historic

Heidelberg receives historic tax credits for major restoration project

FranceHall rendering

Architect’s rendering of the France Hall project.

University has innovative plans for women’s residence hall

TIFFIN – Heidelberg University’s planned restoration and renovation of historic France Residence Hall received a major boost today when the Ohio Development Services Agency awarded the university nearly $1.5 million in Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits for the $7.5 million project (exclusive of planned costs). In July 2017, Heidelberg received $1.2 million in federal historic tax credits, issued by the U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service, for the France Hall project, which were contingent on receiving state tax credits.

The announcement of historic tax credits for Heidelberg is great news locally. It’s just the second time that building restoration tax credits have come to Tiffin. Heidelberg administrators are appreciative of the important role community leaders played in the application process.

“We are so grateful for the outstanding support of our community partners, which was essential in our university securing these state historic tax credits,” said Heidelberg President Rob Huntington, who noted the backing of Mayor Aaron Montz, County Commissioner Mike Kerschner, State Rep. Bill Reineke and Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. President and CEO David Zak. “Heidelberg University is extremely proud to be part of this collaborative effort with all of us working together to make our universities, our town, our county and ultimately, our entire community better for everyone.”

Additionally, Huntington expressed his thanks to Melissa Furchill, owner/president of MCM Co. Inc. in Cleveland, a construction management firm who lent her expertise to the application process.

Heidelberg was among 31 regional projects that will receive historic tax credits in the most recent round of funding. In all, the Ohio Development Services Agency approved $30.2 million in credits for 13 communities, including about $1.71 million for two northwest Ohio projects, both in Tiffin. In addition to Heidelberg’s France Hall project, Monument Properties is to receive a tax credit of nearly $250,000 to renovate three residential buildings in the Fort Ball-Railroad Area Historic District.

When the restoration/renovation project is complete, France Hall will be integral to engaging women with new, innovative living, learning and leadership opportunities, while supporting Heidelberg’s academic programs. The new France Hall will provide residential space for approximately 70 women students and private apartments for two female faculty members. Other features include office space for The Patricia Adams Lecture Series and other campus women’s leadership initiatives, space for all five of Heidelberg’s women’s Greek organizations, community outreach space, and renovations to the building’s Great Hall to create more space for activities and events. It is a major element in Heidelberg’s Residential Living Plan Vision.

To date, private donors have committed more than $3.1 million toward the project.

“France Hall, in its current configuration and condition, no longer meets the needs of our contemporary women students,” Huntington said. “Yet, we recognize the importance of preserving its heritage. The time has come to bring France Hall into the 21st century and transform it into a compelling, exciting and attractive facility for the campus and the community.”

The project has tremendous potential, Huntington added, because of unique opportunities to bring together the university community with the broader Tiffin community.

“This project will put a new and different face on what residential living can look like at Heidelberg,” he said. “It will integrate academic and co-curricular programs, personal and professional domains, and campus and community circles into a rich and powerful total undergraduate experience for our women students, as well as for male students when special events are hosted in France. We look forward to starting this construction work soon!”

France Hall was constructed in 1925 and is named in recognition of Luella Blackwell France, a benefactor of the university. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. It has never undergone a major renovation in its 92-year history.

According to SIEDC, the Tunison Flats housing project received $99,031 in December 2016, designated to rehabilitate and preserve the 1880s-era apartment complex on Frost Parkway.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered in partnership with the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. The State Historic Preservation Office determines if a property qualifies as a historic building and that the rehabilitation plans comply with the United States Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation.

Press release provided by Heidelberg University.

Pioneer Mill to hold first ever Jazzin’ Tiffin Nights

20150813120830066As part of this year’s Jazzin’ Tiffin festival, The Pioneer Mill of Tiffin will feature jazz acts on the three Thursday evenings leading up to the festival on Sept. 12. Each band will begin at 7 p.m. at Tinker’s Dam in the Pioneer Mill, located at 255 Riverside Drive in Tiffin.

The schedule is as follows:

  • Aug. 27: Trio NOT – This three-piece band, composed of Douglas Neel (guitar/trombone/vox), Nelson Overton (drums) and Kyle Turner (organ/keys) focuses on funk/soul/rock fusion and also explores reggae/country/pop music. Trio NOT ties together their unique voice and arranging ideas with recognizable covers, dance heavy material, and original work.
  • Sept. 3: Pete Ford Jazz Trio – Pete Ford is a jazz pianist, composer and assistant professor of music at Adrian College. The Pete Ford Trio consists of Pete Ford on piano, Scott Kretzer on drums and Kurt Kranke on bass.
  • Sept. 10: B3 Jazz Trio – Made up of Chuck Summers (sax/vocals), Bob Essex (bass/vocals) and Frank Harnishfeger (piano/vocals), B3 has been performing in Northwest Ohio for the last 7 years. Their music genres include jazz, R&B, Motown, ballads and pop, and their jazz performances are covers from groups such as The Crusaders, George Benson, Larry Carlton and Jimmy Smith, among others.

