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:
The office has a staff of archaeologists, historians, architectural historians, a historical
architect, and others with professional expertise in preservation-related fields.
- 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
- advises on the conservation of buildings and sites
- offers educational programs and publications
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.
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
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
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.