An article caught my eye the other day. The Durham, North Carolina, Herald-Sun posted an article about the expansion of the Cleveland-Holloway historic district, and the ensuing controversy regarding which properties to include in the expansion, and which properties to exclude. You can read the article here.
Particularly, one 2-acre lot has been at the center of the conversation: a vacant (but prime for development) parcel. So, why would a vacant parcel be included in a historic district? Without any historic resources, how does the parcel warrant inclusion? The answer may have something to do with the properties surrounding the lot, and what future development on the lot might look like. However, before we try to get to the bottom of the vacant lot and the historic district, let’s talk a little about the initial process for determining the inclusion of resources in a historic district.
Evaluating a property to understand its historic significance can sometimes get complicated. The National Park Service (NPS), through its National Register Bulletins, provides a framework we can use to guide us through the evaluation process. By determining integrity, which the NPS defines as “the ability of a property to convey its significance,” we can come to a good conclusion about whether a property would be eligible for inclusion in the National Register, or a contributing resource in a local design review district.
When we consider the integrity of a resource, we’re looking for signs of how the resource has changed or hasn’t changed through the decades. If I’m asked to judge the integrity of a resource, I ask myself this question first: if we could bring the original builder/occupant of the property forward in time to join us today, would he or she recognize the property as their own? Has the neighborhood changed radically since the building was constructed? Has the building itself changed radically over the years? The less sure I am that time traveler would recognize the building, the less sure I am that building retains the integrity needed to be considered a historic resource.
And when we judge integrity, the NPS asks to us to judge based on seven different aspects, including location, design, and setting, among others. Location often comes down to, as you might expect, physical placement, and usually comes into play when a property has been moved. Design may focus on the single property and its appearance, a streetscape, or the entire district, and oftentimes these aspects all help to determine significance and integrity. Not only is the alteration of the building important to consider; alterations in the vicinity of the building that alter design must also be considered. Finally, setting considers the character of the property in question. A good example of loss of setting: the historic 1830s farmstead constructed on a 200 acre farm that has been subsequently swallowed up by subdivisions of new homes on the land. Even though the original house still exists, the surrounding land has been so severely altered that it would be difficult to capture the feel of the property as a working farm. If you want to dive into the different aspects of integrity, you can read more here.
In the case of the Durham expansion, I think the central issue comes down to this: future construction on the vacant lot could compromise the integrity of the local district as a whole, based on the aspects of design and setting. Therefore, one way to stave off future construction that doesn’t fit into the character of the district is to add the vacant parcel to the district, thereby (if the ordinance is written to provide oversight for infill/new construction) putting future construction under design review. In the case of the Durham expansion, the current property owners don’t want the added layer of regulation, while many of the adjacent owners don’t want an out-of-scale development that could jeopardize the character of the district.
If this controversy came before you, how would you resolve this issue? Traditionally, historic districts were enacted to preserve significant properties. But, when we consider design and setting when evaluating the integrity of significant properties, adjoining parcels and what’s built on them can influence the look of the district, for better or worse.
You can provide your thoughts in the comments section below.
For communities and building owners who want to know more about successful building rehabilitation.
First the community needs to set the stage, and create an environment where building rehabilitation is understood and encouraged.
Second, building owners need to understand how to deal with historic buildings and what tools are available to help.
Learn how you can be more successful at rehabilitating your historic buildings.
Register for this workshop HERE
Main Street Orrville Executive Director
Orrville is located 60 miles south of Cleveland in the heart of Ohio, Wayne County, and is home to The J.M. Smucker Company. It is a city of 8,500 people with a strong manufacturing base, a quaint downtown, and an overall positive community team approach. The Main Street Orrville Executive Director must be highly self motivated, and well organized, possess excellent written and oral communication skills, and willing to lead. In addition, the successful candidate must be entrepreneurial and comfortable engaging with a wide variety of constituents. The ideal candidate will have strong experience in event coordination, fundraising, marketing and budget oversight.
- Executive Director will be responsible for coordinating downtown revitalization activities through the Main Street program. Main Street Orrville is a nationally recognized Main Street Program.
