Cincinnati Preservation Association is proud to announce its entry in the Partners in Preservation: Main Streets campaign, the Woodward Theater, will be receive a $150,000 grant to restore its historic 1913 electric marquee.  Voting ran for a month and ended October 31st.
 Thank you  to everyone who voted!  The Woodward finished eighth among 25 sites nationwide which were vying for $2 million in grant funding from American Express to Main Street districts in need of preservation support across America. In all, the about ten sites with the most votes will receive funding.
“It has been amazing to watch the Cincinnati preservation community rally to the challenge by voting for our entry, The Woodward Theater,” says Paul Muller, CPA executive director. “The marquee is the last missing piece of the 1913 facade, by rebuilding it, the theater will add vitality to Main Street just as it did at the dawn of the age of electricity.”
The work to rebuild the historic marquee will begin in mid 2018 and is expected to be complete by the end of 2018.
Dan McCabe, one of the Woodward Theater owners, was a great partner. Dan summed up his reaction to the voting project: “It has been an absolute honor representing Cincinnati in this national contest! Cincinnatians have an unique understanding of the value of celebrating and preserving history. From our first-ever major league baseball team, the oldest open-air market at Findlay, the birthplace of rock-n-roll at Cincinnati’s King Records…. to the amazing wealth of historic architecture throughout our city. We know our stuff.” McCabe manages the theater with a community based approach and appreciated the outpouring of support. He commented that “It’s been invigorating working within a community that has such a depth of knowledge of it’s history and it’s value. Other cities have a lot to learn from us. Thank You Cincinnati!”
“This win would not have possible without broad support” said Muller, “Here at Cincinnati Preservation Association we are very grateful for the support (and votes) from our friends at Cincinnati Preservation Collective, the Over-the-Rhine Foundation and the public!”
In addition to the $150,000 to fund the marquee reconstruction, Cincinnati Preservation Association won $10,000 in a special challenge by achieving the greatest percentage increase in voting in the final week.  Thanks again to everyone who voted each day.  You showed that preservation matters in Cincinnati!


The Woodward will have its 1913 marquee in place by this time in 2018 thanks to the voting effort of thousands of Cincinnati preservation minded citizens! Photo Credit: Phil Armstrong


The theater is an important anchor of Main Street in Over-the-Rhine.  Photo Credit: Phil Armstrong


The Woodward Theater was constructed in 1913 to be a “moving picture” theater. It is a rare surviving example of the first movie theaters.  What is exceptional about the building is how much of the original appearance remains.  The marquee reconstruction will complete the restoration and return the facade to its original design.


The innovative use of electric lighting is evident in this rendering of the reconstructed marquee. The white glazed brick was used to amplify the impact of this emerging technology on Main Street.


The Open House was a chance to encourage people to stop in and learn about the Vote Your Main Street project.

Open House at the Woodward on October 8th

Thanks to American Express, National Geographic and the National Trust for the including Cincinnati Preservation Association in the public voting project!

About Partners in Preservation

Partners in Preservation is a program in which American Express, in partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, awards preservation grants to historic places across the country.
Through this partnership, American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation seek to increase the public’s awareness of the importance of historic preservation in the United States and to preserve America’s historic and cultural places. The program also hopes to inspire long-term support from local citizens for the historic places at the heart of their communities.