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State Fiscal Year 2007 Annual Report

Ohio Historic Preservation Office
Collections, Historic Preservation and Statewide Outreach Services Division
Ohio Historical Society

The Society's Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) is the official historic preservation agency of the State of Ohio. It has developed since 1967 when the Ohio Historical Society was 3designated to manage responsibilities delegated to the state by Congress in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Ohio Historic Preservation Office:
  • identifies historic places and archaeological sites
  • nominates eligible properties to the National Register of Historic Places
  • reviews rehabilitation work to income-producing National Register properties for federal investment tax credits
  • consults on federally-assisted projects for effects on historic, architectural, and archaeological resources
  • advises on the conservation of buildings and sites
  • offers educational programs and publications
The office has a staff of archaeologists, historians, architectural historians, a historical architect, and others with professional expertise in preservation-related fields.

The office is funded in part by an annual grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Historic Preservation Fund. The Society received $831,928 for 2007 operations of the Ohio Historic Preservation Office, the seventh highest award of 59 made to states and territories, which represents an increase of five percent over 2006. Of the $554,619 required to match Ohio’s award, the State of Ohio allocated $281,041 via Line 504 of the Society’s budget—the same amount as that allocated in 2005 and 2006. The Society provided other cash match to the grant and non-cash match through its federally negotiated indirect cost rate.

Each year, 10% of the annual Historic Preservation Fund Grant is set aside for grants to local governments in Ohio that participate in the Certified Local Government program. During 2007 the Village of Madison and the cities of Akron and Portsmouth became Certified Local Governments making them eligible to compete for the 10% set aside. A total of 44 communities around the state now participate. For 2007, grants totaling $83,981 were awarded to seven projects: Berea: $16,800 to continue rehabilitation of the Little Red School House–Berea District 7 School; Columbus: $5,330 to complete a adaptive use study for the Richards House, a property owned by the city; Green: $9,600 to develop design guidelines for the community and conduct public education sessions on historic preservation issues and use of the guidelines; Lancaster: $13,250 to revise and update design guidelines for the Old Lancaster Historic District and amend the city’s existing historic preservation ordinance; New Richmond: $7,004 to continue long-term stabilization and preservation of the Ross Gowdy House Museum by repairing or replacing seven windows on the west side of the structure; Parma: $15,000 to continue stabilization of the 1849 Henninger House by addressing moisture and drainage issues in and around the house; Portsmouth: $8,895 to review and update the Boneyfiddle Historic District design guidelines; and Shaker Heights: $8,412 to update, digitize, and reprint the City’s 1983 publication Shaker Village Colors, an important resource and guide to exterior paint colors for residential architecture dating from 1905 to 1939.

Two projects funded with grants from the Ohio Department of Transportation, to digitize known cemetery locations in Ohio and areas surveyed for historic resources, were completed this year. These new “layers” of information were added to office’s the computerized mapping system.

A project to computerize a backlog of Ohio Historic Inventory forms was completed in December 2006. The content of over 3,000 forms was checked and corrected as needed, UTM coordinates were verified, and the forms scanned and added to the in-house and online GIS systems.

Program Statistics
Each year, the office conducts thousands of reviews, ranging from National Register nominations, historic resource inventory forms and products developed under Certified Local Governments grants, to tax credit applications and Section 106 compliance submissions.

Reviews by the Society’s Ohio Historic Preservation Office, of private and public projects that receive federal and state funding and permits, are a key contribution to Ohio’s economic development and revitalization. In fiscal year 2007 the office conducted 6,700 reviews.

During this period, 125 completed and approved projects qualified for the federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit. These projects, reviewed by staff to ensure that the work complies with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation, represent an investment of $119,098,267 in Ohio’s historic buildings.

A total of twenty-nine Ohio nominations were added to the National Register of Historic Places including 17 individual buildings, 1 structure and 11 historic districts located in Ashland, Athens, Butler, Coshocton, Cuyahoga, Delaware, Fayette, Franklin, Hamilton, Huron, Lawrence, Marion, Monroe, Morrow, Montgomery, Muskingum, Preble, Ross, Summit, Tuscarawas, and Washington counties. The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board met three times in August and December, 2006 and in March, 2007 to review National Register nominations for 18 individual buildings, 5 historic districts and 1 structure; and Board members participated in the Grants Selection Committee and Ohio Historic Preservation Office Awards Committee.

3922 buildings were added to the Ohio Historic Inventory and 784 archaeological sites were added to the Ohio Archaeological Inventory. Review of each inventory form entails a thorough analysis of the information provided on the form (paper and online submissions), making corrections made as needed; checking and plotting the UTM coordinates on the office GIS system, and filing hard copies.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Office 2007 workshops covered topics ranging from effective negotiation of Section 106 agreement documents to identifying and evaluating resources of the recent past. Overall revenues for the 2007 workshops totaled $ 22,497 with attendance of over 525.