- The Executive Director will serve as a visionary, listener, and collaborator with various civic and professional constituents in the community, particularly downtown business owners and residents.
- The Executive Director will oversee all administrative, programming and financial duties.
- The Executive Director will represent the organization in all communications, partnerships and community relationships.
- Applicants should possess a Bachelor’s degree. Preferable 2-3 years relevant work or experience
How to Apply
Submit resume, letter of interest and three references by July 17, 2013 to email@example.com
|Type||Full Time or Part Time TBD|
|Offered By||Main Street Orrville
133 S. Main St.
Orrville, OH 44667
|Salary||Commensurate with Experience|
A Membership Coordinator is needed to develop and manage membership and respond promptly to inquiries from prospective members, members and partner communities and organizations. The membership coordinator is responsible for coordinating programs and events to increase and enhance Heritage Ohio’s membership. To find out more, click here.
We’re pleased to announce the three finalists of our Preservation Month Photo Contest and need your help picking the winner!
To vote, click on each photo below to view it, select your favorite, and click vote.
Voting will continue through Friday, June 30. We’ll announce the winner of the 2013 Preservation Month Photo Contest on Monday, July 1.
With Ohio photographic fame and a Revitalize Ohio cover image on the line, the stakes are high! Good luck to our finalists!
Update June 28: Voting has almost closed. If you haven’t voted yet, make sure you vote for your favorite! We’ll announce the winner here on Monday!
Update July 1: Congratulations to Kirstin Krumsee, the winner of Heritage Ohio’s Preservation Month 2013 Photo Contest! The interior of the Victoria Opera House struck a nerve with our voters. Touted as the last remaining opera house in Fairfield County, the Victoria has very concerned citizens on its side, as it faces an uncertain future.
Thanks to everyone who voted for our three finalists. We’ll feature Kirstin’s winning image on a future cover of Revitalize Ohio.
We have a terrific training coming up in Troy later this month (register here) on the arts as a driver of community economic development. Arts professionals from across the state will share their insights on building arts programs from scratch, pairing arts programs with comprehensive revitalization strategies, securing program funding, and creating arts programs in small towns.
Kathy Cain of the Ohio Arts Council will share information about funding opportunities for local arts initiatives and arts programs. Robb Hankins will share his experiences with starting a local arts program, and funding the program on a shoestring budget. Linda Parsons will guide attendees through the process of creating a local arts program in a small town.
If your community could benefit from injecting life into your existing arts program, or starting a new arts program from scratch, then plan on joining us in Troy on June 26th.
Incorporating the Arts in Urban Revitalization
June 26, 10AM-5PM
The Market Square Community Room
405 SW Public Square, Third Floor
Free to Main Street programs and Downtown Affiliates as a benefit of membership
$75 for Heritage Ohio Members
$125 for non-Members
Join Heritage Ohio today to start receiving member benefits!
Added bonus! While you’re here for the training, check out Troy Main Street’s special event, Sculptures on the Square. The sixth installment of this popular event features sculptor Seward Johnson’s bronze statues. Sculptures on the Square brings art into the public realm, encouraging people to come downtown and experience everything downtown Troy has to offer.
About our speakers
Program Coordinator, Ohio Arts Council
Kathy Cain joined the OAC in September 1984. During her tenure at the OAC, Ms. Cain has worked in several program areas. Currently, she is a program coordinator for organizations in the eastern and central sections of the state, including Ohio’s entire Appalachian region, Columbus and central Ohio. Ms. Cain also coordinates the Ohio Artist on Tour program and the International Music and Performing Arts in Communities Tour. The Ohio Artist on Tour program enables Ohio’s arts organizations to tap into the creative potential of Ohio artists to enrich their programming and the vitality of their communities. The International Music and Performing Arts in Communities Tour program provides the opportunity for organizations to bring international performing arts to their communities. Ms. Cain is a past recipient of the Ohio Arts Presenter Network’s Award of Merit for service to the performing arts. Ms. Cain lives in Lancaster with her husband, Gary, and enjoys spending time with her grandchildren.
