History Regurgitated- Ohio Preservation Meeting
The 501C3 of which I am Co – Chair ( Charleston Village Society Inc) ( if you have been reading this blog has been around since the late 1980’s and a 501C3 since 1993) was invited to meeting on grant applications etc. for historic preservation funding
CVSI is completely reliant upon donations, cash and in kind. We are an ALL volunteer organization.
Introductions were made in that crowded room ( they weren’t expecting such a large turnout)- boding well for historic preservation one would think. The list of communities with “Historic Preservation Districts” included Lorain- I don’t believe 90 percent of those attending “knew” where those are – BUT I can tell you where at least one district is found. The state designation encompasses the area of Lorain’s oldest neighborhood and the area Charleston Village Society oversees ( AN ALL VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION) IN PLACE BEFORE THE STATE DESIGNATION.
My optimism changed quickly to DEJAVU – as the power point presentation got started. Wait a minute! I have seen the same sort photos, different years and different locations , the same power point presentation , even the same jokes when people filled Lorain City Council Chambers in 1993.
The historical rhetoric continued -how to apply – what you need to do, what the benefits are etc. Yes, same spiel I heard nearly a quarter of a century ago. We were excited then, the state was excited there was already a “community based preservation group”( Charleston Village Society Inc) – fully involved with city leaders and the county . The speech I heard today by JEFF SIEGLER
DIRECTOR OF REVITALIZATION
Jeff attended Ohio Wesleyan University where he received his bachelors degree in economics management. While working for a historic tax credit developer In Richmond, Virginia Jeff completed his Masters of Urban and Regional Planning at Virginia Commonwealth University with a concentration in urban revitalization. Prior to becoming the Director of Revitalization at Heritage Ohio, Jeff worked as the Director of the Lancaster Special Improvement District and Main Street Lancaster.
I had heard in essence heard before – you see we had his predecessor of long ago Kevin Kuchenbecker “talked” us- the BOD of mainstreetlorain”- into joining a Main Street program that was unwieldy , in 1999/ 2000 and was not designed for the area , Lorain is an entitlement city- which means we can’t get the same benefits non entitlement cities can access ( Funny that was never brought up when we were being “courted”)- “mainstreetlorain” organization 1996 had already encompassed an area far bigger than what a Main Street usually covers and I and my Co – Chair Rich Robbin did bring that up and told
not to worry it would be handled!
. Oh the problems were surmountable we were informed ( only they weren’t)
Maybe a time to revisit that piece of history as Charleston Village Society Inc was a founding member of mainstreetlorain and on the board of the Main Street program in Lorain and at one time I was a volunteer director for 7 months so the organization didn’t go belly up. Main Street ( Lorain) eventually became Lorain Growth Corporation http://www.loraingrowth.com/ .
I have been involved up to my eyes in Lorain
but it was almost insulting to see that nearly a quarter of a century on these “historical preservation ” way forwards are stuck back in the last century and can only regurgitate the rhetoric
a healthy down -town has to have a healthy neighborhood and vice versa-
now what decade in the past was that ever mentioned??? ( sarcasm ) ,
you have to work together with local officials
To people who have, over the decades , been there done that, worked with 8 administrations, countless number of council people , not to mention police chiefs, fire chiefs civic organizations, educational institutions, we are not any farther ahead than when we met in the meeting room of the Broadway Building with Heritage Ohio in 1999/2000 and in 1993 when we went under the architectural review. In fact, we have lost a lot of significant homes and buildings and our downtown- well what can I say Channel Five said it all
So let us see what benefits we, as a neighborhood ,have derived from being in a state recognized district for these many years.
Oh and yes one with a hairnet controversy -Broadway Building, another with promises not fulfilled as the rain comes down – Eagles Building – look at them now (with fresh eyes).
How can that be? What doesn’t seem to be told or at least made very clear is that IF PRIVATE MONEY IS USED to rehab , tear down, paint a building pink there is nothing “Historical Preservation” can do!!!
The only time they have teeth is when “public monies” are used at any level. Have ANY of the historically significant homes in this neighborhood been cherished by the “Historians from Ohio”? We can’t even find funding to preserve the headstones of Lorain’s founding families in the little cemetery on 6th.
( not historically significant except for maybe the window connection and the artisan who came to Lorain )
Captain Wilford’s Home
There is the Captain Wilford House, which housed the Captain his wife Fanny Gillmore of the Gillmore Civil War letters
and we haven’t even touched on the rest of the Gillmore family although you can find the series here .
Just take a walk and look at that house now.
Admiral Kings’ birth place – you may remember Admiral King
( Gov. Kasich sent a lovely proclamation when we designated the “tribute site across from his birthplace Gov Kasich wished him well in his retirement – hmmmmm not sure his office staff knew the history of the Commander of the US Fleet (WW2) as he had been dead 50 years – can you retire from death??? We informed them of their error and we received another proclamation but without the fancy gold seal 😉
The little historic park- the earliest surviving green space in the county 1807 saved from condos ( you know the importance of a public square statement) not by Ohio but by a bunch of “history boneheads of Charleston Village Society” – history boneheads – designated by Editor John Cole (Morning Journal)
The only thing I can see we benefit from in being a state preservation district is the fact if public monies are used in our neighborhood to rehab then there are standards to be met eg. windows unless the house is historically insignificant and when the city or country needs to demo a property we ( CVSI) are usually asked to provide a letter stating why we as an organization ,whose mission statement includes preservation of the neighborhood, don’t object – see an example file here
CVSI Gow House
Then to be told by the speakers, Oh it is a local issue, get ordinances passed, accountability is local and you need to take before and after pictures etc. etc. well that was it- accountability HA!
I had to leave before I regurgitated…… I have 25 years for publicizing before and after and before and it has become “history’!
The Charleston Village Society Float in the international parade and the big blue box from 1992
Ah and 24 years later ……https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2016/05/17/money-where-your-mouth-is-part-one/
Time to get off the soap box.
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, Brit take, Charleston Village, city of lorain, history, Lorain's Magical History Tour, notorious opponents of exactitude. Tags: Charleston Village, City of Lorain, City of Lorain Preservation Districts, Heritage Ohio, history, Ohio Preservation, Senator Manning, trite and tripe, volunteers.