

Dumpsters and Equipment: $5,000

Labor: $10,000

SUBTOTAL = 30,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $900
TOTAL TO RAISE = $30,935

Updated budget 11.13.18 due to inkind donation for materials

SUBTOTAL = 15,000
ioby Platform Fee  $35
ioby Donation Processing Fee (3%) $450
TOTAL TO RAISE = $15,485



First Believers

We are so blessed by the many people who believe in our efforts to save the Stearns and Foster General Office! With your help we hope to turn it into a vibrant hub for business and community.

So many people have stepped off the sidelines and said they want to see this happen on our crowdfunding campaign.

Thank you!

In deepest gratitude to all of our “First Believers,” we are announcing a First Believers Donor Wall.

Every person and company that have given to this campaign will be recognized on a donor wall in the front entryway of the future restored building.

The design idea is yet to be determined and we know that Pinterest has no limit of great ideas.


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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