About Us

Hours of Operation
Monday-Friday
8:00 a.m. -5:00 p.m.
Our office is closed New Year's Day, Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veteran's Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
Individual staff hours may vary. To better serve you we recommend that you call ahead for an appointment.

State Historic Preservation Office

Ohio History Connection
Ohio 800 E. 17th Ave.
Columbus, Ohio 43211-2474

Telephone: 614.298-2000
Fax: 614.298.2037
E-mail: ohpo@ohiohistory.org 

Click here for directions.

Click here to view a list of State Historic Preservation Office Staff.

 


The State Historic Preservation Office is the official historic preservation agency of the State of Ohio. It has developed since 1967 when the Ohio History Connection was designated to manage responsibilities delegated to the state by Congress in the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The State Historic Preservation Office:

 

  • prepares and distributes a state historic preservation plan,
  • identifies historic places and archaeological sites,
  • nominates eligible properties to the National Register of Historic Places,
  • reviews rehabilitation work to income-producing National Register properties for federal investment tax credits,
  • consults on significance and proposed federally-assisted projects for effects on historic, architectural, and archaeological resources,
  • qualifies communities for the Certified Local Government program and administers matching grants to them,
  • consults on the conservation of buildings and sites, and
  • offers educational programs and publications.

Headquartered in Columbus, the office has a staff of archaeologists, historians, architectural historians, a historical architect, and others with professional expertise in preservation-related fields. The office is funded in part by an annual grant from the U.S. Department of the Interior's Historic Preservation Fund. The Ohio History Connection, State of Ohio, and other public and private sources match the federal funds.

The mission of the State Historic Preservation Office is to assist organizations, businesses, and individuals in preserving Ohio's historic resources as a living part of our heritage through effective management of the joint federal/state/local historic preservation program and by fostering, in association with others, a preservation ethic.

Certified Local Governments
Communities can participate more actively in the state historic preservation program by becoming Certified Local Governments. To become certified, a unit of local government must have an approved program for recognizing and protecting its historic, architectural, and archaeological resources.

The State Historic Preservation Office helps local governments establish certifiable preservation programs, offering advice on identifying historic, architectural, and archaeological resources; developing a preservation plan; nominating eligible properties to the National Register of Historic Places; and protecting local resources. Certified Local Governments can apply for matching grants awarded by the State Historic Preservation Office to help fund projects like these and others.

Recording Ohio's Resources  
The State Historic Preservation Office is compiling a permanent record of our built environment. The Ohio Historic Inventory records places of historic or architectural merit. The Ohio Archaeological Inventory records prehistoric and historic archaeological sites.

Records describing more than 140,000 properties in all parts of the state are kept at the Ohio Historical Center in Columbus. Computerized information from both inventories aids preservation planning and research on history, architecture, and archaeology.

The National Register of Historic Places
The National Register of Historic Places lists buildings, sites, structures, and objects worthy of being preserved. This official list includes places of national, state, and local importance. In Ohio, anyone may nominate a property to the National Register of Historic Places. Nominations are made through the State Historic Preservation Office and are reviewed by the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board. Members of the board are appointed by the governor; they include interested citizens and professionals in preservation-related disciplines. Final decisions on National Register listing are made by the U.S. Department of the Interior, which maintains the National Register. Listing a property on the National Register does not affect an owner's right to alter or sell it.

Protecting Our Heritage
The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 made the preservation of our historic, architectural, and archaeological resources a national policy. Consistent with this policy, the federal government requires that projects and programs it funds or licenses in Ohio be reviewed by the State Historic Preservation Office to determine what effects, if any, they will have upon historic, architectural, or archaeological resources.
The State Historic Preservation Office reviews more than 5000 federally-assisted undertakings a year to see that alternatives are considered in any action that would damage or destroy properties listed on, or eligible for, the National Register. When there is no prudent and feasible alternative, we may agree to the loss of a significant property if steps adequate to reduce the impact of its destruction are proposed.

Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits
Owners who rehabilitate income-producing properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places are eligible to apply for a 20 percent federal Rehabilitation Investment Tax Credit on qualified expenses. Work must be certified as conforming to the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, which are in use nationwide. The State Historic Preservation Office counsels owners on applying for certification and conducts preliminary meetings, site visits and project assessments as needed to help them qualify for the tax credit. Applications are submitted by the State Historic Preservation Office to the U.S. Department of the Interior for final approval.

The Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit program is administered by the Ohio Development Services Agency in partnership with the State Historic Preservation Office. It provides a tax credit to owners and long-term lessees of historic buildings equal to 25% of Qualified Rehabilitation Expenditures. A building is eligible if its in individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places; contributes to a National Register Historic District, National Park Service Certified Historic District or Certified Local Government historic district; or is listed as a local landmark by a Certified Local Government. Rehabilitation work must meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation. The Program is competitive. Applications are evaluated by ODSA with a scoring system that measures economic impact, community benefit and return on investment to state and local governments.

Planning for the Future  
One of the goals of the State Historic Preservation Office is to prepare and implement a comprehensive statewide historic preservation plan, A Future to Ohio's Past. The plan will organizes existing information about Ohio's historic, architectural, and archaeological resources so that it can be used to set future priorities for the identification, evaluation, and protection of our state's historic resources.

Conserving Ohio's Resources
Free technical advice is available from our experienced staff. Services include a preservation research library, Building Doctor Clinics, and publications including the Old-Building Owner's Manual.

Educational Programs
The State Historic Preservation Office offers workshops, webinars, and technical training sessions on each of the program areas described above. 

Contact the State Historic Preservation Office to become involved in preserving Ohio's historic architectural and archaeological resources. Active support by citizens throughout the state is vital to the future of Ohio's past.