IHS Built Environment Typology : Objects and Elements of Buildings & Structures : Sidewalk Basements

Examples of Sidewalk Basements

And Other Architectural Subterranea

Wissler Block

38 North Paint Street

Nipgen Block

Wissler Hardware Store


  1. [Partial list of "Streetscape" schedule on sidewalk basements.]

    List of one-third of the 115 sidewalk basements surveyed and listed in the "Streetscape" plans. More not previously known of were found during construction.

  2. ["Tunnel Connected Two Houses, in which a Murderer Was Kept Secreted."]

    In the late 19th century Cadwallader Wallace II shot a friend after he slandered a woman friend. Wallace went into hiding for several weeks in a house, and when authorities thought to search the house, he scurried out of it into the house across the street through a tunnel that connected the underside of the front porches. He eventually left town in the guise of a woman.

    Story copied from an 1898 Cincinnati newspaper which concerns one of the few actual urban tunnels I know of, under the western end of West Second Street. I believe it is filled in or sealed off now, and have not seen it or any signs of it. From the archives of the Ross County Historical Society, Chillicothe, Ohio. The article was probably written at the time the house was razed and replaced with the c1898 house currently at the site.

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  • < Obj+Ele_ArcSubt_SBsmt_eg.html >
    (Adapted 7/24/02 from "I_Sidewalk Basements" entitled "Sidewalk Basements and Other Architectural Subterranea"
    v 1.3 - Previously edited 7/7/1998, 10/5/1998).
    Presentation and paper originally given April 12, 1993 for GHP 680, The Historic City. Ted Ligibel, Instructor.
    Historic Preservation Program, Eastern Michigan University. Ypsilanti, Michigan.

    Chillicothe, Ohio, USA