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
designated 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
Major funding for the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) operations is obtained through an
annual operating grant from the Historic Preservation Fund of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s
National Park Service. Ohio’s 2008 award of $892,834, represented a 6.8 percent increase over the
previous year. In 2008, the state provided $417,516, which amounted to 70 percent of the $595,223
required to match the Federal award. Other matching funds are derived from the Society’s federally
negotiated overhead recovery rate and other sources.
The National Park Service awarded the Society a Preserve America Grant for $87,656. The matching
grant will fund a two-year project titled “Ohio Modern: Preserving Our Recent Past.” The project
will result in a statewide historic context outlining the important social, political and economic
trends that shaped land use decisions, architectural styles and building technology in Ohio during
the time period of 1940–1970. The project also will have a survey component that identifies,
evaluates and records representative historic properties in the Preserve America-designated
community of Dayton and culminate in a public forum to promote the significance and public value
of places reflecting Ohio’s recent past. Funding from CTL Engineering, Columbia Gas Transmission,
the Ohio Department of Transportation and the Ohio Department of Development totaling $287,250
allowed the OHPO to fund five staff positions. More than half of OHPO’s review and compliance
positions are paid for with funds outside regular state and federal appropriations, allowing the
OHPO to maintain a high level of service.
Historic Preservation Planning
The Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) is working with agencies, preservation professionals,
nonprofit organizations and elected officials to revise and update A Future for Ohio’s Past:
A Historic Plan for Ohio. Representatives from these groups offered ideas on broad goals in
historic preservation and the challenges and opportunities for preservation over the next
5–10 years. The new plan is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2008.
Federal and State Historic Preservation Tax Credits
In 2008, 85 Ohio rehabilitation projects received final federal certification from the National
Park Service, having been determined by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office (OHPO) as meeting
the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. These projects — in Cuyahoga,
Delaware, Franklin, Hamilton, Lucas and Washington counties — represent nearly $51 million in
rehabilitation expenditures. In addition to the 20 percent federal tax credit, the Ohio Historic
Preservation Tax Credit (OHPTC) was established in 2008 as a two-year pilot. It provides for
a 25 percent refundable tax credit on qualified expenses for the rehabilitation of historic
buildings that meet the federal standards. The Ohio Department of Development (ODOD) administers
this program in partnership with the OHPO. The state capped the program at just over $120 million
in credits, resulting in 41 of the 92 projects submitted receiving approval for the credit in
fiscal years 2008 and 2009. The state’s new Economic Stimulus and Jobs Package continues the
OHPTC program, with modifications for 2010 and 2011. The credit is capped at $60 million per
year — $45 million for already-submitted projects not funded in 2008–2009 and $15 million for new
Assisting Local Historic Preservation Efforts
Certified Local Governments (CLGs) participate actively in Ohio’s historic preservation program.
A federal-state-local partnership, CLG status enables eligible communities to conduct a wide range
of preservation activities in cooperation with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the U.S.
Department of the Interior, including surveys of historic resources and nominating properties to
the National Register of Historic Places. Funding for projects in CLG communities comes from
matching grants provided by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office. Ten percent of OHPO’s annual
federal funding is set aside for these grants and in FY2008, grants were awarded to Akron
($10,440), Cincinnati ($50,063), Columbus ($8,831), Green ($14,000) and Tipp City ($5,950). These
funds were matched locally with $57,317 in cash and in-kind contributions for a total investment
of $108,752 in these communities. Euclid and Marysville became CLG communities this year bringing
Ohio’s total to 46.
Keeping an Eye on Ohio’s Historic Properties
The National Historic Preservation Act makes preserving historic resources a national policy.
Under the act, agencies must consider the effects of projects on historic properties. During 2008,
the Society’s Ohio Historic Preservation Office reviewed more than 6,300 federally assisted projects,
many privately funded that require federal permits, such as commercial, residential and industrial
development. Examples include rehabilitation of the Mt. Olive Covered Bridge in Vinton County and
construction at the Southerly Wastewater Treatment Plant in Columbus. The Ohio Historic
Preservation Office also works with preservation advocates on issues like the proposed demolition
of the Seneca County Courthouse and NCR Building 26 in Dayton.
Knowing Which Places Matter in Ohio
The Ohio Historic Inventory is an important reference for organizing community preservation efforts
and can be used as a guide for safeguarding the historical and architectural resources of Ohio.
More than 90,000 properties are included on it. During FY2008, 424 historic properties from 44
communities were added to the inventory.
The Ohio Archeological Inventory is often the only record of an archaeological site’s existence.
During FY2008, 974 sites in 56 counties were added to the inventory, bringing the total to more
than 43,500 sites.
Eighteen Ohio nominations were added to the National Register of Historic Places, including 16
individual properties and two historic districts located in Ashtabula, Clermont, Cuyahoga, Geauga,
Greene, Hamilton, Lawrence, Lorain, Montgomery, Preble and Summit counties.
Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board
The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board (OHSPAB) members include Aaron Askew, Columbus,
Bradley K. Baker, Columbus, Virginia O. Benson, Hudson, John Fleming, Yellow Springs, Kathy Fox,
Columbus, Barbara Gould, Cincinnati, Clyde E. Henry, Columbus, Stacey L. Hoffman, Cleveland Heights,
Sandra Hull, Wooster, Donald A. Hutslar, Worthington, Joseph W. Leonard, Oxford, Mary Ann Olding,
Cincinnati, Nancy Otis, Celina, Mark Seeman, Kent, Jim Sherwood, Brunswick, and Jeffrey Tilman,
Increasing Awareness Through Workshops
Building Doctor Clinics
Between September 2007 and May 2008, Building Doctor Clinics were held in Willoughby, Vermilion,
Wellington,Harrison, Bexley, Zoar and Deerfield. Nearly 360 old building owners, tenants and
advocates attended the clinics. The Building Doctor program celebrated its 30th anniversary in
Ohio Historic Preservation Workshops
The Ohio Historic Preservation Office workshop series attracted 165 participants during FY2008. A
new offering in the series was “Identifying and Evaluating Resources of the Recent Past,” which
covered the broad themes of social, political and economic trends that shaped land use,
architectural design and building technology in mid-20th-century Ohio.
Merit Award, Ohio Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects:
Ohio Historic National Road Design Handbook
Designed for numerous audiences, the Ohio Historic National Road Design Handbook offers a variety
of tools, resources and design guidance to protect, preserve, enhance and appropriately develop the
227-mile-long section of the National Road in Ohio.