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And the Preservation Month Photo Contest Winner is…

Update 5/16: With a total of 1,057 votes, by far our most votes ever, congratulations go to Carl E Feather, the winner of the 2016 Preservation Month Photo Contest! Carl’s entry, Night Train Approaching Ashtabula, garnered 464 votes. We’ll be seeing his winning image on a future cover of Revitalize Ohio. Congratulations also to Judith Khaner who won our Peoples’ Choice Award at the Old House Fair in Medina last weekend.

Thanks to everyone who submitted an entry for our 2016 Photo Contest, and to everyone who voted!

Carl E Feather, with his “Night Train Approaching Ashtabula” entry:

 

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Old House Fair Q&A

Old House Fair Q&A: Everything you need to know about our second annual Old House Fair.

We’re excited to bring you the second annual Old House Fair, taking place on Saturday, May 7, in historic downtown Medina, Ohio. If you have questions about the Old House Fair then we’re here to provide the answers.

Where is the Old House Fair taking place?

The Old House Fair is happening right downtown, with sessions and events on Medina’s historic Square, and an additional track of sessions at the Medina County District Library. The library address is 210 South Broadway, and it’s located adjacent to the southeast corner of the Square.

What’s happening at the Old House Fair and where can I see the agenda?

Over the course of Saturday, beginning at 9:30 am with opening comments from Bernice Radle, we’ll have information and demonstration sessions, a variety old house vendors under the big tent, and a host of additional activities. You can view the full Old House Fair agenda here.

What else is happening?

We have a special reception for Bernice Radle on Friday, beginning at 6 pm, at Root Candles. Network with your fellow Old House Fairgoers, meet Bernice Radle, and check out Root’s wonderful candle selection. Tickets are just $25 per person, and each attendee receives a complimentary candle, and a 40% discount on any purchases at Root Candles! You can purchase your tickets here.

The Old House Fair Olympics are back and better, beginning at 1 pm. Here’s your chance to test your old house IQ and tool skills in a friendly competition with your fellow fairgoers. To the victors will go the coveted “Golden Hammer!”

New this year, we’ll have the Preservation Month Photo Contest Peoples’ Choice Cash Award. Our 2016 finalist images will be on display Saturday, and we’ll have in-person voting. You can vote by putting a dollar or two toward your favorite image, and the finalist image that receives the most votes (dollars) during voting wins their “votes.”

For the kids coming to the Old House Fair, we’ll have a mini-barn raising happening right on the Square beginning at 10 am. Paul Knoebel, a charter member of Friends of Ohio Barns, will direct the barn raising process. In the process, the children will learn about the traditional craft of timber framing, and how the barn fits together with large posts and beams, securing the frame with just wooden pegs. Children under 13 can attend the Old House Fair free of charge with a parent’s paid ticket to attend.

Finally, the Medina Town Hall & Engine House Museum located at 50 Public Square will be open 11 am-2 pm on Saturday. A great local history museum, stop in to learn more about the story of Medina and what makes this community unique.

How much are tickets and where do I purchase them?

Tickets are just $10 to attend and available for purchase here. Children under 13 can attend for free with a parent’s paid ticket.

Where do I park?

Medina has plenty of free parking around the Square. Check out this map with parking lots noted here.

What about restrooms?

Medina has a public restroom facility, including a family restroom, located on the northwest corner of the Square, which will be accessible during the Old House Fair.

What food options do we have around the Square?

Medina offers a veritable cornucopia of dining options ringing the Square, so grab a bite to eat at noon, and we’ll see you back for the afternoon sessions. Check out dining options here.

We love our sponsors and vendors and hope you do too!

The Old House Fair wouldn’t be possible without the support of our major Old House Fair sponsors, Benjamin Moore Paints and The Painted House & More, and the City of Medina, and our local partners Main Street Medina. And thanks to our vendors: Community Action Wayne/Medina, Medina Community Design Committee, Progress Through Preservation, Total Home Inspection Services, Ursuline College Historic Preservation Program, and Young Ohio Preservationists.

