Brews on Tues: Crawling through the Wedge

Brews on Tues: Crawling through the Wedge

 

By Clare Farnung – Young Urban Preservationists (Rochester, NY)

pic1About a month ago you read a little about the Rochester YUPs’ WHERE THE #$@& AM I? Coaster Project. We’ve all been in a building at some point and thought “I wonder what this building used to be?” This is where our coaster project comes in–we research and talk to the owners of bars and restaurants housed in old spaces and create a website that can be accessed by a QR code, which we then print on bar coasters and give to the bar to spark their patrons’ interest in the space and to get people thinking about their city’s history. In May, to celebrate the addition of 4 bars and restaurants to our project we held a bar crawl through the South Wedge neighborhood of Rochester.

We started the crawl at Tap and Mallet, a bar known for its impressive, frequently changing draft list, pub food and a laid back vibe. With 30 draft lines and a cask ale, it’s not hard to find something you’ll enjoy. Built in 1899, the building has a pretty boozy history, it was originally a saloon and at one point it was home to a grocery store. The last few decades it’s gone back to its roots, housing several bars and restaurants.

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Despite, or maybe because of, Rochester’s tendency towards long, cold, snowy winters, Rochesterians live for their outdoor eating areas. And Tap and Mallet’s doesn’t disappoint with tables set up on the sidewalk in the summer and a patio in the back complete with overhanging trees, brick walls, and a mural.

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Our second stop, just down the street, is tucked into the basement of the Historic German House. The German House was built in 1908 by St. Boniface Church, a Catholic church just across the street, to serve as their parish hall. In 1924 they sold it to the United German-American Societies of Rochester, hence the name. The German House is one of those places that’s been around for so long and housed so many things, everyone has been there at some point. Fun fact: Rohrbach Brewing Company, which was mentioned in Rochester’s last Brews on Tues post got its start in the German House. And since 2014, ButaPub has been a part of that almost 100 year history.

pic4On our bar crawl, we were lucky enough to have the owner give us a backstage look at the building, literally. Most of the German House is taken up by the concert hall where the owners are working on uncovering and restoring some of the unique features of the building, including the original tin ceiling. After the tour it was back down to ButaPub’s swanky bar for drinks and a little relaxation before moving on.

After enjoying ButaPub’s lounge, it was just a quick stroll around the corner to Harry G’s, the youngest bar so far to be a part of our WHERE THE #&@% AM I? Project. Most Rochestarians know Harry G’s as a deli, which opened in 2012. When the space next door to them became available the owners decided to expand and opened a bar earlier this year. Harry G’s has some beautiful original brick walls, an emphasis on New York State beers and wine, and an entire deli just next door. If that doesn’t say great neighborhood bar, I don’t know what does.

Our final bar on the crawl, a few doors down from Harry G’s, was Lux Lounge. Lux is THE bar of the neighborhood, it’s a self-proclaimed dive bar that is so Lux it’s honestly hard to explain. In the summers the backyard is full of people and dogs alike and on Wednesdays you might be lucky enough to find your favorite cult classic playing. Your first visit to Lux isn’t complete until you’ve had their cheeseburger shot: a shot each of tequila, tomato juice, and pickle juice. On any night you might walk into craft night, free PB&J night or a DIY bloody mary bar. Lux has been a longtime focal point for us YUPs (serving as the HQ for our first two Bikes, Beer, & Buildings scavenger hunts) so it was only natural that we make them the grand finale to our WHERE THE #&@% AM I? Bar crawl. In the 1980s the building was home to the Snake Sisters Cafe, a lesbian bar, where Lux owner Karrie first happened upon the place and said that someday the space would be hers.

