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Securing Funding for Historic Knights of Columbus Building in Findlay

Securing Funding for Historic Knights of Columbus Building in Findlay


MSG's Cultural Resources team helped secure federal and state historic preservation tax credits to help finance the rehabilitation of the former Knights of Columbus building in Findlay, Ohio. Located in the Downtown Historic District, the building was constructed in 1876 and occupied for over 20 years by David Adams, the first African American barber in Hancock County, Ohio.  

Born and raised in Urbana, Adams married and came to Findlay around 1848, where he became a well-known local businessman. In the 1850s, he was a conductor on the Underground Railroad, helping scores of fugitive slaves travel from Findlay to the Canadian border and freedom.  At the close of the war, he drove a team of horses across the country and lived in the West for three years, travelling by boat around Cape Horn on his return to Ohio.

Back in Findlay, David Adams operated his barbershop from a first-floor storefront on the south side of the County Courthouse.  He retired in 1893 and passed away in 1913.  In 2001 a historical marker was dedicated in downtown Findlay acknowledging the Underground Railroad work of David Adams and others in the county. Several of his descendants are still living in the Findlay area.

Flood-damaged and vacant for several years, the former Knights of Columbus building was rehabilitated in 2016. It now contains three deluxe townhouse apartments that are within easy reach of Findlay’s downtown businesses and entertainment, reflecting the growing popularity of walkable communities throughout the country. With the help of MSG’s preservation professionals, the developers realized over $180,000 in savings on their project.