We hope we’ve answered your questions, but feel free to use the Comments below to ask your question and we’ll get you an answer. See you at the Old House Fair!

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Join us for a pre-Old House Fair reception with Bernice on Friday, May 6!

This year we’re kicking off the Old House Fair festivities with a special reception with Bernice Radle on Friday evening, May 6, at Root Candles, beginning at 6:00pm. Tickets to attend are only $25 per person, and can be purchased here.

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Our Preservation Month Photo Contest is open for entries!

Preservation Month is just around the corner…well, OK, still a few weeks off, but, our 7th Annual Preservation Month Photo Contest is now open for entries! We’re looking for great subject matter capturing the spirit of preservation & revitalization in our communities.

And while we’re hoping to capture the spirit of preservation & revitalization, this year we’re also co-opting the #iwanttoberecycled campaign (you can check out the campaign here). So, submit a picture of a great historic building in your community waiting to be recycled, or a photo of a building that has been recycled for a new use and given a new life. We preservationists know that the value of recycling isn’t limited to that plastic shampoo bottle or empty soda can, so let’s broaden the conversation.

When you get that perfect shot, submit it to us. We have a limit of one entry per person, so you have to send us your very best! You can enter here (we have the form at the bottom of the page) or post your entry on our Facebook wall using the hashtag #heritageohiophotocontest. You can also enter through Instagram, again using the hashtag #heritageohiophotocontest. Add the #iwanttoberecycled hashtag, too, and help broaden the conversation about the things we use that deserve to be recycled.

We’ll accept entries through Friday, April 29. Online voting for your favorite finalist begins Saturday, May 7, and closes at 5 PM on Friday, May 13. Our photo contest winner, bringing preservation fame and a featured spot on the cover of Revitalize Ohio, will be announced Monday, May 16.

New this year, when we name our finalists on Saturday, we’ll have in-person voting for a Peoples’ Choice Cash Award at the Old House Fair. The finalist image that receives the most votes (dollars) during voting at the Old House Fair gets to keep their “votes.”  So, if you’re at the Old House Fair, check out the finalists and put a buck or two toward your favorite.

Some guidelines to remember: be creative and original with your photo composition…we love photo entries depicting historic buildings in use (or, for this year, historic buildings waiting to be in use); make sure your image highlights Ohio subject matter; and finally, use your best judgment as to whether or not you should get permission from the building owner before photographing your subject matter.

The Arcade

Our 2015 winner, Judith Khaner, captured the architectural beauty of The Arcade in Cleveland

Good luck!

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OHC’s SHPO looking to the future with publication of its 2016-2020 preservation plan

Our State Historic Preservation Office recently unveiled its most recent preservation plan. Finding Common Ground: A Historic Preservation Plan for Ohioans | 2016-2020 seeks to help steer the conversation, and, more importantly, guide the actions of preservationists across the state to achieve critical preservation goals over the next few years. You can download a copy of the plan here.

Cover of the historic preservation plan published by the State Historic Preservation Office

Cover of the historic preservation plan published by the State Historic Preservation Office

Being the preservation geek that I am, after I read through the plan, I rummaged around in my file cabinet and pulled out the previous preservation plan. I wanted to see how we’re doing when it comes to achieving the goals that we as Ohioans set for ourselves. There were six goals listed (and numerous opportunities under each of the goals):
Goal 1.Pay for preservation
Goal 2.Educate the public
Goal 3.Identify historic resources
Goal 4.Get involved
Goal 5.Lead!
Goal 6.Promote historic preservation

Under each of the six goals was listed a series of opportunities, and I’m happy to report, Heritage Ohio has played a role in furthering many of the opportunities listed in the previous plan. From our advocacy efforts at preserving and strengthening the state tax credit, to providing training to design review boards, to leading efforts to secure an economic impact study on the effectiveness of the state tax credits, we’re working on a day-in, day-out basis to move preservation forward.