The Pioneer Mill of Tiffin stands on the same site as the original Tiffin dam built by Tiffin founder Josiah Hedges in 1822. The current building was constructed on the same foundation walls after a fire in 1875 destroyed the original wooden building. After much planning and development, The Pioneer Mill of Tiffin restaurant opened for business on October 3, 1974 and was placed on the national register of historic places in recognition of its background.

Relive the drama of 1913 historic flood

Calamity CourageLisa Swickard, local historian and author of award-winning book “Calamity and Courage: Tiffin’s Battle During Ohio’s Deadly 1913 Flood,” is offering tours of areas affected by Tiffin’s devastating 1913 flood that left 19 dead and 500 homeless.

The tour is informal and interactive, with Lisa drawing on personal accounts she has collected over decades. Throughout the tour, Lisa tells stories of the homes and businesses that were affected, some of which were completely destroyed or washed away, and rescue efforts for trapped residents. She draws attention to various landmarks that survived the flood, houses that were moved after the flood in order to widen the river, and the locations of homes and businesses that were completely destroyed.

The Downtown Tour traces the path of flood destruction in the area surrounding the Sandusky river. The tour circles around Frost Parkway, Market Street, Monroe Street, a bit of Perry Street, and South Washington Street. Key places include the bridges, the flood marker located on the wall of the police station, the Knights of Columbus building area, the Tiffin Eagles building and Frost Parkway.

There are three different tours available by appointment:

  • Downtown Tour – An hour to hour and a half tour of the flood zone. $5 adults / $3 children 15+
  • Extended Downtown Tour – Downtown Tour plus East Davis Street. $7 adults / $4 children 15+;
  • Entire Flood Zone Tour – A day-long tour that encompasses the entire flood district. $15 adults / $9 children 15+

To contact Lisa for any of the flood tours listed above, email her or call 567.525.9317. For more information about Lisa and other tours, visit www.virginalleypress.com/.

Recap – first Downtown Historic Bar Tour a success

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The downtown Tiffin revitalization efforts have been hard at work helping to enhance the great events that downtown Tiffin has offered in the last few years and starting some others. One of the new ones this year is expected to take place every year – the Downtown Historic Bar Tour.

Starting at the Clover Club, participants made their way through downtown Tiffin on South Washington Street, stopping at eight unique Tiffin bars. At the beginning of the tour, participants received a booklet with historical information about the bars and bar owners gave a brief history of their establishment at each stop. Kudos to tour host Seneca County Young Professionals for a great event.

Here is the complete list of bars visited on the tour:

  • Clover Club: Opened in 1936, the Clover Club features an antique art-deco bar, white tablecloth dining area and landscaped patio garden, not to mention 18 taps and a stock of 50 different beers.
  • GW’s Fine Food & Spirits: GW’s opened in May 2010 and caters to not only the bar crowd but also the after-bar crowd with food service and late hours on the weekends. This bar features two dining areas and a large patio with seating.
  • DP’s: Don Paull has owned DP’s since 1972, and it was one of the last ‘stag’ bars in Tiffin. DP’s has a nautical theme and a unique layout with four different levels and a patio area closed in by the building’s walls.
  • MST Pub and Grub: MST is made up of three separate buildings, all of which served a variety of different purposes over the last 100 years. The current bar was established in October 2009.
  • Reino’s Party Room (lunch): Reino’s Pizza and Pasta was established in 1950 and has always served beer and wine along with Italian food. Its current location on West Market Street was once the National Theater, among other businesses.
  • Bear’s Den:The Bear’s Den has been a bar or tavern since the early 1950’s. Dennis Wickert bought Izola’s Tavern in 1974, later changed the name to Bear’s Den and has been running the bar with his wife, Gwynn, since 1986. Bear’s Den often hosts live music on Saturdays.
  • Phat Cakes & Cafe: Phat Cakes was founded in 2009 and opened the store on Washington Street, which started out as The Sandwich Shop in the mid-1930s and was later Reino’s, in 2012. They offer a full menu, including desserts, sandwiches, wraps and salads, along with alcohol.
  • Viaduct Bar & Grill: The Viaduct started out as a bar in late 1800s. It has had many names since, but it has been the Viaduct since 2010. The bar often hosts live music on the weekends, and boasts a unique outdoor patio with seating and a pond.
  • McGowan’s Tavern: This building once housed “the largest movie theater on the West side of the river.” For many years it was an “Arcade” under several different owners before becoming McGowan’s Tavern in the mid-1960s.

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