One new offering in the 2006/2007 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Workshop series was "Fundamentals of Researching Historic Properties." The workshop was held in conjunction with Ohio History Pride, the Ohio Historical Society and Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums Annual Meeting and Conference. Participants represented a cross-section of OHS customers, including historic preservation professionals, architects, historic property owners, local historical society members and staff, librarians, state agency personnel, and genealogists -- all interested in learning about how to use historic documents to uncover a building's history and how architecture can express the history and development of a community through style, type and construction. Society staff from historic preservation and archives-library conducted the workshop.

The always-popular Building Doctor program drew 276 attendees from seven communities around Ohio between July 2006 and June 2007. Clinics were held in Bellevue, Canal Winchester, Kent, Wapakoneta, Gallipolis, Millersburg and McConnelsville.

In May, the Ohio Historic National Road Design Handbook was one of eight projects nationally to receive a 2007 Scenic Byway Award. America’s Byways Resource Center, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the Federal Highway Administration presented the Award. The award program is a biennial competition that seeks to showcase projects of excellence and share successful models than can be adapted for America’s byways. The Handbook was the only award winner in the planning category and the only project along the entire National Road to receive an award. The Ohio Historic National Road Design Handbook was produced in recognition of the complexity of context sensitive design and the varying levels of control and governance along the byway corridor. It is intended for numerous audiences, including regional planners, local governments, property owners and developers. It offers a variety of tools, resources and design guidance to match an array of circumstances along the 227-mile corridor and has been called a solid model for future planning by byway stakeholders.

The Ohio Historic National Road Design Handbook was honored with a second award from Scenic Ohio, an affiliate of Scenic America. The award, one of four presented by Scenic Ohio, was presented at a luncheon at the Ohio Statehouse, July 27. Society staff member Glenn Harper, who has played a key role in the National Road preservation effort, accepted the national and state awards on behalf of the Society and the Ohio National Road Association.

New Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit
Former Governor Taft signed legislation (Sub. House Bill 149) creating a new state historic tax credit early in 2007. The legislation was enacted as a pilot program that will award a refundable tax credit for up to 100 qualifying historic rehabilitation projects in each of the next two years. Sixty-four applications from 18 Ohio cities and towns were submitted on the first day of the program. Half of them were for projects in Cleveland. The other 32 tax credit projects were from around Ohio including large cities such as Cincinnati, Toledo and Akron, medium size cities such as Piqua and Lebanon and smaller towns such as Port Clinton and Peebles. The total estimated project cost for the 64 projects submitted exceeds $900 million. Projects will be reviewed by the Society’s historic preservation office to determine whether the building is historic and rehabilitation work as described in the application is consistent with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. Projects are required to result in a net revenue gain in state and local taxes once the historic building is used. Ohio has long been a leader in the use of a similar federal historic rehabilitation tax credit with over $1.8 billion invested in 1,396 historic buildings since the inception of the federal tax credit in 1976. The National Park Service 2006 annual report on use of the federal tax credit ranks Ohio first in the nation with 168 certified projects with a total investment of over $154 million.

New Procedures and Online Access to Data Help Section 106 Compliance Process
Fiscal year 2007 was the first year of limiting access to the Online Mapping System to paid subscribers. Over the course of the year 58 subscriptions (including for-profit firms, state, federal and regional agencies, universities and non-profits) were activated comprising over 300 individual accounts. The goal of this site is to provide users with rapid access to Ohio's cultural resource data in a digital format. It allows users to query cultural data and produce maps. We hope the use of this site will promote the utility of GIS and spatial data as decision support tools for federal undertakings subject to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and for scholarly research on Ohio history, architecture and archaeology.

To keep reviews of federal and state assisted projects on schedule, it is critical that reviews proceed efficiently and expeditiously. To ensure this, we must find creative ways to maintain a high staffing level. This spring, arrangements with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Development, under which three positions in our review and compliance program are funded, were renewed. The agencies have been providing this funding support for more than eight years. Also this year, the Society entered an agreement with Columbia Gas Transmission under which the company funds one review position. CTL Engineering continues to fund another reviewer. The historic preservation office currently has nine reviewers.

Starting February 1, 2007, the Ohio Historic Preservation Office is recommending that agencies use the new Section 106 Review Project Summary Form and its supporting documents to submit most routine projects for review. It is our hope that the form will help streamline the Section 106 review process by standardizing the format of project submissions and reducing the need to request additional information about projects. State agencies seeking comments from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office under Section 149.53 of the Ohio Revised Code may also use this form to provide project information. The Project Summary Form and its supporting documents are available from our web page. The office offered training classes during the year to help familiarize agency staff with the use of the new form.

Thank you for your interest in The Ohio Historical Society!

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