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Springfield income tax increase back to polls in May

Wittenberg historic district proposal moves forward

Wittenberg University’s proposal to become a historic district was approved by a state board Friday, and it will move on for a federal review.

Staff at the university worked with a Cleveland consultant to apply for status as a Wittenberg Historic District, which would include most of the campus including 28 buildings. On Friday, the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board voted to recommend the district be forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places for final review.

If approved, the designation would mean prestige for the university, said Heather Rudge, a senior associate at Weber Murphy Fox in Cleveland who helped Wittenberg apply for the program. Being listed on the National Register of Historic Places would also allow university staff to seek historic tax credits, which could be used to help cover the cost of building renovations, Rudge has said.

University officials did not return a call seeking comment Friday.

Once proposals are forwarded to the federal government, it typically takes about 90 days for final approval, said Tom Wolf, a spokesman for the Ohio Historical Society. Although there could still be questions at the federal level, Wolf said the state staff does a good job of making sure cases meet the requirement before moving forward.

“Most things that get to the point of going on to the keeper do go on to be listed,” Wolf said.

Along with Wittenberg’s proposal, the state board also recommended two other projects in southwest Ohio move forward as well.

The Linden Community and Recreation Center in Dayton was nominated for its association with West Dayton’s African American Community. The site was built in 1931 and provided recreation, medical treatment and educational programming to local residents.

In Butler County, the Main Street Commercial Historic District also moved forward for federal review. The proposed intersection of Main Street and Central Avenue in Middletown includes 14 buildings dating as far back as 1831.

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