And looking outside the context of the preservation plan, we have great initiatives we’ve launched independently. I firmly believe that Ohio’s next generation of preservation leadership resides within the Young Ohio Preservationists, and they have accomplished so much in just the past couple years. Our Save Ohio’s Treasures fund, when capitalized, will provide one of the few sources of brick and mortar loans for worthy preservation projects. Our Old House Fair, back for a second year in Medina in May, was launched to help give owners of old buildings a chance to network and learn from the artisans doing work on those old buildings. So, while we know that the work is never truly done, we’ve taken some important steps over the past few years in the name of preservation, and will continue to do so in the future.

So, take a look at the new plan, take a look at the goals, and let us know: what’s most important to you as an Ohioan? Where do you see opportunities for Heritage Ohio to help continue moving preservation forward over the next few years?

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Is Ohio Next?

Have you kept up with the recent proposals coming from the Wisconsin and Michigan legislatures? Legislators in both states have sought to weaken laws when it comes to local design review. In Wisconsin, perhaps the most chilling language in the proposed legislation (you can read the full text here) focuses on what a property owner can do with his/her property:

“A city may not designate a property as a historic landmark without the consent of the owner. A city may not require or prohibit any action by an owner of a property related to the preservation of special character, historic or aesthetic interest, or any other significant value of the property without the consent of the owner.”

Chelly 2014 with other building

Would you think historic buildings would be endangered species in a local historic district? They will, if Michigan and Wisconsin legislators get their way.

Do you read this the way I do? If passed, this legislation would allow the owner of a property in a local district the right to alter or demolish the property, regardless of its historic significance. Which means that maybe the local district’s most important reason for existence, preventing shortsighted demolitions that erode the strength of the district, gets tossed out the window.

In Michigan, the legislature proposes (bill text here) additional hurdles for keeping their local districts in existence:

“A historic district in existence on the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection shall dissolve 10 years after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this subsection unless the question of its renewal is submitted to the electors in the local unit at the regular election immediately preceding the date that the historic district would otherwise dissolve and a majority of those electors voting at the election approve the renewal of the historic district.”

So, if you like and want to keep your historic district, not only does it go away as a rule after 10 years, but in order to keep your district you have to convince a majority of voters in your city to grant the district another 10 years of existence. Interestingly enough, when deciding to delist a local district, the legislation doesn’t seem to require the same popular vote hurdle.

So, what’s wrong with private property owner rights? Nothing. But cities need to balance community needs with individual rights. In a historic district, you can’t just protect your investment by keeping your property in great shape. If every owner surrounding your property decided to replace their historic buildings with vacant, weeded lots, what would happen to the value of your property? That could be a real possibility if Michigan’s proposed legislation is allowed to pass.

Whenever I see copycat legislation pop up in nearby states to Ohio, I always wonder when the same proposal may find its way to Ohio. I hope our General Assembly doesn’t have proposed legislation up its sleeve to gut the benefits of our local design districts, but after seeing what’s happening in Wisconsin and Michigan, I wouldn’t be especially surprised to see something like this proposed.

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Heart Bomb 2016 just days away!

This year’s Valentine’s Day will include a first for Ohio: a coordinated statewide heart bombing of selected buildings. The Young Ohio Preservationists have partnered with Columbus Landmarks Foundation in Columbus, and with 13 different Main Street programs throughout Ohio to supply hearts for decorating historic buildings.

So, what exactly is heart bombing? The National Trust’s web site defined heart bombing this way: “It’s the act of showering an older or historic place with tangible expressions of affection and devotion–preferably with lots of other place-lovers in tow.”

Heart bombing the buildings you love is a great way to call attention to their plight, if vacant/underutilized, or to celebrate the historic buildings that provide your community’s sense of place.

Thanks to YOP for taking the lead on this visual celebration of historic buildings in our state, and the people who love them!

