Temperance Row Historic District

Vicinity of Park, Grove, Walnut and University Sts., Westerville, Ohio

Historic District of homes in what was once the temperance capital of the United States


Southeastern Boundary of the HD

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in August 2016




"The Temperance Row Historic District is a predominantly early 20th century residential neighborhood in Westerville, Ohio, that is noteworthy for its strong association with the leading organizers and promoters of the Anti-Saloon League of America (ASLA) during the period from 1910-1935. The district is comprised of 43 contributing resources, including 27 houses, one six-unit rowhouse apartment building (counted as six resources), and 10 garages. There are nine non-contributing residential buildings and six non-contributing garages constructed after 1935.

"The six houses on the west side of South Grove Street in the district became known as "Temperance Row" because they were built and occupied by lead organizers of the Anti-Saloon League of America beginning in 1910. All are contributing. They include the homes at 131 West Park Street and 67, 79, 101, 109 and 117 South Grove Street.)

"Set on a prominent angle facing the intersection of Park and Grove Streets immediately south of Otterbein College, "Greendale" was built in 1910 as the home of Purley and Lillie Baker (131 West Park Street). Sited to take advantage of the sloping contours of the land tot he southwest, the home has an exposed lower level at the rear. Clad in brick at the lower story and clapboard at the upper story, the generously-sized Bungalow features a broad front porch and a second-floor shed dormer across the main fašade. A pair of small roof dormers, purlins at the eaves, multi-paned original windows and a large exterior gable-end chimney are all part of the intact Craftsman character of the home. Used today by Otterbein College, the home's interior features a large recessed fireplace area as well as original woodwork and light fixtures. While other buildings that the Bakers constructed (including a greenhouse and sanitary milk house) no longer stand, an important remaining building from their occupancy is the c. 1915 cobblestone garage now located at 60 University Street. Another building associated with the Bakers is the home to the south at 67 South Grove that was built in 1923 and occupied by Lillie Baker following the death of Purley Baker in 1924. This house is a two-bay frame Dutch Colonial Revival with flared rood and broad side porch overlooking a landscaped yard. The property includes numerous trees and a flagstone walk leading to the front entry portico...

"...The boundaries reflect the 11-1/2-acre tract of land purchased for residential development by Purley Baker after his arrival in Westerville as General Superintendent of the Anti-Saloon League in 1909. This nominated area contains an intact collection of properties built for of occupied by organizers, manager and workers employed by the Anti-Saloon League of American beginning in 1910. In addition to its shared development history, the neighborhood is well defined by natural and institutional land uses on three sides that were present during the period of significance" Alum Creek on the west, Otterbein College on the north, and Otterbein Cemetery on the south. (Otterbein College and Otterbein Cemetery have histories that are separate and distinct from this neighborhood.) On the south, newer properties on the east side of South Grove Street that housed several Anti-Saloon League workers during the early 20th century and that physically related to the original six "Temperance Row" homes on South Grove Street. Further to the east is a large residential neighborhood dating from the mid-late 19th century that does not share the development history of association with the Anti-Saloon League of America that Temperance Row Historic District does."

Adapted from the National Register of Historic Places Nomination Form prepared by William V. Merriman, Judith B. Williams and Beth A. Weinhardt of the Westerville Public Library, June 26, 2008. A link to the document is listed below under "Sources."

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 16, 2008
Reference number
Architectural styles
American Movement: Bungalow/Craftsman; Late 19th and 20th Century Revival: Colonial Revival; No style
Areas of significance
Architecture; Social History
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; B - Person; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
Single dwelling; Multiple dwelling; Secondary structure; Library
Current functions
Single dwelling; Multiple dwelling; Secondary structure; College
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1910; 1935
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 43
Non-contributing buildings: 15

Update Log 

  • August 28, 2016: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated status, added GPS coordinates, added description and added photos