By 1812Blockhouse

Preservation Ohio, the state’s original statewide historic preservation organization, has announced the official List of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites for 2023.

For the second year in a row, The Historic Resources of Park Avenue West in Mansfield was named to this important list. 

Thirty years ago, Ohio’s statewide preservation organization had an idea. Why not highlight the most at-risk properties in the state to showcase both the precarious condition of many significant historic resources while also promoting them as opportunities for reinvestment? Originally, the List of Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Sites was issued every other year; approximately 20 years ago the change was made to an annual listing.

This year, Preservation Ohio again 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. Twelve properties representing all areas of Ohio are included in this year’s edition.

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.

The Historic Resources of Park Avenue West includes an area of approximately eight blocks along the main street of Mansfield, Richland County. The street features outstanding examples of Italianate, Queen Anne, Prairie, and other styles of nineteenth and early twentieth century architecture. Like the grand avenues of many Ohio cities, Park Avenue West has experienced decades of disinvestment with a resulting loss of historic resources. Large gaps have developed in the streetscape and several structures are in precarious condition. Limited renovation and restoration efforts have stalled.

The threat is imminent as the street is nearing the tipping point of being able to reflect any semblance of its rich history, and whether or not it can serve as an attractive gateway to a downtown which is seeking economic revitalization.

The entire list, with photos, can be viewed here.

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