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!
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.
If you missed the vacant property workshop or you’d like to review the materials, you can find them all below.
- Sandusky Vacant Property Ordinance
- Vacant/Abandoned Building Evaluation Form
- Commercial/Industrial Vacant Building Plan
I’m in London this week, and miraculously there is not rain in the forecast the entire time I’m here! Part of my vacation assignment was to write something on our blog about my trip. On the long flight from Dallas to London, I wondered what exactly I was going to write about. London offers a lot interesting topics to cover over preservation, revitalization, or whatever else flitted into my sleep-deprived head. But once I landed and made my way to Tower Hill and my hotel, my mind wandered into familiar territory for preservationists: Why does Europe seem to be more capable of reusing its older buildings and resisting the urge to tear them down?
These are more musings to myself than hardened fact, but here are a few thoughts I’ve had over the past few days:
- Some people back home say Americans are too progress oriented, but so are Londoners. Looking just around the Tower Hill area, there are several skyscrapers and plenty of modern buildings. But there are also plenty of older buildings as well. Some have been completely remodeled, while others look virtually untouched since they were constructed over a century ago. I think many of the banking sector employees across from my hotel would definitively say London is progress-minded, just like themselves. But I also think they have an appreciation for the past that is part of their cultural identities, both the the native Britons and the many foreigners who now call London home.
- On the topic of national/community identity, it is really interesting how Americans are unique in this realm, and I do think this may factor into our views of our own communities. I remember long ago, when I was an undergraduate, I was having a conversation with a Belgian girl. She asked me where my family was from. Like any American, I rattled off the list of countries where my ancestors hailed from and she immediately scoffed at the notion that I was anything other than an American. What she wanted to know was if I was from Ohio, or did my family lives somewhere else in The US. She hated that Americans tried to keep their heritage attached to places other than America, Europeans would never do such a thing (her opinion). She does make a good point though. Why do we as Americans hold multiple cultural heritages? Many of us have not met our family members who emigrated and came to America. Even more of us have never visited the country of family origin. But it remains important to us. [Pure speculation here] I wonder if/when Americans do embrace being “just American” with no ethic hyphens attached, will Americans develop a deeper appreciation for the cultural heritage of America? The buildings that defined our golden ages? There’s no way of knowing, but I think when we become “just American”, we’re going to see a growing importance in our cultural history. More than just we’re #1.
- One myth I hear frequently is “We tear our buildings down. In Europe, that doesn’t happen”. While it’s a generalization, I think it affects how American preservationists view the two worlds. Having been in London a for a little over a day, clearly things have been torn down and are going to be as the city continues to grow. A city this old has had plenty of fires, misguided development ventures (None more than those stucco and brick apartments near Hammersmith I saw off the Piccadilly line. Absolutely horrific.), and the like. We romanticize a certain period of time, have architectural styles we all love and others we wouldn’t miss. While London may have a few buildings that are a thousand years old, we have to look at how many of them survived, why, and what replaced the ones which did not. I often wonder if we, the old building lovers of America, would be so angry with old buildings being torn down if it were replaced with a building that was architecturally stunning, constructed with quality materials, and was meant to last more than 20 years? I think we would, but maybe we’d be a little less angry at what the suggested replacement was.
Now I’ve left out a lot of this discussion. Politics, funding, economic conditions, etc. Preservation and reuse of historic buildings is an amazingly complex issue, but we should be fortunate enough to be able to tackle it. So, what do you see as the most important root causation to our preservation issues in America? Let’s us know below in the comments section.
I’ll be share plenty of photos of my visit to London on Heritage Ohio’s Facebook page. Look for them to start appearing in the next few days.
The application period for Round 9 of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is now open. The application form and self-scoring sheet can be downloaded under ‘General Program Forms’ on the program website: http://development.ohio.gov/Urban/OHPTC/. A total of $30 million in tax credit allocation is currently available for Round 9 applicants.
All applicants are required to schedule pre-application meetings with both the Office of Redevelopment and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office prior to submitting an application. Applicants are encouraged to contact both offices early in the application submission period to schedule the meetings to ensure availability. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office can be contacted by calling 614-298-2000.
Please note that applications must be submitted (not postmarked) to the Office of Redevelopment by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, October 1, 2012.
Round 9 will be administered on the following schedule:
- Application Submission Deadline: October 1, 2012
- Application Review Period: October 2 – December 17, 2012
- Approved Applications Announced: on or before December 31, 2012
Please contact Nathaniel Kaelin at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the application and to schedule a pre-application meeting. Thank you for your interest in the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program.