State Historic Preservation Office Awards

Each year, the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) recognizes achievements in historic preservation by presenting awards in Public Education and Awareness and Preservation Merit.

The Public Education and Awareness Award is for increasing interest in historic preservation. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, media, newsletters, publications, interpretation, original research, educational programs and special events which have substantially increased public understanding and awareness of historic preservation at the local, regional, or state level.

The Preservation Merit Award is for preserving Ohio's prehistory, history, architecture or culture. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, restoring, rehabilitating, or otherwise preserving an important building or site, longtime stewardship of a property, promoting protective legislation, funding preservation projects, offering leadership, support, or service, and furthering preservation at the local, regional, or state level.

Submit a Nomination

Nomination Form

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Nominations are due on June 1 each year and recipients are announced in the fall.

2021 State Historic Presevation Office Award Recipients

Save Grove Hill, Chagrin Falls

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Save Grove Hill, Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the Chagrin Falls Historical Society for the campaign to save the 1878 Bancroft House at 3 West Summit Street in Chagrin Falls.

The Bancroft House was considered a mansion when it was built in 1878, situated atop Grove Hill overlooking the growing community of Chagrin Falls. It is notable for its Italianate style architecture and for the beautiful WPA-constructed retaining wall surrounding it. It is also a place that many residents connect with the very soul of their community.

The house had been on and off the market for the last 18 years, it’s owner unable to sell. This is not an uncommon occurrence in Ohio when grand houses are thought to be too much to take on. But when an area developer purchased the Bancroft House in late 2019, and announced his plans to demolish it, subdivide its one-acre lot and build five new structures on the site, this immediately motivated a group of citizens to take action.

Organized as “Save Grove Hill,” the group began a social media campaign to express concern about what a loss the demolition would be for the Village. They also produced yard signs, launched an online petition, solicited major gifts, and sent thousands of letters to potential donors, all while working remotely during the pandemic lockdown.

The fortuitous personal connection one citizen had with the Western Reserve Land Conservancy soon added that organization to the effort to save Grove Hill. The Conservancy quickly got behind keeping the house and developing part of the property into a small public park.
The developer agreed to give the group time to raise the money to buy him out, which they did. After several months. Save Grove Hill raised over $600,000 and the developer accepted the deal negotiated by the Land Conservancy. The lot was split and the portion with the house was sold to a single-family. The remaining portion will be developed into a park and donated to the Village.

The people of Chagrin Falls value their community’s history and historic places. Saving the Bancroft House and creating a park are a legacy for future residents and all of us to enjoy.

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Music Hall in Public Auditorium, Cleveland

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Millstone Management Group and Perspectus Architecture for the rehabilitation of Music Hall in Public Auditorium, at 601 Lakeside Avenue in Cleveland.

old McDowell, architects with the City of Cleveland. Music Hall was constructed specifically for musical performances and can seat 3,000 with space for a full orchestra. Music Hall’s stage abuts the stage side of the original Public Auditorium space, creating a double-sided stage that serves both venues.

The interior of Music Hall exhibits elements of the ornate Romanesque and Baroque high classical revival styles. When the space suffered severe water damage after a rooftop HVAC unit failed and flooded the hall from the top down, this unfortunate event became an opportunity for the City of Cleveland to restore and recreate significant, original historic features.

The project scope was a balance between restoring and recreating important lost and damaged historic features while adjusting the space to accommodate accessibility requirements and modern technology. The work included extensive plaster repair by City of Cleveland craftspeople, new and historically appropriate seating and carpeting recreated from original photos, a new tech platform area, an orchestra pit that could be adjusted in size, and restoration of plaster walls and ceilings.

Extensive historical and product research was conducted to determine the original seat styles and configuration, as well as ways to make the space and seating accessible. These include new ADA compliant ramps and roll-in seating areas. The Loge was extended slightly toward the stage to allow for full turning radii and other patron seating, both fixed and removable. These changes mean that disabled patrons now have access to some of the best seats in Music Hall while historic features and the overall historic character have been maintained.

Our congratulations on this thoughtful and well-executed rehabilitation project.
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Woodland Cemetery Gatehouse, Cleveland

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Woodland Cemetery Foundation, Kevin C. Robinette Architect, LLC, McMahon Masonry Restoration, Sona Construction and the City of Cleveland for the reconstruction of the Woodland Cemetery Gatehouse at 6901 Woodland Avenue in Cleveland.

The Woodland Cemetery Gatehouse was originally constructed in the 1870s, the largest of the gatehouses built at three City of Cleveland cemeteries. After years of little maintenance, the structural elements eventually failed and the City of Cleveland dismantled the Woodland gatehouse beginning in 1995. The more than 1500 pieces of the stone veneer were numbered, each elevation photographed and stored on pallets on the cemetery grounds, preserving the potential for future reconstruction.

When a descendant of a Civil War soldier buried at Woodland approached Michelle Day about pursuing reconstruction of the gatehouse, she created the Woodland Cemetery Foundation in 2007 to advocate for this project with the City of Cleveland. The group connected with architect Kevin Robinette who had been involved with the reconstruction of the smaller gatehouse structures at the Erie and Monroe Street cemeteries. His experience provided a useful understanding for implementing the Woodland project.

Though some stone was further damaged or lost during the years the gatehouse materials were stored on-site, a mason inventoried the materials and determined that luckily the vast majority remained intact and usable.