President & CEO, ArtsinStark
Robb Hankins has spent the last 30 years directing city, county and state arts agencies in eight different states. He has managed annual arts campaigns, arts festivals, public art projects, arts education programs, and downtown arts districts.
Robb arrived in October 2005 to become the President & CEO of ArtsinStark, the County Arts Council. The organization called ArtsinStark today was founded in 1968 to build the Cultural Center for the Arts. ArtsinStark’s mission is “to use the arts to create smarter kids, new jobs, and healthier communities.” ArtsinStark gives out grants, manages the Cultural Center, and runs the Annual Arts Campaign. For the last 7 years ArtsinStark’s Annual Arts Campaign has made its fundraising goal every year, and has increased giving to the arts by nearly 75%. In May 2013 it raised $1.7 million, the highest amount in its 40 year history. ArtsinStark is the winner of the 2012 Governor’s Award for the Arts.
CEO and Artistic Director, ArtWorks
Tamara Harkavy is the founding director of ArtWorks. Since its launch in 1996 as a job-training and employment program for talented teens, ArtWorks has become a leader in employing artists of all ages, creating public art and initiating innovative arts programming for the city of Cincinnati. Under her leadership, ArtWorks has employed more than 2,500 youth and over 500 professional artists to work on countless arts projects. Many of these works of art remain in public and private venues, as testaments to the artistic talents of the participants. Tamara and her team were also the creative force behind the Big Pig Gig in 2000 and again in 2012. ArtWorks is now hard at work on its many initiatives, including its community mural program, its entrepreneurial training program, SpringBoard, and its ArtRX offerings, in which they create art for and with hospital patients and their families.
ArtWorks was the winner of the 2010 City Livability Award, by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, for its mural program. Tamara was invited by U.S. Representative Steve Driehaus to be the Key-note speaker to address the winners of the 2010 Congressional Art Competition. ArtWorks has also been awarded three prestigious Post-Corbett Awards, the Ambassador Award from the Convention and Visitors Bureau, a Community Impact Award from the American Marketing Association, and recognition from Hillary Rodham Clinton for ArtWorks’ leadership and vision.
Tamara, a 2007 Cincinnati Enquirer Woman of the Year, serves on the board of Tender Mercies and was a founding member of the Cincinnati Reds Community Fund. She has co-chaired two major events celebrating Israel’s 50th and 65th birthdays for Cincinnati’s Jewish Federation and acts in an advisory capacity for many smaller arts organizations. She has recently joined the group CEOs for Cities. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of Cincinnati and a bachelor’s degree from Arizona State. She is the mother of jazz drummer Ben Sloan, and is married to artist and real estate guy, Matthew Kotlarczyk.
Trustee, Yellow Springs Art Council
Appraiser & Art Dealer, Linda L Parsons Art Sales
Linda owns and manages an art appraisal service near Yellow Springs. She began appraising and dealing art in Denver, Colorado, with offices at the historic Zang Mansion. She later opened a business in Santa Fe, New Mexico and was a silent partner in the now defunct “Denver Rio Grande” gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her current business maintains connections in Denver, Santa Fe and Taos, New Mexico. Linda has served as board member and president of the “American Art Society” in Cincinnati, whose mission involves research and preservation of American painters and sculptors. She brings arts gallery management and business skills to YSAC.
It’s May, so you know what that means: Preservation Month!
This year, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has chosen the theme “See! Save! Celebrate!” to help spur the creative juices when it comes to highlighting preservation in your community. Here are three ways you can recognize Preservation Month in your community using the Trust’s theme.
See! Architectural Scavenger Hunt
What better way to get your residents to take a fresh look at your historic resources than by holding an architectural scavenger hunt? Long-time residents may see your historic neighborhoods in a new light, and new residents may be interested in a fun activity such as this to learn more about a community’s special buildings.
The idea is to identify unique architectural features that make your historic buildings special (elaborate window designs, stained glass transoms, intricate cornices) and then to publish a guide of the features. Contestants then investigate the neighborhood to match the feature to the building and its location, and enter a drawing for a prize. The prize doesn’t have to be especially elaborate. A popular item I’ve seen is gift certificates to community businesses for the winner.
