Ohio History Connection announces recipients of National Park Service grant

Projects in Painesville, Piqua, Ravenna, and Van Wert receive funding through the National Park Service’s Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program  

(COLUMBUS, OH)— The Ohio History Connection has announced that projects in Painesville, Piqua, Ravenna, and Van Wert are recipients of the National Park Service’s Paul Bruhn Historic Revitalization Grants Program. This program assists Ohio’s Main Street communities with the rehabilitation of historic buildings that prioritize economic impact, use of commercial first-floor space and upper floor residential space, and encourage reactivation of vacant spaces. Ohio was one of eight states to be awarded this funding in August 2020. The Ohio History Connection is re-granting $446,327 to four projects in Main Street communities.

The Ohio Main Street Program, administered by Heritage Ohio, works with communities across the state to revitalize their historic or traditional commercial areas. Based in historic preservation, the Main Street approach was developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to save historic commercial architecture and the fabric of American communities’ built environment. Heritage Ohio will oversee the grant projects working in conjunction with the local Main Street organization.

Main Street community projects awarded: 

Painesville |Lake County National Bank Building | 30 South Park Place

The former Lake County National Bank Building was a financial hub for Painesville since its construction in 1965 until it was recently vacated. The property owner will revitalize the building to serve Lake Erie College students, offering mixed-use space including residential. The Paul Bruhn funds will go toward exterior rehabilitation efforts including spot repointing of the brick, brick replacement where necessary, and exterior cleaning.

Piqua | Zollinger Company Building | 101 South Wayne Street

Vacant for over a decade, the historic Zollinger Company Building once held a key position in local commerce as a commercial grocery warehouse. The owners plan to reimagine the historic space to accommodate mixed uses including residential, and a ground floor market hall. Grant funds will help pay to restore historic windows to operating efficiency and to replace non-historic windows with complementary replacements.

Ravenna | Riddle Block 9 | 200 West Main Street and 113-115 Chestnut Street

New owners have taken on a big project: the rehabilitation of the historic, but neglected, Riddle Block 9 in downtown Ravenna. With 50,000 square feet to work with, the building will be readied for a variety of potential uses including commercial/office, retail, residential, and even light industrial. Paul Bruhn funds will return now-vacant residential and commercial spaces to active use. The glass-enclosed atrium will also be restored, returning architectural beauty to one of the iconic Riddle buildings in downtown Ravenna.

Van Wert | The Kauke & McCurdy Block | 101 East Main Street

As part of an ambitious downtown rehab initiative, the Van Wert County Foundation was successful in obtaining Paul Bruhn funds to invest in the historic Kauke & McCurdy Block, once home to the Van Wert chapter of the IOOF (Independent Order of Odd Fellows). The owner’s plans for the building include creating 16 new housing units and rehabbing 5,780 square feet of commercial space. Grant dollars will fund an integral component of the building’s rejuvenation—the installation of a new elevator, vital to making the three-story building attractive and accessible for contemporary use.

“Historic Main Street Van Wert is so excited about the Paul Bruhn Grant and we look forward to partnering with Van Wert Forward on this project. We feel the momentum of downtown Van Wert is off the charts and this will help make the Historic Main Street of Van Wert vibrant for many years.” – Mitch Price, Executive Director, Main Street Van Wert

“We are excited for the opportunity to further revitalize downtown Van Wert through Van Wert Forward – this grant award is a perfect fit for the project and to the vision of The Van Wert County Foundation of creating a well-resourced and thriving quality of life for our community. By maintaining the historic character of this building and creating attractive spaces that are accessible to all – we fulfill that vision.” – Amanda Miller, Development Director, The Van Wert County Foundation