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Although these four bars and restaurants serve different drinks, different food, and have very different atmospheres, the one thing they have in common is their love of their community. The South Wedge neighborhood they all call home is known for being slightly off kilter, a little gritty but dedicated to its inhabitants. And these four establishments are no different. Each of these places want their patrons to be comfortable in their space, to keep coming back until it’s the regular hangout. Whether they know it or not, using these old spaces jumpstarts that comfortable feeling. Walking in, you know a thousand feet have crossed that threshold before you and a thousand more will cross it after you. You’re not surprised to find a healthy selection of local beers on their draft list because these places all resonate with the love they have for their city and neighborhood. Those feelings can’t be mass produced, they can’t be bought. They only come from time and a lot of love. And the YUPs will always raise a glass to that.

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#LoveYourHD: A Recap!

By Raina ReganPreserve Greater Indy

For May, we asked you to share why you #LoveYourHD. We loved seeing participation from around the Rust Belt and all the great historic districts that protect and preserve our built environment. Instameets were held in Wheeling, Indianapolis, Toledo, and Columbus in local historic districts to celebrate #LoveYourHD during Preservation Month. Here’s a few of our favorite moments from the month of May that celebrate why you #LoveYourHD!

German Village, Columbus, Ohio

In German Village, eighth grade students gave some actual love to the local historic district at a workshop. We love seeing youth involved in hands-on activities in preserving historic places. This asks a good question: For what types of activities could you use student volunteer help in your local historic district?

Indianapolis, Indiana

One of Indy’s finest examples of Art Deco, the former Coca-Cola bottling plant, is about to be redeveloped. Thanks to its local designation, the project will have to obtain approvals from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission before altering this one-of-a-kind terracotta façade.

Wheeling, West Virginia

Local designation preserves distinctive places until the right new use and owner comes along. We’re glad to hear this Wheeling gem will be turned into apartments.

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#wyp member @adambedway took this pic from his tour of the Boury Warehouse on Saturday. The Boury Warehouse is apart of the Wheeling Warehouse Historic District. It sat empty for years but is now being turned into apartments by the WODA Group, Inc. Don't miss another historic building tour and join the Friends of Wheeling. You can find them on facebook. Membership is $10 a year. Their monthly news and event letter alone is worth that! #wheelove #thisplacematters #deserve2preserve #wheelingwv #wheelingfeeling #loveyourhd #wyp #wheelingwestvirginia @adambedway's original caption: ・・・ Touring the Boury building in downtown Wheeling this morning. WODA is redeveloping the building into residential units that range from 600-1200 sq. ft. These are the kind of projects we need in this town. #preservation #wheelingwv #wheeling_shooters #thisplacematters #downtownwheeling

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Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Restoration Society featured Cleveland historic districts along with updates from the Cleveland Landmarks Commission. We know that attending your local commission meeting and being a local advocate is important to show our elected officials and appointed boards that preservation is important in our communities!

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

We’re thankful that the use of local historic districts prevented the unnecessary demolition of so many historic resources in our community. To think this beauty could have been lost…

Fort Wayne, Indiana

Our local historic districts preserve the historic neighborhood fabric so, instead of demolition, our historic resources can wait until someone is able to show them love and invest in their future. This before and after in Fort Wayne shows the potential every historic property has to come back to life.

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#SavingPlaces #FortWayne #ThisPlaceMatters #LoveYourHD

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Toledo, Ohio

Local historic districts protect outstanding architecture in our communities. This house could never be built today. We’re glad to hear it’s being restored by a sympathetic new owner.

Thanks to everyone who tagged photos with #LoveYourHD! We encourage you to continue spreading the good work of your local historic districts and built support for their value to your community. Check out the #LoveYourHD tag on Instagram for even more historic district goodness!

#LoveYourHD: Rochester’s Park Ave.

#LoveYourHD: Rochester’s Park Ave.

