Dear Members and Friends of Preservation Ohio:
And as we look ahead, we’d like to share with you six great reasons why a statewide preservation effort is more critical than ever in today’s Ohio, and why we are sending you this letter asking for your membership and/or donations for the coming year.
Reason One. Irreplaceable buildings continue to be lost. 2012 was the year which saw demolition of the first National Register-listed county courthouse in Ohio history. And, while the Seneca County Courthouse was certainly an important historic resource, it was hardly alone. From the county-owned Shawen Acres cottages in Dayton to the Civil War-era County Home near Delaware, to others around the state, pieces of Ohio’s past continued to disappear at a rapid pace.
Reason Two. Irreplaceable structures continue to be threatened. In Cincinnati, the James Gamble House holds on to life by the thinnest of threads, as does the oldest stone railroad bridge in Ohio in Ontario, Richland County and the Memorial Hall in Ironton, one of only a handful of surviving Civil War veteran memorial buildings. Thousands of similar buildings and sites have futures that hang in the balance. Each faces a variety of threats, including neglect, planned demolition, vandalism, insensitive development, lack of financial resources, and other factors.
Reason Three. Ohio’s statewide non-profit historic preservation efforts lag behind those of other states. Ohio’s statewide preservation community is smaller and boasts fewer resources than those in surrounding states, as well as most other states in the country. We’d love to be a part of finally seeing appreciation and support for Ohio history take its rightful place in decision-making across the state, and we need your help to make that happen.
Reason Four. We have resources to share, and need your support to do so. Our Board of Trustees and Staff have decades of cumulative experience in all aspects of historic preservation – from preserving individual properties to overall community revitalization. From working with legal situations to public relations; from advocacy assistance to in-person technical services, we have much to share – and need the capacity to do so. Ohio’s future needs Ohio’s past to make it economically viable and culturally rich.
Reason Five. We’ve got a brand-new membership fee structure that makes becoming a part of Ohio preservation easier than ever. This fall, Preservation Ohio announced its new membership fee structure. An individual membership is now only $15, with an entire family able to join for only $25. This change came about in an effort to make joining Ohio’s statewide preservation community as easy as possible in a challenging economic environment.
And with membership comes opportunity – opportunity to become involved through attending meetings, serving on our Board of Trustees, obtaining advice and assistance from our office, receiving our new membership newsletter, and more.
Reason Six. Your membership fee and donation is put to great use. In the last twelve months, Preservation Ohio has, among other accomplishments:
- Provided technical assistance and advocacy advice to Ohio communities and building owners;
- Spoken on preservation topics on radio, in print, and in person – including the front page of the Toledo Blade to the radio waves of Ashtabula County and even New York City;
- Assisted with state leaders on preservation financial incentive, including the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit;
- Issued the 19th Annual List of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites;
- Co-hosted a successful Forbidden City Tour in Mansfield in May;
- Joined the Ohio Historical Society and other organizations in a successful application, thereby renewing our AmeriCorps member for the 2012-2013 year;
- Spoke at the Property Owners Conference in Mansfield on the opportunities of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit.
We invite you to become a part of Preservation Ohio, and to make 2013 a banner and turning point year for Ohio’s historic resources. Membership and donation information can be accessed by clicking here. Please remember that as a 501(c)(3) organization, donations to Preservation Ohio are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Thomas N. Palmer