From the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office
(Cincinnati, OH) – The renovation and restoration of Cincinnati Music Hall received the Preservation Merit Award from the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office at an awards luncheon on Saturday, November 10, 2018. Each year, the Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office recognizes outstanding achievements in historic preservation in communities across Ohio. State Historic Preservation Officer Burt Logan presented the award to Music Hall Revitalization Company (MHRC) and Society for the Preservation of Music Hall (SPMH) representative Peter Koenig, who was in Columbus at the Ohio History Center to accept the honor on behalf of MHRC and SPMH. Peter serves on the board of MHRC and is in his fourth year as President of SPMH.
The additional recipients of the Preservation Merit Award include the following Music Hall renovation project team members: Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC), project manager, represented at the luncheon by Alexis Barnes; Perfido, Weiskopf, Wagstaff + Goettel (PWWG), lead architect, represented by Andreas Lange; Martinez + Johnson (M&J), theater architect, represented by Gary Martinez; Messer, construction manager; and Judy Williams, historic preservation consultant, who was also present at the awards ceremony. In addition, SPMH board member and Music Hall historian Thea Tjepkema was at the luncheon as a guest of SPMH.
The Preservation Merit Award honors the preservation of Ohio’s prehistory, history, architecture, or culture. Eligible activities include, but are not limited to, restoring, rehabilitating, or otherwise preserving an important building or site; longtime stewardship of a property; promoting protective legislation; funding preservation projects; offering leadership, support, or service; and furthering preservation at the local, regional, or state level.
“Music Hall received the Preservation Merit Award for several reasons,” said Burt Logan, CEO & Executive Director of the Ohio History Connection. “The work restored architectural details that had been lost to time and earlier alterations, while incorporating modern amenities that improve the experience for performers and audiences. Music Hall Revitalization Company and its partners have done a remarkable job of preserving this National Historic Landmark and extending its useful life for generations to come.”
After the curtain fell on the 2016 May Festival, Music Hall closed to the public for a sixteen-month, $143 million renovation – one of the most comprehensive transformations in the venue’s 140-year history – and celebrated a triumphant Grand Opening in October 2017. The revitalization project brought much-needed updates and upgrades to this beloved arts destination, while improving upon its world-class acoustics and retaining its historic grandeur. Iconic Music Hall has experienced many revitalization and rehabilitation projects since it was built in 1878, and the venue appeared on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of the Eleven Most Endangered Historic Places as recently as 2014. The National Trust now lists Music Hall as a “saved” structure.
“I have been honored to be involved with this project for most of the past decade, and I was privileged to participate in the exciting and successful renovation of Music Hall,” said Peter Koenig, SPMH President. “This prestigious award from the State of Ohio’s official historic preservation agency recognizes the fulfillment of MHRC‘s mission to organize and lead the renovation of Music Hall. In addition, the award underscores the steadfast commitment of SPMH to its mission of preserving and improving Music Hall, and perpetuating the venue as the premier cultural center of the region and as a National Historic Landmark of international significance.”
This is the second award Music Hall has received in the past month. On October 23, the venue was honored with the Historic Theater of the Year award from Heritage Ohio at its Annual Preservation and Revitalization Awards Ceremony in downtown Cleveland.
About the State Historic Preservation Office
The Ohio History Connection’s State Historic Preservation Office is Ohio’s official historic preservation agency. It identifies historic places in Ohio; nominates properties to the National Register of Historic Places; reviews federally assisted projects for effects on historic, architectural, and archaeological resources in Ohio; certifies local government historic preservation programs and administers grants to them; consults on conservation of older buildings and sites; and offers educational programs and publications. The “Catalytic Award” of $25 million that the Music Hall renovation project received from the state of Ohio for the Historic Tax Credit came from the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA), an extension of the State Historic Preservation Office.
Ohio History Connection
The Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society, is a statewide history organization with the mission to spark discovery of Ohio’s stories. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization chartered in 1885, the Ohio History Connection carries out history services for Ohio and its citizens focused on preserving and sharing the state’s history. This includes housing the state historic preservation office, the official state archives, and the local history office. The Ohio History Connection also manages more than 50 sites and museums across Ohio.
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