2015 Annual Conference

The Heritage Ohio Annual Revitalization and Preservation Conference returns to the historic Westin Columbus October 5-7 in downtown Columbus, Ohio.

This year’s conference will once again present great learning opportunities for preservationists, community revitalization volunteers, and development professionals. There will be many activities such as field sessions, educational workshops, hands on training, and the chance to network with like-minded community members. In addition, AIA credits will be offered on many of the sessions.

Conference Presentations

2015 Conference Registration Fee Chart


Heritage Ohio Annual Conference Sessions

2015 Annual Conference Accommodations

Register is now closed!



Donovan Rypkema is principal of PlaceEconomics, a Washington, D.C.-based real estate and economic development consulting firm. The firm specializes in services to public and non-profit sector clients who are dealing with downtown and neighborhood commercial district revitalization and the reuse of historic structures. In 2004 Rypkema established Heritage Strategies International, a new firm created to provide similar services to worldwide clients. He also teaches a graduate course in preservation economics at the University of Pennsylvania.


Mary Means has spent more than 30 years building bridges between plans and people. She has helped scores of cities, towns, counties and civic interest groups make their communities better places to live, work and visit. Prior to entering consulting, Mary led the team that created the National Main Street program at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. She was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

The 2015 Legacy Circle Reception will be held on October 5. This reception, held every year at the annual conference, honors the support and generosity of our Legacy Circle members. This year the Legacy Circle Reception will be held at:

The Julian Building

272 South Front Street,

Columbus, Ohio 43215

If you are interested in information about our membership opportunities, click on the membership tab at top of the page.

Thank you to everyone who has joined Heritage Ohio this year as a conference sponsor. Your support helps us keep conference registration prices affordable. Thanks to:
Boulevard Strategies
Brad DeHays
Buckeye Hills-HVRDD
Chambers Murphy & Burge
Cheryl Stephens
Coon Restoration
Craig Gossman/Source 3 Development
CT Consultants
DS Architecture
FirstMerit Bank
Frontier Communications
global X
Gray & Pape
Heritage Architectural Associates
John Gerlach & Company LLP
Lamplight Industries
Longwell Legal LLC
Marvin Windows
MCM Company
Novogradac & Company LLP
Ohio Arts Council
Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing
Ohio Group Insurance Consultants
Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office
OHM Advisors
Orton Family Foundation
Perfect Balance
Plante Moran
Poggemeyer Design Group
Rausche Historic Preservation, LLC
Sandvick Architects
Schooley Caldwell Associates
TRIAD Architects
Ulmer & Berne LLP
Union Metal

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Accepting Applications for Heritage Ohio Downtown Program Coordinator

Heritage Ohio is hiring the Downtown Program Coordinator position to coordinate the Franklin County Downtown Works program and assist in coordinating the Ohio Main Street Program. This position is full-time and only guaranteed for three years. The individual filling this position will be an employee of Heritage Ohio and answer to the Director of Revitalization. This position has three primary responsibilities in serving all Franklin County Municipalities except the City of Columbus, Ohio Main Street Communities and Ohio Downtown Affiliate Communities. The salary is negotiable and health benefits are included.


Franklin County Downtown Works
Serve as coordinator for the Franklin County Downtown Works Program

  • Meet with community leaders and stakeholders in all of the targeted municipalities to explain the Downtown Works program
  • Provide capacity building services including; board development, fundraising, community buy-in, strategic planning and work planning
  • Develop benchmarks, timetables and goals including mutual expectations for Heritage Ohio and participating communities
  • Orient and train downtown managers
  • Develop and implement county wide training and networking calendar
  • Collect and track economic impact statistics
  • Develop partnerships with government, business, and organizations to build further benefit to Franklin County communities
  • Providing on-going support through community visits, emails and phone consultations
  • Track visits, attendance, trainings, network meetings, phone calls and emails
  • Conduct Annual Review Process for Downtown Works communities
  • Educating and communicating with all elected officials in effective revitalization practices
  • Familiarity with all Franklin County marketing, mapping, economic development, marketing and small business programs
  • This position will work closely with Franklin County Economic Development staff and provide regular progress reports.