Save! Hold a special lecture on the importance of historic preservation
Whether you’re focused on the benefits of preserving historic wooden windows, or the architectural history of your community, preservation at its heart is about preserving the special, unique qualities of our built environment. Your historic buildings and neighborhoods are absolutely unique to your community, and your residents will care so much more about your historic stock when they learn what it is about a building’s architecture and history that makes it unique.
In Main Street we’re always selling the importance of using existing assets as the foundation of building a great revitalization program, so let people know about your historic assets. What exactly provides the character that makes your town unlike any other? An old building that’s just known as an old building is too easy to forget and neglect, but a building with stories and architectural character can become a landmark and a source of preservation pride.
Celebrate! Recognize your community’s preservation accomplishments with an awards ceremony
Recognize recent building rehabs, tireless volunteers, and leadership organizations with a special ceremony, giving your recipients a chance to take a victory lap in front of their peers and neighbors. Preservation Awards hardly ever include a cash prize, but that’s ok because public recognition is a powerful way to say “thank you” to someone who is raising the profile of preservation in your community.
To add some weight to the awards process, look at partnering with another entity. For example, the Michigan SHPO partners with the governor’s office to present the “Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation.” The ceremony is held at the state capitol and you can bet recipients feel honored to be recognized in such an important setting.
Heritage Ohio is celebrating May as Preservation Month in a couple different ways. We’re holding our annual photography contest (and we’ve extended the deadline for entries to May 24), and we will honor the best accomplishments in preservation & revitalization at our Annual Awards Luncheon on May 23, during our annual conference. We hope you’ll submit a photo, join us in Columbus at our Annual Awards Luncheon, or participate in a local Preservation Month activity as we all work to raise the profile of preservation in Ohio.
It’s interesting to work in a field where most of the people I interact with don’t “work in my field.” I am constantly being asked to speak about how to save a building or how to research a building for a National Register Nomination, and ultimately why would you do a National Register Nomination. By no means is this an exhaustive list, it is intended to provide a framework that will allow Heritage Ohio, Ohio Historic Preservation Office, and other organizations better assist you as you try to save a building in your community.
Saving a Building 101
I will immediately ask you three things: 1. Who owns the property? 2. What is the significance of the property? 3. What legal steps have been taken?
Who Owns the Property
Is it privately owned or publically owned? Is the owner willing to work towards saving the property? Owner consent is vital. If it is privately owned, the owner must be cooperative or open towards saving the property. Public ownership is when the city or county have control over a building.
How to find out who owns a property – Many resources are available for free and online to determine ownership of a property or building. County Auditors websites have searchable databases that provide information on a specific address over time, allowing you to see who currently owns the building as well as any previous owners. Example:Columbus County Auditor Property Search
What is the significance of the property?
Is it architecturally significant? Connected to a specific person or place in history? Is it part of a broad national context?
How to find out the significance of a property: the National Register database is searchable by county, city, property name, address, as well as many other fields. This is a quick way to determine if the property already has a National Register Nomination. Example: Ohio Historic Preservation Office/National Register Searchable Database
What legal steps have been taken?
Has there been a building study? Have the courts condemned the building? Is there a demolition date?
Property rights are well protected in America. National Register properties are not protected from demolition, and ultimately the owner has the final say whether private or publically owned.
From here Heritage Ohio and other historic preservation organizations can help determine the best scenario moving forward.
Who to contact? Local governments may have a design review committee or a preservation coordinator. Also local cities may have an Ohio Main Street program or Local Preservation Organizations who can help. At the state level, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and Heritage Ohio can help guide you in the right direction based on the answers to the above questions. Finally, at the National Level there is the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Once the building has been saved (or in many cases just saved from immediate demolition) the next step is finding a viable use. We call this Adaptive reuse. Each community needs to evaluate the needs of their community to determine the best fit for not only the building but the area.
As with all business ventures, a business plan is essential. The idea has to be financially viable today and in the long term.