By Nick Delahanty – Young Urban Preservationists

Many Rochesterians and visitors spend a great deal of their leisure time and dollars in our city’s historic districts.The diversity of retail, quality housing, and picturesque streetscapes draw people in and, whether they know it or not, they are appreciating and supporting the preservation of these areas. You might even call them closet preservationists (see Caitlin Meives’ TEDx Flour City talk below for more about this). The historic buildings, parks, and public spaces that make up the fabric of our city are critical to a healthy neighborhood. For me though, it’s the pedestrian-centric design and the human scale of our historic districts–created before America became infatuated with the automobile–that are the underpinning for the success of our historic districts.

ParkAve-Rochester-2016_08I live in one of Rochester’s best preserved and most popular neighborhoods, just south of the East Avenue National Register Historic District (also a locally designated City Preservation District). Park Avenue runs along the southern edge of the East Ave. district and is the commercial and social spine of the neighborhood. Radiating from this street of bars and restaurants overflowing onto the sidewalks with dogs and people is a tightly woven grid of small apartment buildings and turn of the century homes. The sidewalks, lined with mature trees and welcoming front porches, boast a diverse, ever-changing cast of characters–from overindulgent college students, to retirees and their noble dogs, to visitors from the suburbs and an ever-growing armada of strollers.

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Although we’re just a few blocks south of Park Ave., those of us in the heart of the Park Ave. neighborhood (a large swathe of thousands of properties) are left out of the district and therefore left out of the NYS Homeowners Tax Credit program. Our section of the neighborhood has been officially eligible for listing since the 1980s but no one has ever taken the initiative to pursue a district. New census data has revealed that Park Ave. (admittedly one of the wealthier neighborhoods in the city) is now in a census tract that qualifies for the NYS tax credit programs. That was the motivation that we, as homeowners who are spending an inordinate amount of income on old house repairs, needed to begin the daunting task of getting a nearly 2000 property district listed.

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With my partner and YUP co-founder, Caitlin, leading the charge, we’ve begun the long process of getting our neighborhood listed as a historic district. We are starting by getting estimates from consultants and reaching out to homeowners (both in the existing East Ave district and the potential Park Ave district) to inform them about tax credits and the National Register listing process. Rochester has so many amazing neighborhoods, and I believe the impetus is on us, the citizens,to be good stewards of the amazing neighborhoods and spaces our city has to offer for future generations.

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Pittsburgh Brews on Tues: #LoveYourHD Edition

Pittsburgh Brews on Tues: #LoveYourHD Edition

By Mike Panzitta Young Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

We love our historic districts for so many reasons, from their unrivaled architecture to their well-established communities to their human-scale intimacy. But there’s another thing we here at the Rust Belt Coalition love about our historic neighborhoods: the blue-collar tradition of the local tavern. And we feel that here in the Rust Belt more than any other region, the unpretentiousness, sense of community, and ubiquity of the neighborhood bars allow them to be meeting places welcoming to everyone.

Pittsburgh, as an old mill town, has no shortage of these taverns where you’d feel just as comfortable ordering a West Coast fancy beer as an Imp ‘n’ Ahrn. We’re going to look at a couple bars in Historic Deutschtown in Pittsburgh’s North Side that are upholding this great tradition.

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A cool dude across the street from the Park House in 1947. Photo credit: Park House

 

The Park House is a Pittsburgh institution, and for good reason. Housed in an 1890s-era storefront in the main business district of Deutschtown, the bar has been continuously operating since the end of Prohibition. Though its narrow footprint makes for tough navigating when it’s packed, the small size of the bar lends to its local feel. And the place does get packed – One of the most well-known Park House tradition is the free bluegrass Wednesday with the Shelf Life String Band, which fills the bar each week.

Plus, Park House always has free popcorn and peanuts, which is awesome.

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One of my favorite things about Max’s are the amazing stained glass light fixtures throughout the bar. Photo credit: Max’s Allegheny Tavern

 

Max’s Allegheny Tavern puts the “Deutsch” in Deutschtown (and I can’t believe I just wrote that). Its German menu is well known in the city, and at least I can attest that their potato pancake reuben is out of this world. Max’s, with significantly more space than the Park House, has a more relaxed, sit-down vibe, and it’s definitely more of a bar/restaurant feel. But that doesn’t make it any less cozy or intimate…wooden booths, gorgeous stained glass light fixtures, and a working player piano give the tavern a welcoming and historic feel. Order their German beer sampler flight and you can’t help but think of the German immigrants who built the North Side and gave it that distinct feel you can’t find anywhere else in the city.

