Sustainability staff at Bingham House
Photo courtesy of: Office of Sustainability
Mar 4, 2013
From staff reports
In an effort to provide the Ohio University Athens campus with increased accessibility to sustainability-related services, the Office of Sustainability has relocated to the Silas Bingham House on the corner of Richland Avenue and Shafer Street.
"This is really an exciting move for us," said Annie Laurie Cadmus, director of sustainability stated. "Bingham House is a unique building in the heart of campus, so it's so much easier for volunteers and visitors to find us."
The space currently houses one full-time staff member, seven student employees and a diverse group of volunteers.
The staff has been working to redefine the space to reflect sustainable practices and offer a modern, adaptable work environment. This is being done in an effort to cater to a wide array of learning and work styles, making the office even more inclusive to individuals campus-wide.
"I like that it's a historic location; it's a landmark of the university in many ways … We can really take ownership of the space and connect its function to sustainability," explained Pronoy
Ray, a graduate assistant in the Office of Sustainability.
This move was one small piece to a much larger institutional movement toward sustainable space management. A variety of office moves are currently taking place campus-wide in an effort to more strategically connect OHIO office functions to the building and location of their workspace.
"I really applaud the work of our space planning and facilities staff at OHIO," said Cadmus. "Space planning is an integral part of the institution's sustainability efforts and-from what I've seen-Ohio University is really emerging as a leader in this discussion nationally. So, it was exciting to be included in the process of appropriately managing and sustaining work space."
The Bingham House, a two-story log cabin, was moved twice before becoming a visitors' center.
According to the Ohio University virtual tour, the house was built in the early 1800s and was first located on South College Street. It was believed to be the home of Silas Bingham, a Revolutionary War hero, successful businessman, and the first sheriff of Athens County.
The log structure served as Athens County's first courthouse, and was the residence of Robert G. Wilson, the third president of Ohio University, and John Newton Templeton, who became the University's first black graduate in 1828.
In the mid-1800s, the house was moved to East State Street. In 1987, it was moved again to its present site after the community, campus, and Athens County Historical Society and Museum raised the funds for it to be dismantled and relocated. Athens architect David Callahan assisted in the move. The students from Tri-County Joint Vocational School in Nelsonville, Ohio, did the work on the center under the direction of their instructors Ron Smith and Harold Sorrell.
"The history of the building and the community's efforts to protect it offer a really unique connection to sustainability, making it the perfect place for Office of Sustainability to house its offices," explained Cadmus.
The Office of Sustainability work space is located on the first and second floors of the building and is open Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors and guests are encouraged to stop by during those times. Though, any visitor wishing to speak to a member of the staff during their visit is asked to set-up an appointment in advance to make sure a member of the staff is present and available.
Office of Sustainability can be contacted by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 740-593-0460.
The Bingham House will now serve as the primary meeting location for Office of Sustainability programs such as the Sustainable Ohio University Leaders (SOUL). For more information about upcoming programs and meetings facilitated by the Office of Sustainability, review the upcoming events online at www.ohio.edu/sustainability.
The building also houses the Visitors Parking Registration desk, which is open Mondays-Fridays 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.