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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Troy Main Street Seeks Executive Director

Troy Main Street Executive Director Job Description

1. Work Objective
The Troy Main Street Director coordinates activity within a downtown revitalization program which utilizes historic preservation an integral foundation for downtown economic development. The Director is the principal on-site staff person responsible for coordinating all project activities locally as well as for representing the community regionally and nationally as appropriate.

2. Full Range of Duties to be Performed

A. Develop, in conjunction with the Troy Main Street Board of Trustees, strategies for downtown economic development through historic preservation utilizing the community’s human and economic resources. Become familiar with all persons and groups directly or indirectly involved in the downtown commercial district. Assist the Troy Main Street’s Board of Trustees and committees in developing an
annual action plan for implementing a downtown revitalization program focused on four areas; design/historic preservation, marketing, operations/management, and business enhancement/development.

B. Coordinate activity of Troy Main Street committees, ensure that communication between committees is well established; assist committees with implementation of work plan items.

C. Coordinate all administrative aspects of Troy Main Street, including purchasing, record keeping, budget development and accounting, business inventory, preparing all reports required by the state Main Street Program and by the National Main Street Center, and assisting with the preparation of reports to funding agencies.

D. Develop and maintain a close working relationship with the City of Troy to ensure that all aspects of the downtown revitalization efforts are compatible with the goals and objectives of the City.

E. Coordinate and participate in ongoing public awareness and education programs designed to enhance appreciation of the downtown’s architecture and other assets and to foster an understanding of Troy Main Street’s goals and objectives. Through speaking engagements, media interviews and appearances, keep Troy Main Street highly visible in the community.

F. Assist individual tenants or property owners with physical improvement projects through personal consultation or by obtaining and supervising professional design
consultants; assist in locating appropriate contractors and materials; provide advice and guidance on necessary financial mechanisms for physical improvements.

G. Assess the management capacity of downtown businesses and encourage improvements in the downtown community’s ability to undertake joint activities such as promotional events, advertising, special events, and business recruitment. Encourage cooperation between downtown interests and local public officials.

H. Work closely with local media to ensure maximum event coverage; encourage design excellence in all aspects of promotion in order to advance an image of quality for the downtown.

I. Represent the community at the local, state, and national levels to important constituencies. Speak effectively on Troy Main Street’s directions and findings. Help build strong and productive working relationships with appropriate public agencies at the local and state levels.

3. Resource Management Responsibilities
The Director supervises any necessary temporary or permanent part-time employees, as well as professional consultants. He/she participates in personnel and project evaluations. The Director maintains Troy Main Street records and reports, establishes technical resource files and libraries, and prepares regular reports for the state Main Street Program. The Director monitors the annual budget through monthly financial reports.

4. Job Knowledge and Skills Required
The Director should have a bachelor’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following areas: public relations, marketing, volunteer recruitment/management, event planning and management, commercial district management, small business development, non-profit administration, fundraising, architecture, and retailing. The Director must be sensitive to design and preservation issues. The Director must understand the issues confronting downtown business people, property owners, public agencies, and community organizations. The Director must be entrepreneurial, energetic, imaginative, well organized, and capable of functioning effectively in a very independent situation. Excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential. Supervisory skills are desirable.

Minimum Requirements 1. Skills and experience meet description above; 2. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience; 3. Proficient in Social Media, Microsoft Office and Excel; 4. Must be able to work occasional nights and weekends; 5. Must be able to lift 30 pounds.

Application Process The deadline for submitting an application is January 31, 2015. Please submit a resume, cover letter, and two writing samples to the Troy Main Street Board of Trustees at troymainstreetresumes@gmail.com. All submissions must be electronic. Compensation is commensurate with experience, and does not include medical benefits.

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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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The Tax Credit Roundup

We’re celebrating the most recent announcement of Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit awards (Round 15, for those of you keeping score). Here’s a selection of newspaper articles from across the state, highlighting some of the award recipients and their projects.

This cincinnati.com article provides an overview of the Cincinnati projects receiving credits.

Check out an overview on Cleveland projects from Crain’s here.

In Cleveland, the downtown Huntington Building will use its $25 million catalytic award to help defray a $270 million project. Read more here.

An iconic Bexley movie theatre is among the Columbus-area projects to benefit from the latest OHPTC round. Read more here.

Dayton’s long-neglected Steam Plant will receive tax credits to spur its redevelopment.

In Eaton, a former high school will be converted into senior housing.

Downtown Newark’s Brunswick Building is slated for redevelopment.

Wittenberg joins a growing list of Ohio universities utilizing tax credits to redevelop their historic buildings. Read more here.

For the basics of the program, you can learn more at ODSA’s website here.

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Advocacy Alert: Proposed tax credit act needs your support!

To the excitement of preservationists across the country, the Historic Tax Credit Improvement Act (HR 3846) was introduced Wednesday, October 28. So why the excitement? For starters, HR 3846 offers the following tax credit improvements:

1) Small deals (less than $2.5 million in qualified rehabilitation expenditures) would see the eligible credit jump from 20% to 30%.
2) Transfer of credits as a tax certificate could give owners of smaller projects greater flexibility to bring in investors, and make capital easier to access.
3) Substantial rehabilitation (the threshold for becoming eligible to take advantage of the credits) would drop to 50% of the adjusted basis from the current 100%.