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Allegheny City Brewing is one of the newest businesses putting up shop in Deutschtown. A brand-new brewery from a few Pittsburghers who spent some time in Colorado, ACB looks to have the potential (from the couple times I’ve been in their shop for tastings) to be a new anchor institution in the North Side. Their beer list is incredibly extensive and they have a real connection with the neighborhood and its history. They’re looking to open within a month or so, so keep an eye out!

The Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists loves beer. And we (obviously) love historic districts. So you can imagine how excited we get when a historic district has a robust bar scene like Deutschtown in Pittsburgh. Be sure to hit us up next time you’re in town – we’ll show you around the neighborhood!

#LoveYourHD: Pittsburgh

#LoveYourHD: Pittsburgh

By Mike PanzittaYoung Preservationists Association of Pittsburgh

Though we don’t have the same urgency of potential threats to our local historic districts and landmarks as seen recently in Michigan and Wisconsin, Pittsburgh residents have to navigate through some legal hurdles to push for preservation in our neighborhoods. Whether it’s the City Code, zoning restrictions, or other obstructions, sometimes YPA has a great plan to save a site, only to be stymied by legal issues.

An interesting example of such legal issues is the Albright United Methodist Church. Some of you came by to snap a photo the Sunday of the RBCoYP Pittsburgh Summit…ugh, Ok, let me figure out how to embed Instagram photos…Ok, here it is:

The Albright Church and its congregation has a rich history that is inextricably tied with Pittsburgh’s own  – a great summary can be found here. The congregation formed in 1843 and is one of the oldest continuously worshiping religious groups in the city, having moved from the heart of Downtown during the early 20th century to the then-developing East End as the city expanded. The congregation worshiped in the building at Centre and South Graham for over one hundred years.

Sadly, a mold issue in 2013 forced the Albright Community to stop using the structure, and a developer has struck a deal with the Western Pennsylvania United Methodist Conference to demolish the historic church and construct a suburban-style, single-story commercial building with parking lot and drive-through in its place. When we heard about this story and plan, YPA decided to work with the nonprofit Friends of Albright to save the building from threat of immediate demolition by supporting a city historic designation.

The only wrench in the works is – and I’m gonna get a little into potential “boring” territory here – City of Pittsburgh Code, Section 1101.03, which says that religious structures must be nominated for historic designation by their owners. Friends of Albright has used the fact that the Western PA Methodist Conference has been on record that the structure, as it is no longer used for religious worship, isn’t a religious structure, and the statute doesn’t apply. Regardless, after the city Historic Review Commission recommended it for Historic Designation, the Methodist Conference decided to sue the city, Friends of Albright, and a few local residents.

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Albright United Methodist – A beautiful church on a beautiful day. Photo credit: Adam Sellers

 

Nevertheless, the push for historic designation moved ahead, and yesterday (May 3) afternoon, the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to back the designation. The next step, then, is City Council, and if they have no objections, Albright will be a city Historic Structure (yay!). Aaaaaaand then the lawsuit will likely commence (boo!).

So we at YPA don’t know what will come of the suit or the city code that impedes citizens from nominating religious structures to historic designation. But we plan to back the Congregation and Friends of Albright through the mess and prevent this gorgeous and historic structure from being replaced with drive-through, suburban-style “development.” I hope you all are interested in following the push for historic designation! We’ll be posting about it on the RBCoYP Facebook page, and follow Friends of Albright on their website.

