Cleveland Restoration Society

Cleveland, Ohio

The Cleveland Restoration Society has been an innovative leader in historic preservation for 40 years. It boasts excellent relationships with community leaders, a dedicated membership, and an extensive partner network, making it Northeast Ohio’s most respected voice for heritage conservation. During the 1920s, Cleveland was the fifth largest city in the United States – and has the architectural and cultural legacy to prove it. The desire to protect this legacy led an inter-racial, multi-ethnic team to form CRS in 1973, leading to four decades of thought leadership and action. Of note is CRS's Heritage Home Program. its unique financing structure allows the program to provide owners of older and historic homes low interest loans as well as free technical assistance. In 20 years, the Heritage Home Program has helped more than 5,000 homeowners, loaned $35 million, and expanded to 22 other communities. Other successful CRS programs include Sacred Landmarks Assistance and Preservation Services. CRS also advocates for Cleveland’s landmarks and publishes the well-regarded magazine Façade. Now, to celebrate its 40th birthday, CRS has taken on a legacy project to survey, nominate, and celebrate African-American landmarks across the city. To date, it has identified more than 100 sites throughout Cleveland. In all, the Cleveland Restoration Society has demonstrated the power of preservation to a broad audience, and will serve as a model to other communities for years to come.