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2009 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award Recipients

Public Education and Awareness Award to Lakwood Historical Society, City of Lakewood, Lakewood Heritage Advisory Board and LakewoodAlive their collective efforts to recognize, preserve, and promote Lakewood’s historic resources.


The Lakewood Historical Society, the City of Lakewood and LakewoodAlive have worked collaboratively to increase awareness of Lakewood's heritage and promote the preservation of our community's heritage. Their work has contributed significantly to improving the quality of life in Lakewood through historic preservation.

In 2003, the City of Lakewood embarked on a $150 million dollar redevelopment project that threatened several mid-century apartment buildings and about 50 homes. When voters narrowly defeated this project because of the City's proposed use of eminent domain, a matter that attracted national attention, many wondered about the future economic vitality of this dense, built-out streetcar suburb.

But since that time, the City of Lakewood has undertaken several historic preservation initiatives. New development has taken place in a planned and precise manner on vacant lots. Other development includes the adaptive use of the former Lakewood Tennis Club/Elks Lodge as a Winking Lizard and the First Church of Christ Scientist as the Maxxum Corporation offices. The City’s Heritage Advisory Board has surveyed all of the commercial buildings in the City and assigned a ranking of historic and architectural merit to help support careful development and preserve the best resources.

In 2005, the City strengthened its demolition ordinance and that same year, the City and Chamber of Commerce raised funds to bring a Heritage Ohio DART (or: Downtown Assessment Resource Team) to Lakewood. Lakewood applied for and was accepted into the state Main Street Program and has become a leading financial supporter of the program, through First Federal Lakewood and Lakewood Hospital.

In 2006, The City's Department of Planning & Development nominated the Birdtown neighborhood to the National Register of Historic Places. One of Lakewood's oldest neighborhoods, Birdtown is an ethnic enclave first developed for Eastern European workers of the Union Carbide Company. It has distinctive architecture, including a number of eastern European churches with onion domes, commercial buildings with stepped parapets, and houses with elaborate corbelling.

In 2008, the City passed a Preservation Ordinance, which went into effect this year that codifies the city’s local historic preservation program. And this year, the Lakewood Historical Society’s primary site, the Honam/Hotchkiss House, became Lakewood's first locally designated landmark.

The Lakewood Historical Society, which has traditionally focused on its museum, archives, and education programs, took on a stronger historic preservation focus in 2007 by creating a Preservation Fund for endangered properties. To date nearly $20,000 has been raised.

The Lakewood historical society offers an annual trolley tour and a biennial house tour that highlights Lakewood’s historic architecture and celebrates compatible new construction. A lecture series co-sponsored with the Lakewood Public Library focuses on the history of the area and addresses historic preservation issues. One example is the Historic House Specialist education series presented with co-sponsor Belmont Technical College.

By strengthening its historic preservation legislation, designating districts both nationally and locally, and using historic preservation as an economic revitalization tool through Downtown Lakewood and the Main Street Four Point Approach™, the City of Lakewood is securing its future economic vitality incrementally and building both literally & figuratively on its existing unique and historic resources.

2009 Awards 
Presentation Image. Click to view slides of the awards presentation.

Click here to return to the list of 2009 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.

Click here for a list of past Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.


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