Brews on Tues: Keeping it local in the ROC

Brews on Tues: Keeping it local in the ROC

By Sara Jenks – Young Urban Preservationists (YUPs)

In a new office park in the Rochester suburb of Victor, NY, sits one of the world’s largest beverage companies, in fact, the largest wine producer in the world. Historically, the Rochester drink scene has been dominated by its famed ice wines and prize winning rieslings from the rolling hills of the Finger Lakes Region. But like the Rust Belt young preservationists who have come Tuesdays prior and those who will come Tuesdays next, we Rochesterians have decided that we want our booze local, urban, and found in old buildings.

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In 2014 the Young Urban Preservationists of The Landmark Society of Western New York (YUPs, for short) unveiled our WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ historic pub/bar coaster project. The Rohrbach Brewing Company Beer Hall and Black Button Distilling were in the coaster project’s inaugural class. These two establishments are located on Railroad St. in a factory building built for the Bantleon Brothers’ millwork door company in 1906. Since the door company, this building has housed a telephone warehouse, an auto parts company, and a flea market.

Jason Barret named his distillery Black Button to honor his family’s history of manufacturing buttons that “have closed suits worn by presidents, popes, kings, and businessmen the world over.” Colorblind, Jason grew up thinking every button was black. Black Button was Rochester’s first urban distillery since prohibition, and Rohrbach’s is deemed Rochester’s original craft brewery.

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As the mid 20th century fades into the past, we YUPs can now embrace its architectural fruits. Swiftwater and ROC Brewing Company are modern in their decor and flavor. Located in a former car repair garage across from the Genesee River, Swiftwater stays true to theme with kayaks hanging on the walls. It’s a partcularly gratifying place to drink a beer after a subzero heart-bombing event.

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At ROC Brewing, whether playing shuffleboard or Wednesday night trivia, you can enjoy unique brews like the jalapeno-tinted saison “Sassypants” or my favorite, the citrusy “WHOOPASS” imperial/double IPA. And you can usually catch a pretty fantastic sunset over the downtown skyline, with our lovely Inner Loop project in the foreground (a sunken highway/moat around downtown that’s currently being filled in to re-create a normal urban street…yay for undoing urban renewal!).

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We are looking forward to the development of Split Batch Brewing, a combination coffee shop, craft brewery in one of downtown Rochester’s newest repurposed buildings, The Hive @ 155. Split Batch won the inaugural Retailent Rochester competition last year, offering free rent for a year and start-up assistance. Isn’t it the best when our two favorite activities of historic preservation and drinking local brews can go hand-in-hand?

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Brews on Tues: West Virginia

By Stephanie WrightWheeling Young Preservationists

I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t originally intended to use my first submission to Brews on Tues to debunk the whole “West Virginia moonshine” stereotype. Oh yes, we have champion breweries and wineries scattered throughout our hillsides and I can’t wait to tell you about them, but if I were to be honest, truly honest… there is nothing I can think of that better represents the proud heritage of Appalachian libations or long lineage of traditions passed down through generations of hard-working, independent people than the hand crafted spirits created from the grains of our rich earth and mountain springs.

Today I will share three West Virginia distilleries that are crafting artisan spirits the old fashioned way, the way we’ve been doing it in Appalachia since before the Revolutionary war!

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Image source: hestonfarm.com

Pinchgut Hollow Distillery is a family-owned and operated Americana craft distillery located in Fairmont, WV. The dedicated folks at Pinchgut Hollow have painstakingly restored recipes that have been handed down through generations for over 200 years to create an earthy, honest and authentic whiskey. They also offer an extensive line of novelty and moonshine-style whiskeys in a wide variety of flavors all made from local ingredients, including rhubarb, ramps and are the only buckwheat whiskey producer in the country. They have something for all taste palettes, guaranteed to give you an authentic taste of Appalachia.

