Attic find in Rossford reveals hundreds of historic architectural drawings

Documents up for auction Tuesday include J.K. Secor home blueprints, former bank that is now Village Idiot

Attic find in Rossford reveals hundreds of historic architectural drawings

Photo byJ.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune Michelle Nau handles one architectural drawing while hundreds of others sit in boxes in preparation for a Rossford auction on Tuesday.

ROSSFORD — If one was intentionally looking for these historical architect drawings, sketches and blueprints, it would have been like the case of the proverbial needle in a haystack.

A slew of architectural material was found in an attic while inventorying items for a real estate auction at 384 Colony Road, in the Eagle Point colony subdivision of the city along the Maumee River. Most of the creations are attributable to George B. Rheinfrank, who operated his self-named architect and engineers office in the Toledo area from the early 1900s to the 1950s.

According to Pamela Rose Auction Company, which will auction the drawings on Tuesday at the Rossford home where they were found, Rheinfrank was a “distinguished Toledo-area architect” and “a prominent designer of hundreds of buildings in the Toledo area and surrounding vicinities.”

According to the auction company’s news release, apprentice auctioneer Brady Helminiak said, “Jordan (Rose) and I were doing an inventory for an upcoming personal property auction in the Eagle Point Colony Subdivision, when we literally stumbled over boxes of these architectural drawings, blueprints and sketches. We knew they looked like valuable pieces of history and took them back to the office to do a little investigating. Once we realized the extent of the collection, we were certainly excited about our find.”

Rheinfrank designed many notable buildings such as The Plaza Hotel, the J.K. Secor House in Perrysburg, the plot layouts for the Willys Jeep plant, Old West End homes, noted area banks, schools, businesses and Masonic temples. He was also instrumental in working on Swayne Field, the former home of the Toledo Mud Hens in Toledo. There are drawings of the former bank building that now is home to The Village Idiot in Maumee.

Many of the designs and blueprints are for buildings no longer standing, but many others have survived and these drawings are considered historically significant. There are more than 210 inventoried lots of drawings that have been identified, along with other boxes of prints and drawings which are not identified.

Michelle Nau, a web and graphic designer and apprentice auctioneer with Pamela Rose Auction Company, said she would love to buy all of them, primarily due to the history involved.

“There are a lot of neat older blueprints here. I think many historical societies and museums might be interested,” Nau said. “For some people there just might be some sentimental value to some of these if they have a connection to the home or building.”

Nau also noted the lots include projects at the Carranor Hunt and Polo Club in Perrysburg, a couple of former Rossford grade schools, several other Eagle Point homes, a Walbridge school staircase, People’s Bank in McComb, Rossford Savings Bank, the club building for Riverby Golf Club, and the former residence in Bowling Green of J. M. Stitt, a lecturer for the Ohio Department of Conservation.

Most of the drawings and prints are for minor projects associated with the facilities.

Nau said the auction will begin at 2 p.m. Tuesday. Items are available for inspection starting at 1 p.m. The architect’s collection is slated to hit the auction block around 3 p.m.

Nau said the drawings and prints will be sold by individual lot to begin with. She has no real sense of what they will bring but estimates it could be between $10 and $100 per lot, depending on the interest.

For more information, visit

By BILL RYAN, Sentinel-Tribune Staff Writer

SOURCE: The Sentinel-Tribune