Julian Building Easement

272 S Front St,
Columbus, OH 43215


In December of 2013, Heritage Ohio received a conservation easement on the Julian, a former shoe factory located at the corner of Main Street and Front Street, in downtown Columbus. And anyone who had spent time downtown prior to 2013 remembers what the building looked like.

With a history as a builder of new retail and residential buildings, Casto, the building owner, was embarking on a new venture: namely, a historic rehab. And it’s safe to say that their first Columbus target was one of downtown’s ugliest buildings, the former Julian and Kokenge Building (or Lape and Adler, as it was known for a portion of its history). It’s also safe to say their foray into rehab turned out to be an unqualified success!

To see the building today, you might not realize that the windows are replacements, comprising a design painstakingly replicated to be faithful to the original. And you might not realize the extent of concrete and masonry restoration work that went into repairing the exterior elements.

We were especially excited to promote the building’s amazing transformation in October of 2015 as the venue for our Legacy Circle Reception, kicking off our annual conference. Attendees gathered on the ground floor for networking, and had the opportunity to tour model units.

“We know that preservationists have a keen vision for ‘what could be’ but I think even ardent preservationists had a hard time envisioning just how good the Julian Building could look, after rehab. But the Casto developers pulled it off, and now we all get to enjoy this beautiful historic building once again, gracing the downtown streetscape,” stated Joyce Barrett, director of Heritage Ohio.

For more information on Heritage Ohio’s easement program, contact Frank Quinn at fquinn@heritageohio.org or at 614.258.6200.

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Toledo Club Easement

235 14th Street,
Toledo, OH 43604


When Heritage Ohio took its first easement, an agreement executed in 2004 on the Rawson Block in Findlay, the scope of the easement covered changes to the façade, only. However, easement agreements can cover the entire exterior of a building; indeed, the IRS subsequent to 2004 required a conservation easement agreement to cover the entire exterior of a building, if the building owner wanted to treat the easement agreement as the equivalent of a charitable contribution to Heritage Ohio). Easement agreements can also cover the interior of a building, and even specific elements within a building. When Heritage Ohio accepted an easement on the Toledo Club in July of 2012, it marked the first instance of an easement agreement that included not only the protected exterior, but also included protected interior spaces. It also marked the first instance of a non-profit donating an easement to Heritage Ohio.


Toledo Club Exterior

If you’re not familiar with the Toledo Club, it’s just as amazing on the inside as it is the outside. A fine example of Georgian Revival architecture, the club has been housed here since the building’s construction in 1915. 2012 Legacy Circle Reception attendees may remember the Red Room at the Toledo Club, with its warm oak paneling, and coffered ceiling with intricate stencils. And each room could be considered a piece of architectural artwork.

Centennial Room 2

Centennial Room in the Toledo Club

Joyce Barrett, executive director of Heritage Ohio, commented on the Toledo Club easement: “Our collaboration with the Toledo Club shows how flexible an easement agreement can be, and that the property owner concerned with the long-term preservation of their historic building, whether for-profit or not-for-profit, could benefit by partnering with Heritage Ohio.”

For more information on Heritage Ohio’s easement program, contact Frank Quinn at fquinn@heritageohio.org or at 614.258.6200.

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YOP Columbus Metropolitan Library Tour & Cocktail Party

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 4:30 PM – 9:00 PM

The Columbus Metropolitan Library recently underwent a major renovation and we cannot wait to see the results! Join YOP for this tour and learn from the pros how the contemporary addition respected this beautiful historic library. The tour will be lead by Project Architect Brian Pawlowski, with Schooley Caldwell. It will take about an hour, and he will give a detailed description of the design decisions made.

The Parking Garage in the basement of the Library provides plenty of spaces, however there is a small cost. There is on-street parking also available. We will meet in the atrium in the Carnegie Library to begin our tour.

Following the tour, stroll over to a Town Street Garden Party hosted by Columbus’s leading preservationists, Jeff Darbee, Nancy Recchie, Bob Loversidge, Judy Williams, and Kate and Tom Matheny. Enjoy drinks and snacks, and a wonderful atmosphere you can only get in downtown’s historic corridor.

If you just want to tour the library with us, please register below. The tour is free, however, space is limited.

Please be sure to register for the cocktail party and take advantage of the opportunity to have a drink with leading professionals in historic preservation and architecture. If you are a paid YOP member then it is just $10. If you have not yet joined YOP it is only $35, which includes your $25 membership and all the benefits that come with it.

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The Municipal Light Plant Easement

577-589 W Nationwide Blvd
Columbus, OH 43215


facade_east_elevation_IMG_1245_BrightIn December of 2015, Heritage Ohio held a signing ceremony to formalize its latest easement agreement, focused on protecting the exterior character of the former Municipal Light Plant in Columbus. The Municipal Light Plant represents the ninth easement agreement Heritage Ohio holds. Although the light plant had been closed since the 1970s, and seemed destined for a date with the wrecking ball, City of Columbus leaders instead eyed the potential for site development that included the preservation of the existing buildings.

After sending out RFPs, and opening the building for public viewing and walk-throughs, the winning proposal (which thankfully included preservation of the site’s buildings) was chosen. The developer focused on redevelopment plans, and contacted Heritage Ohio to inquire about donating an easement. With official word of listing in the National Register in December, the building was now deemed “officially” historic. Listing now meant the owner could donate the easement to Heritage Ohio, giving the owner eligibility to treat the easement donation as a charitable contribution. The charitable contribution allowed the owner to take a tax deduction on federal income tax.


“We’re excited that we can help play a role in the continued use and preservation of historic buildings, and that the easement donation preserves the historic former Municipal Light Plant in perpetuity. We can’t wait to see the developer’s finished product, as the rehabilitated buildings will add to the vibrancy in the district,” stated Joyce Barrett, director of Heritage Ohio.

The Municipal Light Plant easement comprises the fifth easement agreement in Columbus, and includes agreements for preservation of iconic structures such as the Julian, and the Larrimer Building (housing the landmark Elevator Brewery & Draught House). Heritage Ohio accepted its first easement in 2004, working with the owners of the Rawson Block in downtown Findlay to insure the landmark’s preservation.

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Tiffin Dollars and Sense of Building Rehabilitation Workshop

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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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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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2016 Old House Fair

OHF Logo-Logo without border

Join us in Medina, rain or shine, for Heritage Ohio’s second annual Old House Fair. Whether you come for the artisan demonstrations, vendor displays, the Old House Fair Olympics, or to explore a beautiful historic downtown, you’ll enjoy this fun learning opportunity. Tickets are just $10 and available for purchase here!


Plus, here is your chance to meet Bernice Radle from American Rehab on the DIY Network. She is also a preservation force  in her hometown of Buffalo, and the inventor of heart-bombing!

WHEN: May, 7, 2016   9:00 AM – 5:00 PM

WHERE: The Public Square in downtown Medina, Ohio

TICKETS: $10 per person, ages 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased here or at the door.

But wait, there’s more! We’ll have a special Pre-Old House Fair Reception featuring Bernice on Friday, May 6, beginning at 6:00 PM at Root Candles. You can learn more and buy tickets for just $25 to attend here.



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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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