Ohio History Connection

Leadership Park, historic marker dedicated

IMG_20180626_112013.jpgToday, the City of Tiffin dedicated Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park in conjunction with the unveiling of a State historical marker for the founding of Tiffin.

Leadership Park began as the community project of the 2014 Leadership Seneca County class. As part of the nine month course in leadership and civic participation, the class raised $25,000 to create a community park in downtown Tiffin. The city matched $20,000, creating a fund of $55,000 for the park. The park was designed but put on hold due to potential development on the chosen site.

In late 2015, the project was revived when Lenny Clouse purchased the building at 22 S. Washington St., demolished it, and sold the land to the city at cost. From there, two more grants were secured from the National Machinery and Meschech Frost Charitable Trust to cover the funding gap created by the change in location, and the construction of Clouse-Kirian Leadership Park began.

Also dedicated at the Leadership Park site was Seneca County’s twelfth historical marker. The Seneca County Historical Society worked with the Ohio History Connection to place an Ohio Historical Marker denoting 1822 as the founding year of the town.

The text of the marker reads: “In 1822 Josiah Hedges purchased the land that would become Tiffin from the Delaware Land Office. By March, this land, situated across the Sandusky River from old Fort Ball (War of 1812) was surveyed and platted by General James Hedges, the brother of Josiah. These events marked the founding year for the city of Tiffin, which was named after Edward Tiffin, Ohio’s first governor and a friend of Josiah Hedges. The legislature commissioned Thomas Henford, Isaac Minor and Cyrus Spink to establish Tiffin as the permanent seat of justice for Seneca County on March 25, 1822.”

You can find a complete list of Ohio Historical Markers at Remarkable Ohio.

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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.

“Building Doctors” Will Be Making Rounds in Tiffin July 21 and 22, 2016

Ohio History ConnectionPress release from Ohio History Connection.

This program is a partnership between SIEDC, Tiffin Historic Trust and Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Services.

(COLUMBUS, OH)— The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office, the Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp., the Tiffin Historic Trust and the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center will sponsor a Building Doctor Clinic for old-building owners in Tiffin, Ohio on July 21 and 22, 2016.

The clinic features Building Doctors Justin Cook and Richard Jarvis of the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. It begins with a free seminar on Thursday evening, July 21, from 7-9 p.m. at the Tiffin–Seneca Public Library’s Frost Kalnow Room at 77 Jefferson Street in Tiffin. The seminar is open to the public and will feature guidelines for renovation projects and ways to solve some of the most common problems of buildings dating from 1800 to 1955.

On Friday, July 22 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., the Building Doctors will visit pre-1955 buildings within five miles of Tiffin, advising owners on specific technical problems by appointment. The “doctors” examine all kinds of older buildings. Some of the things that typically call for an on-site examination include persistent peeling paint or flaking plaster, a wet basement or deteriorating masonry and plans for additions.

Justin Cook, Technical Preservation Services Manager for the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office, has a bachelor’s degree in classics from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in historic preservation from the University of Vermont, with post-baccalaureate studies in History and Urban and Regional Planning. He reviews applications for federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits.

Richard Jarvis is Technical Preservation Services Manager for the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. He holds a master’s degree in Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings) from The University of York (UK), a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from High Point University and an associate’s degree in Architectural Technology from Guilford Technical Community College. He reviews applications for federal and state historic rehabilitation tax credits.

The seminar and on-site consultations with the Building Doctors are free with advance registration. To register, visit www.building-doctor.org or call 800.499.2470 or 614.298.2000. You can also contact Amy Reinhart at 419.447.3831.

The Building Doctor program is made possible in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Historic Preservation Fund, administered by the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. Each clinic is also made possible by support from local cosponsors.

The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office

The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office is Ohio’s official historic preservation agency. It identifies historic places in Ohio, nominates properties to the National Register of Historic Places, reviews federally-assisted projects for effects on historic, architectural, and archaeological resources in Ohio, consults on conservation of older buildings and sites and offers educational programs and publications.

Ohio Historical Society is now Ohio History Connection
On May 24, 2014, the Ohio Historical Society changed its name to the Ohio History Connection. Established in 1885, this nonprofit organization provides a wide array of statewide services and programs related to collecting, preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology and natural history through more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio, including its flagship museum, the Ohio History Center in Columbus. For more information about programs and events, call 800.686.6124 or go online at www.ohiohistory.org.

Prescriptions from the Building Doctors:

Do’s:

  1. Check your roof and attic or upper stories for leaks at least every six months. Look for separations, bulges, cracks, and signs of moisture. It’s important to check your roof regularly. A sound roof is the key to preventing many problems which can occur below.
  1. Inspect your gutters and downspouts during a hard rain to see that they’re working properly. Keep them clean and free of leaves and obstructions which may clog them. Make sure water from downspouts is directed away from the foundation.
  1. Open your basement windows in the dry season to let air circulate. Feel basement walls for dampness. A musty odor indicates a high moisture level in the basement. Check for proper ventilation and dehumidification. Be certain that air circulates freely and isn’t blocked by materials stored against the wall.
  1. Look for loose or damaged siding. Note any areas of paint failure. Check gaps between boards. Gaps smaller than a quarter-inch will help ventilate the wall cavity; larger gaps may admit rainwater.
  1. Caulk gaps where window and door frames meet masonry or wood openings to prevent water from entering wall cavities of frame buildings or masonry of bearing-wall structures.
  1. Examine painted surfaces for signs of peeling, cracking and alligatoring. Look for clues to original painting techniques and colors. A common way to examine hidden layers of paint is to carefully sand a small area in a location where it would not have weathered or been in direct sunlight, exposing the individual layers.
  1. Assess the condition of all exterior features, particularly those of significance, such as porches, brackets and other decorative trim.
  1. Attend the Building Doctor Clinic.

Don’ts:

  1. Don’t use abrasive methods to clean brick or masonry. They can cause irreparable harm. Sandblasting, for example, removes the hard outer surface of the brick, exposing its softer core to the elements, and damages other kinds of masonry and wood, too. Avoid all techniques for cleaning masonry or wood that involves blasting or high pressure.
  1. Don’t use water-repellent coatings on masonry. They can trap moisture inside instead of letting it pass freely in and out as it normally would. When trapped moisture freezes, it expands, often forcing the surface of the brick or stone to flake or spall.
  1. Never seal basement windows shut. You’ll trap moist air inside and prevent proper air circulation, which can lead to a damp basement.
  1. Don’t plant bushes or vegetation close to the foundation. They prevent sunlight from reaching the ground, allowing moisture to accumulate there.
  1. Don’t use blown-in insulation unless you install a vapor barrier, too. Without the vapor barrier, moisture can accumulate, saturating the insulation and damaging your wall.
  1. Don’t leave unused gas pipes connected or live ends uncapped. Have gas lines professionally inspected. You can prevent a tragedy and save yourself a great deal of money.
  1. Don’t allow bare wires to remain exposed. Have old wiring professionally inspected.
  1. Don’t forget to give your building a thorough check-up every six months to ensure that it has a clean bill of health.