Add in better treatment of state tax credits when it comes to federal taxation, and other improvements, and you can begin to see how these changes, if passed, could inject a wave of new investment for countless small project rehabs.

Here in Ohio, we have Representative Pat Tiberi, and Representative Mike Turner to thank for helping lead the way as original co-sponsors of the bill, but we’re reaching out to you today, to encourage you to contact your representative, to ask him or her to sign on as co-sponsors for HR 3846 (or to thank Reps Tiberi and Turner for their support). You can find your representative here.

Check out this one-pager from the Trust, which summarizes the bill and how it improves the current federal historic tax credit.

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YOP Green Lawn Abbey Marble Cleaning Workshop Recap


YOP members (left to right) Sarah Marsom, Nimisha Bhat, Kalpa Baghasingh, Pearl-Jean Mabe, & Michael Blau.

Built in 1927 by the Columbus Mausoleum Company, Green Lawn Abbey is a neoclassical mausoleum listed in the National Register of Historic Places and has been undergoing a restoration for a number of years. With 1½“ thick granite walls, marble interior and an imported tile roof, it still impresses with its regal structure and beautiful stained windows. Over the years, the Abbey’s foyer floors have accumulated large areas of badly stained marble from years of organic and metallic damage.

Enter Community Partnership Grants Coordinator for the City of Columbus and fearless leader Kate Matheny. Kate has dedicated herself to restoring Green Lawn Abbey to make it into a usable space for programming, and successfully acquired CLG grants and other opportunities to preserve this historic structure. The Young Ohio Preservationists worked with the Green Lawn Abbey Preservation Association to coordinate a workshop in order to learn about and do some hands-on marble cleaning on July 25th. Kate, her husband Tom of Schooley Caldwell Associates, and Matt Wolf of the Centennial Preservation Group kicked the workshop off by giving a history of the building and its structure. The workshop volunteers learned about different types of marble, how the Abbey’s preservation management plan was created, and the basic process behind marble restoration.

Matt Wolf explaining how marble poultice works.

Matt Wolf explaining how marble poultice works.

After surveying the test area set aside for cleaning, volunteers got a brief explanation from Matt about the type of poultice being used on the marble. The poultice, once applied, thickens over time and basically pulls up stains and dirt from the marble. The poultice had been applied a little over 24 hours prior to the workshop, and no one quite knew what the results would be. Workshop volunteers then rolled their sleeves up and got to work, removing the poultice as a team by peeling it back slowly. Wet rags and water were then used as an additional measure to remove any remaining dirt that had been brought up by the poultice.

Peeling off the poultice with a little team work.

Peeling off the poultice with a little team work.

Volunteers discovered a 75% improvement after all the cleaning efforts, and it was decided that the marble would look shiny and new after a few more applications of the poultice and a little more elbow grease!

A before and after comparison of the marble pre- and post-poultice.

A before and after comparison of the marble pre- and post-poultice.

To become involved in future restoration events at Green Lawn Abbey, keep an eye out on the Green Lawn Abbey website and their Facebook page.

For more pictures check out the album on YOP’s Facebook page

Article by Nimisha Bhat


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Have you checked out the Building Technology Heritage Library?

When it comes to historic preservation weaknesses, I have a few (ie, many). And right up at the top of the list are plan books. These historical publications may have covered contemporary house plans, painting palettes, or more esoteric subjects such as cast iron storefronts. As an example, Sears was going all out during the first half of the 20th century, hawking their “Honor-Bilt” homes in their ubiquitous catalogs.

I love perusing these plan books because they provide great insight on what people were building or using, and can provide good rehabilitation inspiration. So, you can imagine my excitement at being reminded about the Building Technology Heritage Library, the multi-year project from the Association for Preservation Technology to digitize these resources and make them available through the Internet Archive. Now, all you need is an internet connection to review the Sears 1936 catalog (go ahead, see what Sears had to offer here) and literally thousands more. Happy online reading!

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Circleville Dollars and Sense of Building Rehabilitation Workshop

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Lakewood Alive leads restoration process for 1446 Mars Avenue home

While the majority of our Ohio Main Street Programs devote 100% of their time to improving their respective downtowns, some programs have begun dipping their toes into the residential revitalization pool. Main Street Wooster helped make the Howey Houses project a reality, and Main Street Medina recently completed its Renew Medina project to give new life to a neglected residence adjacent to the downtown.

Now, Lakewood Alive has teamed with Detroit Shoreway to rehab a former boarding house back into a single-family home. You can learn more about the home’s happy outcome here (and make sure you check out the Before/After image gallery at the bottom of the post).

Although downtown revitalization programs have traditionally focused their resources solely on work to improve the business district, we’ve come to learn that the downtown’s health is more often than not inextricably tied to the health of the surrounding neighborhoods, including the residential neighborhoods that ring the downtown. Programs that have forged community partnerships, and that have the financial and human resources to take on these special projects, are finding that their mission-driven accomplishments sometimes happen outside of the downtown, as well as in the downtown.

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