Bloomery SweetShine  Plantation Distillery sits on a 12-acre parcel in Charles Town, WV, with an restored 1840s log cabin steeped in history.
This charming mini-distillery produces artisan cordials by hand from

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Image source: bloomberysweetshine.com

the farm’s own lemons and raspberries. Yes, lemons in WV! These guys make a limoncello that hands-down rivals any Italian limoncello. In fact, they have over 20 international awards under their belt. But they’re not just about limoncello.

Bloomery Plantation Distillery is the first commercial growers of lemons in the Mid-Atlantic. Along with 40 Italian Santa Theresa Lemon Trees, the Distillery harvests 300 pounds of Hawaiian Ginger and has 2000 Caroline Raspberry plants. Pumpkins, black walnuts and peaches are also purchased from small family farms to create award-winning liqueurs.

 

 

 

At Smooth Ambler, everything is done the old-fashioned way, from grinding their own carefully selected regional grains to labeling and signing each bottle.

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Image source: smoothambler.com

This grain-to-glass craft distillery is bringing spirits alive by pulling the best ingredients from the region with real mountain water and hand selected grain. If you’re ever passing through Greenbrier County, I recommend stopping for a tour and tasting of their hight-quality bourbon, gin and vodka. Every ounce of alcohol that leaves this distillery is hand-crafted and certain to be of the highest quality available.

That wraps up this week’s Brews on Tues! Next time you hear from this Wheeling Young Preservationists it will be to tell you all about whats on tap in Wheeling’s very own micro brewpub (we’re a small town y’all, this is a BIG deal) and some of the awesome local collaborations that are taking place there. For a sneak peek at what I’ll be talking about check out the Wheeling Brewing Company -Cheers!

#LoveYourHD

#LoveYourHD

This May, join the Rust Belt Coalition of Young Preservationists to celebrate the benefits and assets of our local historic districts with the social media campaign #LoveYourHD. After threats to local historic districts in Michigan and Wisconsin, we want to raise the level of debate and discussion of the value historic districts provide in planning and economic development for our communities. If these threats to historic districts arise in the other states of the Rust Belt, we hope to rally our combined forces to prevent legislatures from making these catastrophic changes!

Need post ideas? Myth-bust those frequent misconceptions of historic districts in your community. Demonstrate local historic districts play an important part in affordable housing, sustainability, economic development, and heritage tourism. Showcase new businesses that opened in a local historic district. The ideas are limitless!

During Preservation Month May 2016, promote your favorite local historic districts on social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and more! We encourage your captions to highlight specific ways a local historic district has positively impacted your community. Use the #LoveYourHD hashtag in every post. We’ll repost our favorites to the @RustBeltYP instagram and twitter accounts.

Even better, organize an instameet in your favorite district to explore and promote historic districts to a broader audience. In Indianapolis, Preserve Greater Indy is teaming up with the instagram community @archi_ologie to host the #OldNorthsideLove instameet in conjunction with #LoveYourHD. Let us know if you’re planning an instameet, we’ll share it with the rest of the RBCoYP!

Here’s a great sample of a few before and after photographs from a local historic district in Indianapolis. When the Old Northside was locally designated in 1979, the neighborhood was full of vacant lots and houses in need of reinvestment. Almost forty years later, the Old Northside is an extremely stable neighborhood with high property values. This early commitment to preserving an area allowed the neighborhood to be preserved for future generations. We used current photos, contrasted with photos from the Indianapolis Historic Preservation Commission in 1975, to show this amazing transformation of houses on 13th Street in the Old Northside.

We know
 the power of local historic districts in creating sustainable and vibrant communities. Let’s make sure they can continue their work to save our neighborhoods, commercial nodes, and distinctive places!

PROTECTING RESOURCES IN OHIO’S COUNTIES AND TOWNSHIPS

By- Nathan Bevil, Young Ohio Presevationists

While the State of Ohio is known for its industrial heritage the sites associated with that history are quite limited. Beyond our cities and villages are all the farms and cross roads communities that make up the Ohio landscape—the barns, fields, cemeteries, roadside stands, and forests that have been inhabited for over 200 years. And then there are the countless resources we don’t see—the archaeological sites that are hidden beneath the ground that tell the long story of Ohioans that predate European contact. All of these sites and places, above and below ground, make up a large part of the story of Ohio. Yet many of them are in danger.

