Renz Block

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Renz Block
Renz Block site in Lima.jpg
Site of the block
Renz Block is located in Ohio
Renz Block
Location 320 N. Main St., Lima, Ohio
Coordinates 40°44′36″N 84°6′18″W / 40.74333°N 84.10500°W / 40.74333; -84.10500Coordinates: 40°44′36″N 84°6′18″W / 40.74333°N 84.10500°W / 40.74333; -84.10500
Area less than one acre
Built 1900
Architect Charles W. Dawson
Architectural style Late Victorian
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 82001354[1]
Added to NRHP October 7, 1982

The Renz Block was a historic commercial building in downtown Lima, Ohio, United States. Located along North Main Street across from the Allen County Courthouse, the block was built in 1900 in a late variant of the Victorian style.[1] A three-story building, the Renz Block was constructed primarily of brick with stone details; the roof was flat and made of asphalt. Among its leading aspects were an elaborate parapet and heavily decorated facade, including windows with doubly sashed transom lights.[2]

The Renz Block was named for baker Jacob Renz, its second owner, who founded a bakery on North Main in 1887. By 1903, his business had expanded to the point that he needed to purchase larger premises; accordingly, he bought a nearby three-year-old building and established his business there. For many years, the company was a leading part of the local economy; at the time of its sale to another company in 1958, it was the largest bakery in Allen County.[2]

When the Renz Block was constructed, Lima was in the middle of an economic boom prompted by the recent discovery of petroleum in the nearby vicinity; the city's population had grown 300% in the previous fifteen years, and many large buildings were being erected in the city's downtown. Its architecture was comparable to or superior to that of many other period buildings; a 1980 survey ranked it as one of the most prominent examples of late nineteenth-century architecture remaining in the city.[3] In recognition of its significant architecture, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, along with seventeen other downtown buildings.[1] Another of these buildings was the nearby Metropolitan Block, which remained an even better example of late nineteenth-century architecture than the Renz Block.[3] Since that time, the Renz Block has been demolished; although it is still listed on the National Register,[1] a parking lot sits at its location.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2009-03-13. 
  2. ^ a b Owen, Lorrie K., ed. Dictionary of Ohio Historic Places. Vol. 1. St. Clair Shores: Somerset, 1999, 17.
  3. ^ a b Hopkins, Phyllis G. National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Lima Multiple Resource Area. National Park Service, 1980-05-15, 5. Accessed 2010-04-24.
  4. ^ Photograph in infobox