Welcome to 5K in Cincinnati. Chronicled here is the revitalization of a house in the Camp Washington neighborhood of the Queen City. Located 3 miles from downtown, Camp Washington includes a mixture of industrial and residential buildings sandwiched between I-75 and a train switching yard. Builder and Artist Mark Dejong, a Cincinnati native, purchased the house for just $5000 in the winter of 2012, and completed its transformation a year later. By then he had renamed it “Circle House” because of the recurring circular motifs he encountered or implanted throughout the renovation process.
Dejong’s background includes a formal education in Fine Arts followed by a career in residential construction , where he gravitated towards a specialization in plaster restoration, carpentry and wood finishing. This particular house project follows a handful of other home restoration projects in various Cincinnati neighborhoods. For him, breathing life back into an old house like this is an opportunity for him to express his own playful aesthetic sensibilities, re-imagining various elements of the layout and finishes while also choosing to preserve certain ‘clues’ to the building’s history. He describes his process as striking a balance between a contribution of his own personal vision on the one hand, and a respect for the original architecture and craftsmanship on the other.