History & Tourism

Park Avenue West Named One Of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites

13 May , 2022  

By 1812Blockhouse

Each year, Preservation Ohio, the state’s original and oldest statewide historic preservation organization, compiles and publishes a list of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites.

The 2022 list, announced today, includes 13 locations around the Buckeye State including houses, a neighborhood, a church, a former county courthouse, a former school, a lake, and more.

And for 2022, that list includes a site in Mansfield for the very first time.

This year, Preservation Ohio received a large number of nominations for this important list, which confirms both that much of our state’s historic properties remain at risk and that interest in preservation is growing across the state of Ohio. Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites is unique in that it highlights historic buildings and sites submitted from local citizens and advocates, each hoping to bring attention and to identify ways to give important historic properties a future. Out of the many properties nominated this year, Preservation Ohio’s board was tasked with choosing the most at risk. Properties representing all areas of Ohio are included in this years edition.

Preservation Ohio accepts nominations from any citizen or organization. Since its inception in 1993, being named to the list has contributed to saving examples of Ohio’s architectural, cultural and natural heritage. Circumstances that contribute to the endangered status and result in sites being named to the list typically include one or more of the following factors: demolition threat, abandonment, neglectful owner, deterioration, obsolete use, lack of funding for repairs, location or development. Many sites around Ohio are still with us because of this list, including the only Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Style commission in Ohio, the Westcott House in Springfield; the former Masonic Temple, now The Athenaeum in downtown Columbus; the John T. Wilson House in Adams County; and many others.

This year’s list of 13 properties includes the “Historic Resources of Park Avenue West” in Mansfield. In its online announcement (which can be found here), which features wording from the nomination forms for each of the included properties, it shares the following about this listing:

The area consists of approximately eight blocks along the main street of Mansfield, Richland County. Originally known as Market Street, in the latter part of the nineteenth century, Park Avenue West was the focal point for statement residential architecture in a city with a burgeoning economy. Almost all historically significant properties on the street face challenges from neglect or inappropriate alteration. The threat is imminent as the street is nearing the tipping point of being able to reflect any semblance of its rich history. Unlike some cities of its size in the Midwest, enough remains of Park Avenue West to give a sense of what must have been a remarkable sense of place. Recently, limited reinvestment has begun and the hope is that this recognition can provide an impetus for more as well as a reason to collect rehabilitation information and resources.

Preservation Ohio will be working over the next year to do just that – bring together resources and advocate for this important part of Ohio history. 1812Blockhouse will be assisting in that effort.

Preservation Ohio is Ohio’s oldest statewide historic preservation organization, an independent, non-profit organization recognized under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Preservation Ohio was established in 1982 to enhance the understanding of and appreciation for Ohio’s historic resources and to serve as a focal point for Ohio organizations, municipalities, corporations and individuals who care about these resources and are concerned about preservation for future generations. For more information and updates, visit our website at www.preserveohio.com or like us on Facebook.

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