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
As preservationists, we constantly fight the misconceptions and notions that people have about continuing to use existing buildings, or rehabbing buildings that have been vacant. I came across one such example a few weeks back in the Record Herald, Washington Court House’s daily newspaper.
The headline read “Jeffersonville school to be demolished soon” and the article briefly recounted the impending demise of a small-town school building. Quoted in the article, the county’s chief building official provided arguments about why the demolition, for a 1924 school building that had been vacant since 2008, was needed.
Demolition argument #1: the cost of retrofitting
“Usually those old buildings with the way they were built…we’re not able to retro-fit them with new mechanical things. The cost is just overwhelming.”
Demolition argument #2: since the building has been vacant for a period of time, demolition has inevitably become the only choice
“Sooner or later (old buildings) do become a hazard…It can’t go anywhere but down the longer it sits.”
What’s ironic is the last sentence of the article, discussing the site’s future once the school has come down:
Ideas being discussed for the future of that site include an apartment building and/or possibly a small park.
Now, let’s contrast the demise of the Jeffersonville School with the rebirth of the Hawthorne School in Dayton, a historic school building currently in use as, surprise, apartments!
Built in 1886 in McPherson Town, a picturesque Dayton neighborhood, the school served as an educational hub until 1974 when the district abandoned the building. The building served other purposes but was completely vacated in 1987, its age beginning to show. Although developers showed interest in the building, no viable proposal came forward until 1998 when the building was finally rehabilitated into residential apartments. In other words, the building sat vacant and in disrepair for 11 years before it was successfully redeveloped.
The redevelopment was a true public-private partnership as both the City of Dayton and the private developer brought their respective tools to the table: private equity, tax credit incentives, a city loan, HOME funds, and CDBG funds. The result still stands today: a historic apartment building that adds to the fabric of a historic neighborhood.
When comparing these two paths, what really stands out is the community mindset when making a decision about a vacant building. Does the community view the building as an asset to invest in, or does the community view the building as a liability. If these two schools switched communities, do you think the results would have been different: the Hawthorne building preserved in Jeffersonville, and the Jeffersonville school demolished in Dayton, because of the qualities of each building? Or is it the community mindset (and will to preserve) that ultimately signs a building’s death warrant, or grants its rebirth?
As our annual round of Top Preservation Opportunities comes up again this year, we hope to once again reach out to the “Jeffersonvilles” of Ohio and influence (and educate) the mindset of the historic, but vacant, building as a liability, to become a mindset of the building as asset. We’ll let you know what happens.
We wanted to let you know that registration for “The Buck Starts Here” is now live. You can register here. What is “The Buck Starts Here” you ask? So glad you did! It’s a two-day training on February 25 & 26 that we’re very excited to bring to you, in partnership with the Ohio Historical Society, the Ohio Local History Alliance, and Goettler Associates. A training designed for small nonprofits, The Buck Starts Here will cover critical fundraising topics including:
Board Development (developing a board to take an active role in fundraising)
Case Statements (creating and fleshing out your organization’s case statement to assist you in making your case to funders)
Annual Campaigns (tips for running effective annual campaigns to provide your organization with a regular funding stream)
Donor Stewardship (learning how to develop meaningful relationships with your donor base to increase your funding base over time)
Effective fundraising is a critical skill for any small nonprofit to master. With this in mind we’ve kept the registration fee affordable at only $50 for the full two-day training, thanks to the generous support of the Jeffris Foundation. You’ll also have the option of joining us for dinner on Monday evening for $20 if you’d like. Each attendee will receive a notebook filled with information on fundraising for future reference.
We do require that two people from each organization register for the training in order to ensure each organization receives the most benefit from the training possible.
If you need accommodations while in Columbus, we’ve worked out a special room arrangement with The Westin Columbus for $109 per night. Just mention “Heritage Ohio” when making your reservation.
We hope you’ll plan to join us in Columbus, but hurry, space is limited, so register today!
Contact us at email@example.com or 614.258.6200 for more information and stay tuned to our website, eblasts, and Revitalize Ohio magazine for updates!
Yesterday the Ohio Development Services Agency (the former Ohio Department of Development) announced the tax credit awards from the 9th Round of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit. You can read the full release here.
The big projects we’ve seen in the past are back again (Cleveland rehabs account for tens of millions of dollars in project costs); however, we also continue to see the emergence of smaller projects. The Lazarus House Apartments in Columbus will be rehabilitated into three apartment units in Columbus, at a total project cost of $265,860, taking a state tax credit of $46,195. While I love to see big projects such as the East Ohio Building in Cleveland with its 65 million dollar construction impact, I’m even more heartened to see the scale of projects receiving funding. I could envision the Lazarus Apartments happening in any of our Main Street communities, and I know if we can pump more construction investment into our Main Street communities, they will be better positioned to thrive far into the future.
Stay tuned to Heritage Ohio and Ohio DSA for updates on the state tax credit. For now, the next date to remember is March 30, 2013. Round 10 applications are due then.
Best wishes to you for a prosperous 2013 filled with preservation & revitalization!
Heritage Ohio’s Preservation Pop Quiz is back (thanks to Preservation in Pink for supplying a great blog idea!) One of my favorite buildings in Ohio is pictured below. It’s a county courthouse that looks much like it did when it was constructed in 1858.
Here’s an additional visual hint: the courthouse features nearly symmetrical wings. The north wing pictured below originally housed the Recorder’s and Treasurer’s offices. Can you guess the city and county where this iconic historic courthouse is located?
Submit your answers in the comments section below. We’ll update you soon with the answer to the location question. Good luck!
Answer Update: The above images show the Ross County Courthouse in historic downtown Chillicothe. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Anyone on the front lines of preservation & revitalization gets quickly drawn into the window debate: repair or replace? Many people on the preservation side of the issue advocate saving, maintaining, and repairing (when needed) your older and historic windows. There are many reasons to save, but there’s also a lot of discussion out there about the value of window replacement. Two common pro-replacement arguments revolve around the functionality, or lack, of old windows, and the implied energy savings when converting to new windows. Here are a couple great sources to counter those arguments, one from Restore Michiana outlining the how-to of reconditioning windows, and one from the National Trust sharing data on energy performance when comparing old and new windows.
Do you have great sources of information when it comes to saving your historic windows? Please share them in the comments section below.
Everyone involved in Ohio history activities, from archivists, to collections, to building preservation is excited to finally have the Ohio History Fund, created by the donations of Ohioan’s at tax time. We each now have the opportunity to contribute various amount when we file our Ohio Tax Returns. Thousands of dollars will be available through this grant program. If you are interested in applying, link here to read more about the fund, and then submit a letter of intent to apply to get the process started.