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has a number of important assets in the area of Preservation that can be built upon:


Cleveland ’s neighborhoods, such as Jay Avenue, in Ohio City, contain many older homes that exemplify classic architectural styles, which were popular in earlier periods of Cleveland’s, and the nation’s history.

Cleveland has 22 local landmark historic districts and 234 individual landmarks, together representing more than 3,500 buildings. (Map of local landmark sites and districts) In addition, there are currently 167 individual buildings and 29 historic districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, many of which are also designated as Cleveland landmarks. (Access GIS browser map of historic districts here) The city’s neighborhoods contain an unusually large stock of older homes exemplifying architectural styles favored in earlier periods of Cleveland’s, and the nation’s, history. Neighborhoods such as Tremont and Ohio City have built their successful comebacks in large part on the distinctive character of many of the homes that line their streets. Excellent examples of distinguished, high style architecture can be found throughout the city. Styles such as Italianate, Queen Anne, Stick, Colonial Revival, Tudor, Classical, and Craftsman can be found in neighborhoods as diverse as Ohio City, Brooklyn Centre, East and West Boulevards, and Tremont. In addition to high style architecture, Cleveland has an abundance of significant vernacular housing types. Homesteads, American Foursquares, and whole streets and neighborhoods of Cleveland Doubles are among types that define the character and history of the city. Often accompanied by an eclectic mix of stylistic elements and materials, these vernacular types are important resources in their own right.

Cleveland’s neighborhoods are also characterized by significant examples of churches, libraries, commercial buildings, large-scale industrial buildings, and public schools. As much as housing, these building types help to define the nature of “neighborhood,” and ultimately give neighborhoods their sense of vitality and diversity.

Cleveland’s long industrial heritage is reflected in a significant number of industrial buildings and structures. Unique large and small scale industrial complexes can be found throughout the city, from the Flats to Collinwood to Detroit-Shoreway. Cleveland’s amazing variety of significant bridges and bridge types are perhaps the most prominent reflection of the city’s industrial character and history.


The Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor was established in 1996 by the United States Congress. Heritage corridors are eligible for assistance through the U.S. Department of Interior and are established to help local entities protect and use historical, cultural and recreational resources for community benefit while raising awareness of their importance. The Ohio and Erie National Heritage Corridor is centered on the Cuyahoga Valley and is focused on telling the story of the Ohio and Erie Canal’s importance to the growth of Cleveland and the early national economy. Other major themes of the Corridor’s story are the area’s natural setting, its use as a transportation route and the histories of the communities drawn to it.


  • The Cleveland Landmarks Commission reviews building and demolition permits for Designated Cleveland Landmarks and Districts, conducts a continuing survey of historic properties within the City and informs citizens about the architectural and historical heritage of Cleveland.
    The Cleveland Landmarks Commission is an 11-member board of preservation-minded individuals consisting of architects, historians, property owners, attorneys, Cleveland City Council representatives, the Director of City Planning and the Commissioner of Architecture. It is responsible for determining whether buildings, sites or historic districts are eligible for designation as landmarks. Following criteria listed in the City’s Landmarks Ordinance and the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation, the Commission reviews building and demolition permits for Designated Cleveland Landmarks and Districts and issues Certificates of Appropriateness where warranted. Local Design Review committees act as advisory committees to the Landmarks Commission. The Commission also conducts a continuing survey of historic properties within the City for the purposes of designation as a Cleveland Landmark and/or listing on the National Register of Historic Places; informs citizens about the architectural and historical heritage of Cleveland; and, as a certified local government agency, acts in coordination with the Ohio Historic Preservation Office in cases involving Section 106/Environmental Reviews and National Register of Historic Places designations.


  • The Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) is a nonprofit community organization that strives to develop economically viable solutions to preservation challenges in order to preserve and enhance the architectural heritage of our region. Founded in 1972, CRS is a Local Partner of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and is the primary local historic preservation organization in Northeastern Ohio. The mission of the Cleveland Restoration Society is to advance the preservation of Greater Cleveland's historic resources through creative initiatives aimed at assisting property owners with the preservation of historic properties; skillful and well-placed advocacy for significant and threatened landmarks; programs designed to educate property owners and the public, and to foster increased interest in the quality of Greater Cleveland's built environment.

    Nationally recognized, CRS uses tools such as historic preservation easements; housing receivership statutes to save historic homes threatened with demolition; and the Heritage Home Loan Program (see Financial Resources below). It runs one of only 10 Sacred Landmarks assistance programs in the country that provide technical assistance to religious institutions. Through its Neighborhood Preservation Program, one of the nation’s largest, CRS has assisted more than 900 property owners with projects representing nearly $16 million in neighborhood investment by providing technical assistance and information regarding the conservation of building materials, the appropriate repair and replacement of deteriorated or missing architectural features, and general maintenance issues common to older homes. Exterior rehabilitation is emphasized in order to create a visible, positive impact in each neighborhood.

  • The Preservation Resource Center of Northeast Ohio (PRC), established in 1999 and operated by CRS, provides professional technical assistance and expert advice to private individuals, organizations, and local governments in Cuyahoga and six surrounding counties dealing with preservation issues and/or projects.


  • Cleveland is home to several architectural firms with considerable experience and award-winning track records in historic preservation and adaptive reuse; private contractors with experience in historic restoration; and historic preservation consultants proficient in historical research, architectural assessment, and the uses of the historic tax credit.


  • The City of Cleveland Department of Community Development offers many programs to assist homeowners and commercial property owners through the Division of Neighborhood Services, the Division of Neighborhood Development, and the Storefront Renovation Program. For more information go to:

  • Sandstone details accent window openings and corners on William Cullen Bryant Elementary School, built in 1930.
    The Cuyahoga County Treasurer’s Heritage Home Loan Program, created in partnership with the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) and KeyBank, offers technical assistance and/or low-interest loans to property owners in participating cities within the county for the restoration and improvement of historic and older homes. Since the latter is defined, using the criteria of the National Register of Historic Places, as 50 years of age or older, much if not most of Cleveland’s housing stock potentially qualifies. Houses built before 1956, including rental properties up to a three-family structure, that have no vinyl or aluminum siding are eligible for both exterior and interior projects ranging from new roofs or additions to painting, landscaping, porch or widow repair, driveways, storm window installation, and kitchen/bath renovations.

    HHLP staff also provides assistance on household maintenance issues, design guidelines, use of historical colors and appropriate materials, custom construction specifications and locating qualified contractors (the choice of which is entirely up to the home owner). There is no out-of-pocket cost for the loan, no closing cost and no points. There are also no income restrictions and interest from the loan is tax deductible.
  • The federal government’s Historic Preservation Tax Incentives Program has been a key tool in the preservation and renewal of many of Cleveland’s historic buildings and neighborhoods. Between 1995 and 2006 this program generated more than 541 million dollars in investment in the city.

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