(You can keep up on all the goings-on during Heart Bomb 2016 by visiting the YOP facebook page here.)

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Putting the call out for Old House Fair vendors and sponsors

We’re excited about our upcoming second annual Old House Fair in Medina’s historic downtown on Saturday, May 7. We’ll have sessions geared toward owners of older buildings, and we’ll be bringing back the Old House Fair Olympics, giving attendees the opportunity to test their old house skills in a competitive (but friendly!) setting.

Bernice Radle will be our special guest. She recently starred in the latest season of American Rehab, airing on DIY Network, and brings an amazing energy and enthusiasm for preservation. We’re happy to have her join us!

Sponsorship and vendor opportunities are available. We hope you plan to join us! You can learn more about sponsorship and vendor participation below.

Click here to learn more about the Old House Fair.

Click here for information about Title Sponsorship.

Click here for information about the full range of sponsor/vendor opportunities.

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Wonderful Wood Windows!

Here in central Ohio we’ve had our first real blast of winter over the last couple of days…snow flurries, temperatures in the 20s, teeth-chattering winds, the whole nine yards. And, if you live in an old house with wood windows (like I do), you’ve likely felt that wintry reminder when passing by one of those windows.

So, maybe it was just a wintertime coincidence (or destiny) that one of the first emails from a concerned Ohioan to Heritage Ohio in 2016 brought a plea for help, requesting assistance to convince the owner of a historic building not to dump their original wood windows.

As you can imagine, this is one of the most common email discussion roads we go down. Too often, this is what we find: building owners ready to toss their original sash because they don’t function. The sash are painted shut; the sash, if opened, don’t stay up (the sash cords broke long ago); or, as in my case, when you walk by the window in the dead of winter, you can feel the breeze inside the building. In that case, weatherstripping is the issue.

While solving any of these window issues isn’t especially difficult, too often, the owner freezes once that thought, “the hassle of repair,” goes through their mind, and they reach for their tablet to google “window replacement.”

There has been a lot of marketing from the replacement window industry extolling the virtue of replacement windows. When it comes to windows, we’ve gone through a good 40 years of purging the word “maintenance” from our collective consciousness, while the window replacement industry has trained people to believe that the “hassle” of repair is a fate worse than death.

To counter this, we preservationists have begun promoting the value of preserving original windows with groups such as the Window Preservation Alliance. And the National Trust has recently put a greater focus on quantifying the value of wood windows, why preserve, and how best to preserve. Their report, Saving Windows, Saving Money, has been especially helpful for us. The report quantifies the energy savings, cost, and return on investment for a variety of window treatments, including weatherstripping, installing an exterior storm, and installing a new high performance replacement window. And guess what they found? DIY weatherstripping offers an average 31% return on investment, while DIY high performance replacement windows offer a 3% return on investment.

That shiny stuff Rebecca Torsell is nailing onto the jamb may be bronze, but when it comes to energy efficiency, it's worth its weatherstripping weight in gold.

That shiny stuff Rebecca Torsell is nailing onto the jamb may be bronze, but when it comes to energy efficiency, it’s worth its weatherstripping weight in gold.

And this is exactly why YOP offering their hands-on window repair training last year in Columbus was so valuable: giving homeowners the skills to tackle DIY projects such as window repair and weatherstripping SAVES MONEY, while saving the architectural integrity of their homes, while saving money on the heating bill.

Now if only we had the billion dollar marketing budget to get THAT message out!

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Call for demonstrators: 2016 Old House Fair

Heritage Ohio’s second Old House Fair will be held in May in historic downtown Medina, and we’re putting the call out now for demonstrators to submit session proposals. We’re looking for artisans interested in teaching and/or demonstrating on masonry, plaster, windows, stonework painting, energy efficiency, and controlling moisture, just to name a few ideas.

If you’re interested in learning more, you can review our Call for Demonstrators here, and contact Frank Quinn (614.258.6200 of fquinn@heritageohio.org) with any questions you have.

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