Westerville’s history is a point of pride for many residents. Between the Hanby House, Otterbein University and the former home of the Anti-Saloon League, few cities boast the historic landmarks Westerville does - and nowhere in Westerville embodies this rich history better than Uptown.
Now our community’s historic recognition has gone national.
On March 22, 2019, Uptown Westerville’s recognition as a Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places was unanimously approved as meeting the National Register criteria at the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Meeting.
The National Register of Historic Places defines historic districts as having a significant concentration, linkage or continuity of sites, buildings, structures, or objects united historically or aesthetically by plan or physical development.
“One of the three pillars of Uptown Westerville Inc.’s mission is historic preservation, and Uptown being recognized as a Historic District is a momentous accomplishment worth celebrating,” said Lynn Aventino, executive director of Uptown Westerville Inc. “Our organization will continue to honor our past, but we will use this momentum to continue to build on Westerville’s legacy of being an amazing community to live, work and visit.”
Uptown Westerville Inc. spearheaded the nomination process, with collaboration from the City of Westerville, community residents and elected officials. Special thanks to members of Westerville City Council for their resolution of support, the Westerville Historical Society for their letter of support for the nomination and State Representative Mary Lightbody for her advocacy.
The next step is for the State Historic Preservation Officer to forward the nomination to the National Park Service (NPS). Once the nomination is received by the NPS, a 45-day review period begins.
The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of properties recognized by the federal government as worthy of preservation for their local, state or national significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, engineering, or culture. Although the National Register is a program of the National Park Service, it is administered at the state level by each respective state. For more information on the process and other historic districts and places, visit OhioHistory.org/NationalRegister.
Stay tuned to UptownWestervilleInc.com. for more updates.
Summer is flying by, so don’t miss the remaining 4th Friday celebrations Uptown. Led by the Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau (WVCB) for the last 15 years, these events get bigger and better and serve as open invitations to residents and visitors to explore our great community.
Coming themes for the remaining events:
Most notable in 2018, State Street (State Route 3) is now closed to vehicular traffic between Park and Home Streets from 5:30 until after 9 p.m. for every 4th Friday, giving attendees plenty of space to move thru and a better sense of safety.
Attendees will not only enjoy extended hours in the Uptown shops and restaurants, but street vendors and food trucks along State Street as well as the side streets featuring all manner of products, services and food truck fare to celebrate the coming of spring.
The streets of Uptown will adorn art displays, children and family activities, live music, street performances, and other entertainment.
Getting around Uptown during 4th Fridays is easy:
All closures can be viewed at VisitWesterville.org.
We hope that everyone gets an opportunity to experience the vibrant atmosphere of our Uptown during a 4th Friday this summer!
Maybe you’ve noticed, but the building at 46-48 N. State Street that houses tenants Meza Wine Shop and Whit’s Frozen Custard has left our organization and other community members concerned.
Large cracks are evident on the primary façade, with clear holes in the north wall where bricks have actually fallen out. The building has a history of nominal, temporary or delayed repairs and maintenance that have led to the current state of decline and multiple citations from the Westerville Building Department.
The mission of Uptown Westerville Inc. is to promote a sense of community, economic vitality and historic preservation within our beloved Uptown. This is the value we provide to our stakeholders, partners, residents, and visitors to the Westerville community.
Our organization is in full support of the Westerville Building Department and actively works with them to ensure our authentic Uptown buildings are maintained, even going so far as to write letters to the courts when things go that far. The City of Westerville has invested significantly in our Uptown area, sponsoring a long-term Uptown Plan, providing matching funding for façade improvements and supporting the formation of Uptown Westerville Inc. Many of the building owners have participated in and are beneficiaries of these programs, greatly improving the character and value of this area.
This has been an issue our organization has monitored, advocated for and taken action on. Thankfully, the building has recently been sold. We are confident that the new ownership will take the necessary action to improve this historic building in the heart of Uptown, and we will be helpful in that process in anyway we can.
We are excited for the building’s tenants, Meza Wine Shop and Whit’s Frozen Custard, two valued merchants in our community, who will have a better space to serve their customers.
We support all stakeholders of Uptown, including business owners. Our goal is to ensure our residents and visitors never feel unsafe walking the streets of Uptown Westerville. While still a very new organization, we take our role in preserving what makes Uptown great seriously.
We are excited for a new chapter in the history of 46-48 N. State Street.
By Dennis Blair, Board Member
The American Issue sculpture, the newest Uptown landmark, was unveiled on June 15. The installation is prominently displayed in the newly renovated City Hall courtyard at 21 S. State Street, adding to this dynamic public gathering space in the heart of our city.
The unveiling of the sculpture signifies the 100-year anniversary of Westerville’s role in serving as the intellectual and logistical center for the passage of the 18th Amendment. If you’re not completely up-to-speed on your American history, the 18th Amendment was a constitutional change that prohibited the manufacture, sale or transportation of “intoxicating liquors” in the United States. And Westerville was central to its formation.
The amendment was championed by the Anti-Saloon League, which had moved to Westerville in 1909 due to the city’s “pro-temperance” reputation. “The American Issue”, a weekly publication published by the Anti-Saloon League, was printed in Westerville. Due to this, Westerville was known as the “Dry Capital of the World” for decades.
The sculpture was privately funded and donated to the City of Westerville this spring. According to the nationally-renowned artist and sculptor Matthew Gray Palmer, the sculpture “embodies the conflict between government regulation and individual freedom and celebrates the historical significance of Westerville as the home of the 18th Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
This is an exciting addition to our Uptown, helping preserve and recognize Westerville’s rich history - even on a national scale. Visit Uptown to marvel at this symbol of the historic complex nature of this social issue.
For more information, visit https://parks.westerville.org/programs/arts-and-culture/the-american-issue-sculpture.
These acts are examples of the hundreds that have been performed through the 10th of the Month Club. Most importantly, they are meant to honor Westerville’s fallen officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering.
Attention Uptown Patrons! As Uptown continues to improve, paving is being scheduled for 3 Uptown lots June 11th through June 15th. Each lot will be out of service for two days. One day for preparations and a second day for paving. "No Parking" signs will be placed in advance in each lot with those dates. The areas involved include:
During the two days your favorite lot may be unavailable, please remember that parking is free and plentiful in Uptown. Parking can usually be found by the City Hall, the Church of the Messiah Gathering Place, and the Westerville Public Library.
The inaugural Westerville Saturday Farmers Market #wsfm will welcome in visitors from all around Central Ohio this weekend as local vendors line Grove Street on the campus of Otterbein University!
The long wait is over for Westerville residents, thanks to the partnership of Uptown Westerville, Inc., the City of Westerville and Otterbein University, but it’s several of the Market vendors’ deep rooted ties to Westerville that make it so special. Local ties, and an abundance of organic, natural products with a focus on sustainable farming, are a theme among the more than twenty merchants. Here’s a glimpse into what you can expect this weekend and stay tuned for more Market stories throughout the summer.
Tired of waking up to snow in April? Running out of creative ways to keep your kids (and yourself) from going stir-crazy from a long winter indoors? You are not alone. Warm weather can’t hold out on us forever, and Uptown Westerville is the perfect place to take the kids for an afte
We made it. It’s finally here. It’s hard to believe but with warm temperatures (and the inevitable Ohio rain showers) on the horizon this weekend, spring is here! With spring, we welcome in patio season and festivals around Westerville.
For the adult crowd looking for an afternoon or evening out, check out a few favorites: