CPA Presents “Renovation On The Route,” July 26

June 23rd, 2014  |  Published in News

“The greenest building is the one already built!” Tour a green/historic renovation in progress along the streetcar route at 1405 Elm Street, 7/26, 10 am – noon. Free to CPA members, $10 guests. Reservations required: 513-721-4506,
Located on a block of great buildings north of Music Hall in Over-the-Rhine, 1405 is a raised-basement double townhouse built c. 1890. Vacant for years, it is now under renovation using historic tax incentives, with the goal of LEED accreditation.

Important: Please be aware that the house is a construction site, is NOT air-conditioned and has many steps. Comfortable clothes and sturdy shoes are a MUST. Parking available on Elm, on side streets and in the Washington Park Garage.

City Council Renews Lytle Park Historic District!

May 2nd, 2014  |  Published in News

Lytle Park Historic District Renewed 

by City Council with a vote of 9 to 0


Strong support emerged from an inclusive public process


Today Cincinnati City Council reaffirmed its commitment to historic preservation by voting to renew the Lytle Park Historic District. The city’s oldest historic district, it was created in 1964 with a 50-year sunset date.  ”This continues the city’s support for our historic resources and shows that Cincinnati leaders recognize how much value they add,” said Paul Muller, executive director of the Cincinnati Preservation Association.

Lytle Park was created to protect and honor the area of the city’s oldest settlement, where the Taft family set the stage for important cultural institutions.


Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton Co.
Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton Co.

The neighborhood also was the scene of an important early preservation victory. In the 1960s, downtown development endangered the park’s character, and an interstate highway threatened to slice thru the Taft Museum’s front yard. The park and its neighborhood were saved when the road was recessed and covered with a lid.  Western & Southern Financial Group helped pay for the lid and has followed with years of stewardship in the area.

Lytle Park’s beauty now attracts  people back to the neighborhood.  They are committed to preserving its unique character and were active advocates for the renewal. Lynn Patterson Jacobs, co-chair of the Lytle Park Historic District Coalition, noted, “Now, well beyond the time any of us here are making decisions, a new district will forever protect the historic fabric of one of Cincinnati’s most beloved neighborhoods.  That’s a most satisfying accomplishment.”

The Cincinnati Historic Conservation Office did an excellent job of managing the process and drafting the guidelines.  They are clear and rational and incorporated comments from many stakeholders. The guidelines protect historic character while accommodating new uses essential to a healthy, dynamic city. While the new boundary is a compromise, it was developed with input from stakeholders in an open process. It includes most of the buildings in the original district, such as the Literary Club and Anna Louise Inn, and protects the essential zone of the park.

Cincinnati History Library and Archives
Lytle Park during construction of I-71, disaster was avoided when W&S helped fund the lid over the roadway  

Local historic districts are well-developed zoning tools used with great success in Cincinnati and across the nation. As shown in neighborhoods like Over-the-Rhine, Columbia Tusculum, East Walnut Hills and Observatory Place, they raise property values and attract quality development.

City Council responded to a strong show of support from residents, businesses and institutions around the park, and people across the City. We commend them for their leadership and hope the City builds on today’s success by designating more districts to protect its matchless historic resources.

Cincinnati Preservation Association was an active participant throughout the designation process just as it was for the original district in 1964. At that time the organization was known as Miami Purchase Association for Historic Preservation.  S. Frederick Starr, an early leader of MPAHP, placed the area in perspective recently with the following:

“Lytle Park was created as a Historic District in 1964 as an island of tranquility surrounded on all sides –including beneath!– by the bustle of a modern city. Anchored by the historic Taft Museum, arguably the finest piece of architecture of any period in the metropolitan area, and by the Literary Cub, where such Cincinnati-based discoveries as the excavations at Troy and the Salk vaccine were made known to fellow Cincinnatians, Lytle Park has fulfilled its promise for half a century. … City Council (should) congratulate itself on a job well done over fifty years.”–Dr. S. Frederick Starr, former President of Oberlin College,  and co-author of  The Archaeology of Hamilton County, Ohio (1960)   S. Frederick Starr

For more information call CPA at 513 721-4506 and see an Enquirer article at:

Lytle Park Historic District Overview


 “Things that belong to Cincinnati and give it character should be preserved.”– Dean Pickering, Chair, Cincinnati Planning Commission (Cincinnati Enquirer, April 4, 1964)


Forward-Looking Legislation

  • City recognized as leader in city planning beginning in 1920s
  • As part of planning process, City recognized early on importance of preserving historic areas
  • First historic preservation legislation–protection area ordinance—enacted 1964
  • Created specifically to protect Lytle Park, Dayton Street and other historic areas City might seek to designate
  • Put forward-looking step in context: 2 years before National Historic Preservation Act, 14 years before Supreme Court Penn Central decision,  16 years before City’s 1980 conservation legislation
  • Lytle Protection Area created 1964, followed by Dayton Street in 1965: among first districts in country
  • Lytle district created to provide protection for key buildings in and around park, protect character of park as special place, enhance views for those enjoying the park
  • Lytle district enacted with 50-year sunset date, will expire without decisive action; critical that district be renewed

The Taft Legacy

  • District also honored efforts of Taft family to preserve and beautify corner of downtown, memorial  to great civic-minded family
  • Tafts persuaded clubs, institutions to locate there so buildings would be preserved
  • Also built or endowed buildings around park: Anna Louse Inn, named for daughter; Earls Building, rector of Christ Church; Phelps Townhouse, upscale apartment house, in-town residence for wealthy families; and, of course, Taft museum.

Benefits of Local Historic Districts

  • After Lytle and Dayton designations enacted, City went on to designate 20 more, including 5 in downtown: more than any other city in state
  • Local district designation often requested by neighborhoods to help control their destinies
  • Include commonsense design guidelines for renovation, demolition, new construction, a useful tool
  • District designation: Recognition that ensemble is greater than sum of parts
  • Buildings derive their importance not only from their own historical or architectural significance, but from context
  • Value of individual buildings diminished if too many pieces are lost or setting is diminished
  • Local designation helps neighborhoods direct change; gives owners/residents a seat at table; preserves place worth saving

Plan Cincinnati

  • Redesignation of Lytle Park also compatible with Plan Cincinnati
  • Sustain Goal 2: Preserve our natural and built environment
  • Objective B. Preserve our built history
  • Action step: Preserve our built history with new development incentives and regulatory measures
  • Short-range: Use the recently completed historic inventory to create new historic districts.

“City policies should be designed to enhance and encourage such efforts.”–1964 City Planning Department staff report supporting enaction of Cincinnati Protection Area Ordinance

Posted 5/2/2014

Spring House Tour a Success!

March 12th, 2014  |  Published in News

Historic Mansions of Lafayette

In the Heart of Clifton

What a fabulous house tour!  In spite of the questionable weather, 800 people turned out for the tour on Saturday.  Thank you for joining us and thanks to our homeowners, sponsors and dedicated volunteers!



CPA thanks our generous sponsors:

Architects Plus is a sponsor of Preserving Modernism in the Midwest





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crapsey & gilles cropped

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“Oakwood,” the Henry Probasco House

Scarlet Oaks

Built 1866

Norman Revival style

William Tinsley, architect

Isaac Graveson, contractor

National Register of Historic Places

Cincinnati City Landmark

…”the outstanding example of the rare Mid-Victorian Norman Revival…applied to a large-scale residence” (Walter E. Langsam, Great Houses of the Queen City, 1997)


 250px-Scarlet_Oaks_in_Cincinnati “Scarlet Oaks,” the George Shoenberger House

Built 1870

High Victorian Gothic style

James K. Wilson, architect

National Register of Historic Places

“…a long, rambling stone mansion which, like some lordly castle of the old feudal times rearing its castellated towers above a lawn of exquisite richness.”—D.J. Kenney, 1875


“Stonehedge,” the Harries C. and Elizabeth J. Hulbert Housestonehedge 2014 02 13-001

333 Lafayette Avenue

Built 1887

Swiss Chalet style

Plympton & Trowbridge, architects

… “one of the most novel features [of the house] is the use of erratic boulders in the construction of the main walls, supporting a projecting superstructure.”–The Industries of Cincinnati (1886)


50 for 50! Help Select the Historic Buildings and Sites that Define Cincinnati

January 10th, 2014  |  Published in News

Click Here to Go to the Facebook List of Historic Buildings

Help CPA celebrate it’s 50th Anniversary by selecting the top 50 buildings and sites that make Cincinnati unique.


Send a photo of any historic building, site or landscape that you like. You can submit as many photos as you like. Then you and everyone else can vote for the entries to make the 50 list! Just click an image then vote, you can vote for as many as you like.


The top 50 historic buildings and sites will be included in our exhibition on 50 years of preservation in the Fall.

logo for survey

Preservation Awards for Local Preservation Excellence

November 11th, 2013  |  Published in News, Uncategorized

Cincinnati Preservation Association (CPA) presented seven awards for local preservation excellence at its 49th annual meeting on Sunday, November 10, 2013 at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center. The awards ranged from an education award to a lifetime achievement honor. Innovation, creativity, collaboration—and persistence–made these projects possible.

This year’s honorees are: 2013 Preservation Award Winners

Education Award: The award recognizes organizations or individuals who have produced quality programs, publications, inventories, etc., promoting awareness of historic preservation.

o Cincinnati’s Terrace Plaza Hotel: An Icon of American Modernism; Shawn Patrick Tubb

IMG_2515image002 (1)

The first monograph about a Cincinnati Modernist landmark, Cincinnati’s Terrace Plaza Hotel tells the dramatic story of the design and construction of this modern masterpiece, and explores its potential for reuse.




Lifetime Achievement Award: CPA’s Lifetime Achievement Award honors individuals who, throughout their careers, have made major contributions to historic preservation in Cincinnati.

o David and Barbara Day, of David Day, Designer & Associates, Inc.

The art and restoration work of husband-and-wife partners David and Barbara Day celebrates Cincinnati’s history, architecture and unique character.

Rehabilitation Award: This award recognizes owners and developers of historic buildings that have been substantially restored or rehabilitated and comply with the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation. Work must have been completed within the last year.

o The Reserve, Downtown

Developer and Co-Owner: Ashley Commercial Group. Co-Owner: Arcadia Communities. Partner: City Studios Architecture.
This classic 1927 office tower in the West Fourth Street Historic District has been successfully renovated as apartments and commercial space using historic tax incentives.

o Developer: 21c Museum Hotels

Architect: Perfido Weiskopf  Wagstaff + Goettel. Partners: The McCall Group LLC, Deborah Berke Partners, Kohrs Lonnemann Heil Engineers PSC, Atlantic Engineering, Messer Construction, Judith B. Williams, Illumination Works LLC.
A hundred years after it opened, a multi-year renovation using historic tax credits has returned the former Metropole to its original use as a luxury hotel. (Photo Credit: Glint Studios)

o Andreas E. Burkhardt House

3989 Beechwood Avenue, North Avondale, Owner: Sandra Wilson
A long-neglected Swiss Chalet-style residence in North Avondale’s elegant Rose Hill district has been rescued from decay and lovingly restored by its preservationist owner

o Glenmore Playhouse

3716 Glenmore Avenue, Cheviot, Owner: The Drama Workshop
A beloved Cheviot bowling alley has been saved from demolition and repurposed as the permanent home for a West Side drama troupe.

Sustainability Award: This honors major improvements in the energy efficiency of a historic building, while preserving its architectural character.

o GreenSource Cincinnati Headquarters, Downtown, Owner: GreenSource Cincinnati

An 1875 brick townhouse has been renovated to LEED Platinum standards as a showcase for green technology: the first historic downtown building to be so honored.


CPA Accepting Donations for Murals

June 6th, 2013  |  Published in News

The Cincinnati Enquirer, June 6, 2013 – Cliff Radel

Let the donations begin.

Cincinnati Preservation Association officially started accepting funds Wednesday to save the nine, endangered, industrial mosaic murals that once hung in Union Terminal’s now-demolished concourse.

“We were involved in the original effort to save these murals,” said Paul Muller, the association’s executive director. “We are lucky they were created, saved and now available for return to Cincinnati.”

The nine murals stand in two shuttered terminals slated for demolition at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. Plans call for the terminals to be wrecked by 2015. The city of Cincinnati has first right of refusal to find the murals a new home. Mayor Mark Mallory wants to bring the works of nickel-sized pieces of colored glass and tinted mortar back to Ohio and inside the Duke Energy Convention Center.

The estimated cost to pack, remove, transport and install the nine, 20-feet by 20-feet, 8-ton panels is $5 million to $7 million. Governmental funds are not available to foot the entire bill.

Public money was also in short supply when the murals were moved to the airport in 1973. That’s when Cincinnati Preservation Association’s initial incarnation, the Miami Purchase Association for Historic Preservation, stepped in. Association officials also made sure, Muller noted, that the murals’ deed “specified that the city had first choice if the murals were ever to be moved again.”

Muller said reserving them once more “will add to the rich heritage of Cincinnati.”

Since an Enquirer story broke the news of the murals’ plight and the association’s involvement in raising funds to save the works of art, Muller said he has “been contacted by several individuals and an investment banker. They wanted to know when Cincinnati Preservation Association will be accepting donations.”

The answer is now.

If you prefer to donate by check, please make checks payable to:  Save the Murals Fund and mail to 342 West Fourth Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202.