By 1812Blockhouse; Ohio Department of Development

 Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, Lt. Governor Jon Husted, and Ohio Department of Development Director Lydia Mihalik have announced support for the rehabilitation of dozens of historic buildings across the state.  

In total, 46 projects involving the renovation of 54 buildings will be awarded $67,517,474 in tax credits as part of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program. The projects are also expected to leverage approximately $732 million in private investments.

Two of these structures are in downtown Mansfield, both owned by Mechanics Bank.

“Historic preservation is so much more than just updating old buildings. We’re preserving what exists and making concerted efforts to weave this history into the fabric of Ohio’s future,” said Governor DeWine. “By restoring our historical assets, we’re ensuring that these structures remain part of their communities for years to come.”

“Historic preservation is a recognition of our past and an investment in our future,” said Lt. Governor Husted. “Each and every project that’s completed becomes a new business or housing for residents and once again contributes to the local economy and future of the community.” 

Among the 16 communities receiving tax credits are Columbus, Somerset, Akron, Berea, Cleveland, East Liverpool, Mansfield, Salem, Steubenville, Youngstown, Toledo, Nelsonville, Zanesville, Arlington Heights, Cincinnati, and Dayton. Of these, Zanesville, Steubenville, and Arlington Heights are first-time recipients. 

The awards will assist private developers in rehabilitating historic buildings in downtowns and neighborhoods. Many of the buildings are vacant today and generate little economic activity. Once rehabilitated, they will drive further investment and interest in adjacent property. Developers are only issued the tax credit once project construction is complete and all program requirements are verified.

“This program is so important because these tax credits are often a deciding factor in determining whether or not a historic preservation project is able to move forward,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Department of Development. “We’re proud to be able to help make these projects happen and restore life back into our state’s historical assets.”

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. 

“Historic preservation projects are a boon to Ohio history, Ohio’s environment, and Ohio communities.” said Mariangela Pfister, department head and deputy state historic preservation officer for Technical Preservation Services in the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office. “This allows an iconic building like Carew Tower in Cincinnati, former schools in Arlington Heights and Berea, a former church in Dayton, The Edna, a building significant to the African American community in Columbus, and many others, to have a new life.”

Locally, two buildings owned by Mechanics Bank on the Square in downtown Mansfield were awarded credits. The facades of these structures were renovated in 2010 (see photo above). They are:

10-14 S Main Street

Total Project Cost: $812,761

Total Tax Credit: $242,538 

This small building in downtown Mansfield will be rehabilitated to accommodate the expansion of Mechanics Bank. Dating to the 1880s, the brick building held a saloon, hardware store, and other businesses on both floors. Though the storefront has been altered, it retains original cast iron columns. The bank will rehabilitate second floor spaces for additional offices while the first floor is already in use in that capacity.

16 S Main Street

Total Project Cost: $289,739

Total Tax Credit: $86,461

Part of a larger project with the neighboring building, this property will be rehabilitated by Mechanics Bank for the expansion of their downtown Mansfield offices. Built in the 1880s as a store, it was later turned into a pool hall. The bank already uses the first floor but this project will address the second floor and convert the open spaces into six offices.

A Google Maps view of the two buildings can be seen below.

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