In the State of Ohio historic preservation is only as strong as your local government. In cities and villages you can create just about any sort of local historic preservation ordinance you want. The same is not true for counties and townships. According to the Ohio Revised Code anything outside of a municipality has limited power, meaning that historic and archaeological resources located in those unincorporated areas are at risk.

The loss of rural resources is especially distressing. As farms are consolidated into larger corporate enterprises the need for individual farmsteads is eliminated. Barns, outbuildings, and even the farmhouse can be demolished to make way for more crops. Small crossroads communities, serving the scattered farms within the township, are decimated—too small to remain a village. Small commercial buildings are left to collapse, citizens driving further and further to big-box retailers and strip malls. The community character is lost to rot.

Archaeological resources are even more threatened. Between oil and gas exploration and ever expanding corporate farming there is little to protect archaeological resources if they are uncovered. There has been limited survey of these sites and this has created large problems.

So, what can be done? How can we save these important resources? It all starts with advocacy. Explaining why these resources matter—and how our elected officials and local township and county trustees can do something about it. First and foremost these trustees can agree that these historic resources, wherever they may be within the jurisdiction, are worth investment in repairs and maintenance. Secondly they can seek out the tools available to them to offer protection from outside forces.

As advocates it is also important to talk with your state legislators. Without additional powers granted in the Ohio Revised Code it is difficult to craft ordinances or resolutions to protect historic and archaeological resources. Be an advocate to your legislators to help protect the rural resources that help define Ohio.

YUP 2016: Report from the Flower City

YUP 2016: Report from the Flower City

By Caitlin Meives and Laura Smith, YUP co-founders

Now in our third year, the Young Urban Preservationists (or YUPs!) continue to celebrate all things Rochester, NY. We started off 2016 with a subzero heart bombing event for the former B’nai Israel synagogue. Braving the coldest day of the year with a group of YUPs and school-aged kids from the surrounding neighborhood, we showed some love to this almost 90-year-old building that was abandoned in 2004.

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Before creating the heart bombs, one of our YUPs (who also happens to be a city school teacher) taught the kids about preservation, what’s cool about these vacant old buildings, and what can be done to re-purpose them so that they benefit their neighborhood. It was really touching to see the kids almost instantly grasp these concepts and jump onto our bandwagon.

We also heart bombed a vacant and deteriorating former brewery:

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Since February, we’ve been hard at work expanding The Landmark Society of Western New York’s (our parent organization) WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ coaster project. WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ is a project that connects people to places. QR codes on the coasters direct bar patrons to a website that provides before/after photos and a few factoids about the building. As I like to say: It’s not a history lesson; it’s a random amalgamation of titillating tidbits; a series of snippets; a window onto the power of change.

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We’re reaching out to our favorite local bars and restaurants in Rochester to become a part of this network but ultimately we want to expand throughout western New York (and beyond! Interested in joining our network? Contact Caitlin for more information). On May 21st, we’ll be celebrating the recent expansion of our coaster sites with a WHERE THE #&@% AM I?™ bar crawl in the historic South Wedge Neighborhood.

We also continue to build on some recurring events we’ve established over the past few years. In May, we’re holding the next installment of our Old House Hacks, a series of one-off classes on restoring, preserving, and maintaining historic homes. In July, we’ll host our third annual Bikes, Beers & Buildings, a biking scavenger hunt that highlights some hidden gems of our fair city. We’re also working on a number of behind-the-scenes tours and pop-up events to highlight preservation projects and historic buildings that still need some love and attention.

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Find out more about the YUPs and sign up for our enewsletter here.

Follow us on the ‘grams at @youngurbanpres. (#yupROC)

And follow us on Facebook.