Reconstruction of the gatehouse was initiated in 2019. The structure consists of two stone buildings, flanking a stone arch. Related work to complete the reconstruction included concrete foundations, site work and paving, slate roofing, fiberglass eaves, friezes entablatures and doors, and aluminum window and door frames. Exterior lighting was also installed, and a new plaza incorporates the original stone porch slabs.
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Upon completion of the stonework, the stone was carefully cleaned of many years of soot from the industrial river valley. The small amount of original historic fencing was repaired and reinstalled immediately flanking the gatehouse, and new matching fencing was created to complete the streetscape along Woodland Avenue.

Our congratulations and appreciation to all recipients involved with this project for their long-term commitment to the preservation and careful reconstruction of the Woodland Cemetery Gatehouse.

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Peters Cartridge Company, Mainesville

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Bloomfield Schon + Partners and Turnbull-Walhert Construction for rehabilitation of the Peters Cartridge Company at 1409 Grandin Road in Maineville as Peters Cartridge Factory Apartments.

The historic Peters Cartridge Factory has been brought back to life! What had been a derelict, abandoned, brownfield site for many years has been repurposed into a community of apartments, a multi-purpose facility and a popular brew pub/restaurant.

Located next to the Little Miami Scenic River and the Little Miami Bike Trail, this complex of six industrial buildings was constructed between 1916 and 1919. The Peters Company manufactured gun powder and munitions that supplied armed forces in World War I and World War II.
The six renovated buildings are all that remain of a larger complex of factory buildings that were demolished years ago. The structures that were left include the shot tower, the power building and smokestack, and manufacturing and administrative spaces.

In 2012 the site was declared a Superfund site and the cleanup was completed in 2017. The developers, Bloomfield/Schon, purchased the property in 2015 and oversaw the environmental remediation. Bloomfield/Schon then secured proper zoning, prepared architectural plans and secured historic tax credits that were part of a complex financing arrangement.

Construction began in late 2018. By then the vacant buildings were in very bad condition, open to vandals and exposed to the elements. But they had “good bones” and today there are 134 contemporary apartments in a large variety of floor plans, all of them displaying connections to the building’s industrial heritage. Large windows, saw-tooth windows, clerestories and light monitors allow plenty of sunlight. Almost two acres of damaged glass were replaced with historically appropriate new windows. All building systems were brought up to current standards. The original concrete floors remain, and the concrete ceilings are visible, showing the form marks from the construction process. Demising walls that partition spaces in the apartments and elsewhere in the complex occur along the original column lines.

Rehabilitation of these buildings has transformed them from being an eyesore into a vibrant community. Peters Cartridge finally stands proudly again; in every sense, it is a renewed, stand-alone neighborhood. Our congratulations on the execution of this large-scale project undertaken in rural Warren County.

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May Company, Cleveland

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Bedrock Detroit, GLSD Architects, LLC Geis Companies, and Historic Preservation Group, LLC for rehabilitation of the May Company at 158 Euclid Avenue in Cleveland as The May.

The May Company department store building has been a presence on Public Square and Prospect Avenue in Cleveland for more than 100 years. It's one of the buildings that make Cleveland, “Cleveland” and where city and suburban residents shopped for decades. Locals still reminisce over their experiences at May Company which sold everything department stores could sell and also had the city's largest soda fountain, an auditorium for cooking demonstrations and fashion shows, a playground, and 23 passenger elevators.

After the department store closed its doors in 1993, only a fraction of the building’s 968,000 square feet was leased for offices and retail in subsequent decades.

The recent rehabilitation project, supported with both state and federal historic rehabilitation tax credits, created 80,000 square feet of first floor retail space, 307 apartment units, 574 conditioned parking spaces, and space has been reserved for a future restaurant with an 11,000 square-foot rooftop terrace.

Both the Euclid and Prospect façades of the building required significant terra cotta work. Small cracks were routed and filled, small chips and spalled areas were patched to match the existing. Over 100 terra cotta units were removed, repaired and reset. The 2,000-plus terra cotta pieces with extreme damage and deterioration were replaced with new terra cotta created to match the historic.

New aluminum storefront assemblies were installed at both the Euclid Avenue and Prospect elevations. The Euclid Avenue storefront surrounds dated to a 1930’s alteration and was retained and the Art Deco sconces here were restored. On the Prospect Avenue façade, the historic terra cotta storefront surrounds were repaired and reinstated where missing. Special garage entry doors were installed that mimic the look of a storefront window. Missing sconces were replicated from the historic design and reinstated. The existing Euclid Avenue canopy was also preserved and restored.

The building’s repairable wood windows were consolidated onto the 2nd and 3rd floors and rebuilt as needed, including keeping the iconic May Company emblem etched onto the glass. On the floors above three, new historically accurate windows were manufactured in aluminum.

The building’s massive floor plates posed a challenge in the reuse of the building. Prior to this project, the building had been gutted and little in the way of architectural features remained. As a result, the introduction of a new atrium in the center of floors 6 to 8 was permissible. This alteration provided light to the surrounding apartments and a courtyard for residents. The historic structural concrete columns and beams in the atrium were retained after the floors were removed and provided visual interest to the space.

The May is now bringing hundreds of new residents to the heart of Downtown Cleveland’s Public Square and restored facades on two major downtown streets—Euclid and Prospect Avenues. An important community icon lives on!