Ohio Main Street Program
Serve as associate coordinator of the Ohio Main Street Program

  • Develop and implement revitalization training series
  • Assist in putting on Heritage Ohio Annual Conference
  • Conduct Ohio Main Street Program Annual Evaluations
  • Collect and track economic impact statistics
  • Providing on-going support through community visits, emails and phone consultations
  • Track visits, attendance, trainings, network meetings, phone calls and emails
  • Assist in distribution and or collection of OMSP contracts, payments, monthly reports, and contact information


Downtown Affiliate Program
Serve as coordinator of the Downtown Affiliate Program

  • Providing on-going support through community visits, emails and phone consultations
  • Track visits, attendance, trainings, network meetings, phone calls and emails
  • Help support training needs and communication strategy with junior tier programs
  • Grow the Downtown Affiliate Program through public presentations, articles, calls and emails


General Office

  • Support Heritage Ohio office functions as needed
  • Attend Board of Trustee meetings, prepare board reports as requested
  • Promote membership, support fundraising efforts
  • Communicate the message to public about revitalization/& preservation
  • Familiarity with Power Point, Photoshop, InDesign, WordPress and similar programs


Candidate must have excellent verbal and written skills, as well as strong public presentation technique; customer service, mediation, problem solving skills and strong computer knowledge are a must.  He/she should understand the issues confronting business people, property owners, local government, public agencies and community organizations.  He/she must be energetic, imaginative and well organized.  Prior experience in local or state Main Street program preferred, and an understanding of an historic preservation ethic as it relates to revitalization. Knowledge of financing, funding, and preservation tools for development is helpful.

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Circleville Dollars and Sense of Building Rehabilitation Workshop

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2015 Annual Awards Call for Nominations

It’s time once again to honor the people, places and projects that exemplify Heritage Ohio’s commitment to growth through preservation and revitalization. Award nominations are due by 5:00 PM, Monday June 15, 2015, for projects completed by December 31, 2014. This year, nominations will be available beginning Wednesday, May 1. We will be accepting nominations for 13 awards using the 2015 Annual Awards nomination form below.

We are continuing to encourage the submission of digital video files that tell the story of the nominee or project. Just include the video file as part of the nomination form that you submit. We look forward to seeing your nominations!



Sorry. This form is no longer available.

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ODSA Announces Cincinnati Historic Tax Credit Event

You are invited to celebrate Cincinnati’s Historic Buildings… 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014
10:00 a.m.
21c Museum Hotel
609 Walnut Street
Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 

The Ohio Development Services Agency invites you to this special event to celebrate Cincinnati’s preservation of historic landmarks. Speakers include David Goodman, Director of the Ohio Development Services Agency; Mary Cusick, Chief of TourismOhio; Stephen Leeper of the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC) and Kevin Pape of the Over-the-Rhine Foundation. Join us for a presentation and tour of the award-winning facility, 21c Museum Hotel and learn about other Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit projects coming to fruition in 2014.

Questions can be addressed to Nathaniel Kaelin, Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program Manager, at (614) 728-0995.

Parking available via valet (for a fee) and at nearby garages

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Announcing the Winner of Heritage Ohio’s Preservation Month 2013 Photo Contest!

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.


The Victoria Opera House, our winning entry

Thanks to everyone who voted for our three finalists. We’ll feature Kirstin’s winning image on a future cover of Revitalize Ohio.

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Top Tips from the 2013 National Main Street Conference

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.

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Combating Vacant Property Workshop

If you missed the vacant property workshop or you’d like to review the materials, you can find them all below.


The Legal Approach to Nuisance Property – Matthew Yourkvitch, esq.


The Cost of Vacant Property & Solutions You Can Use – Alison Goebel, Ph.D.


Sandusky’s Vacant Property Registry – Sandusky Fire Inspector Stephen Rucker


Painesville Vacant Property Registry – Doug Lewis and Cathy Bieterman


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Old World v. New World

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.



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Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits Round 9 Now Open for Applications

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 nathaniel.kaelin@development.ohio.gov 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.

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