When searching for an adaptive reuse project, there are three areas to be thinking about:
Initial Purchase/Investment If publically owned, is it possible to have the property donated? If privately owned, is the owner open to negotiation on the asking price? Be prepared for upfront costs associated with assuming ownership of a building.
Keeping the Lights on. As an organization, you need to be able to keep the lights on in a building for a minimum of 5 years. What does that electric and heating cost come to? Are there any administration fees available?
Rehabilitation Costs. Often times historic buildings need to be brought up to building code around the time of a title change or purchase. You need to be aware of the cost of upfitting a building even to the base minimum building code. Also, many times an organization needs to find a developer to take on the project. There may be significant fees associated with this.
Finally, your organization needs a way to pay for these costs and services. Forming a non-profit is one option. The benefits of being a 501c3 nonprofit are the ability to accept funding and grant money from public and private sources. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office has many grants and funds for “bricks and mortar” which refers to actual building and construction expenses, such as fixing a roof or bringing the electrical work up to code. One program is Ohio’s History Fund. However, you need to legally be able to accept public funds. If you don’t have any organization willing to help, you will have to become a nonprofit yourself.
While this is only the beginning steps to saving a historic landmark in your community, it provides a strong foundation in order for Heritage Ohio and other historic preservation organizations to assist your project.
Happy Preservation Month to you! Each May preservation organizations across the country, including Heritage Ohio, celebrate historic preservation with special events and activities. Our Preservation Month 2013 Photo Contest will focus on Saving Ohio’s Treasures. We want to see you with the places that matter in your life and the places you want to see preserved for future generations of Ohioans. We’ve created a special sign for you to hold in your photos, which you can print off from our website.
We’ll accept entries through Friday, May 24, choose our finalists, and open the online voting for the winner on May 27. Online voting closes on June 3 and we’ll announce the winning entry on June 10.
Some guidelines to remember:
- The subject matter of the photo must be physically located in Ohio
- Judging criteria for choosing photo finalists include originality, subject matter, and artistic merit
- Photos should highlight historic locations that merit being preserved as an Ohio Treasure
- We also encourage photos depicting historic buildings in use
Again this year, we’ll feature the winning entry on the cover of Revitalize Ohio, so here’s your chance for Ohio photographic fame. Good luck!
Heritage Ohio staff and about 40 Ohioans, including Main Street Managers, and downtown revitalization advocates attended the conference, hosted this year in New Orleans. Having just completed 5 days of inspirational and educational sessions, I thought I would share my top ten things learned, in no particular order:
1. The JOBS Act of 2012 allows for locavesting and crowd funding, providing more options for financing businesses to create jobs. There are many more platforms than I realized, and they are all slightly different, so finding the right match is important.
2. The Entrepreneur – the term is thrown around so much we’ve begun to lose sight of who we mean. It can be anyone: a car mechanic, a gardener, a knitter, a computer geek. Think small, not so big. Make your downtown welcoming to anyone with a business idea; create an environment of support where business can thrive.
3. Sponsorship – believe in the value of your program and its activities. Develop relationships with your sponsors with as much thought to the follow-up as to the ask.
4. Streetscape projects can be challenging for downtown businesses. Effective communication, frequent progress meetings and a creative attitude will get the community through the process.
5. Business Enhancement Committees can create a Recruitment Manual to give them structure month after month to make the best use of your market analysis data and help you find the new businesses that belong in your community. Court your new business candidates.
6. Fundraising isn’t so hard when everyone is able to share the story of your downtown. Use your revitalization statistics. Tailor your story to the listener’s style.
7. What is trending in 2013? Diversity, young talent, young women, deliberate spending, shortened commutes, health and wellness, main stream technology.
8. Transportation – Reduce our car-centric decisions. Walkable communities are the future. Healthy and hip, they attract the young people, your town’s future.
9. Millennials (under 30 yrs.) – get them on your board and committees, or you may go the way of the dinosaurs.
10. New Orleans is a party city.
Thousands of communities across the country are doing creative work in revitalizing their downtowns and neighborhood commercial centers. You too can be part of this amazing process, it’s all about the can-do attitude.