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Langston, John Mercer, House

Oberlin, Ohio
County of Lorain.
National Register Number: 75001464
Resource type: Building.
Property type: Domestic - single dwelling. The threat level was Watch in
Congressional District: OH-13 Certified Local Government: YES

Statement of Significance (as of designation - May 15, 1975):
From 1856 to 1867, this simple clapboard structure was the home of John Mercer Lanston (1829-1897), the man who became the first Black American elected to public office when he was elected township clerk in 1855. He later served in the Freedman's Bureau and was first dean of the Howard University Law School, U.S. Representative from Virginia (1890-91), and Minister to Haiti.

Interior structural issues--an architectural assessment is being done.

Nothing has been done on the house in the past two years. However, the structure is in need of work and stabilization. Dr. Cousins has just received back an architectural report that she had done on the house. Please be aware that this report was not done by someone with an historic architectural background. She is going to send this report to Geoffrey Burt at NPS and then talk with NPS personnel to see how to proceed. According to this report the house is sagging and there will need to be supports placed in the basement of the house. Within the next few months Dr. Cousins is also going to have trees cut back and cut down around the house. These trees are impacting the foundation of the house. The front porch is also in need of numerous repairs and Dr. Cousins wants to speak with the NPS personnel so that it will be done properly. Visually, you can not see the existing structural problems from the exterior.

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