Booster

Committee will strive to preserve historic buildings

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First it was the Clinton Theater. Then it was the Clinton Annex.

Nancy Kuhel wants to ensure not one more historic building will be razed, further damaging Clintonville's charm.

"We're running out of buildings that define Clintonville architecturally and historically," she said last week.

The District 2 representative of the Clintonville Area Commission will be chairwoman of the new historic preservation committee that was approved at the panel's July 10 session. The members of the preservation effort are scheduled to be formally appointed at the next CAC meeting, set for Aug. 7.

Kuhel said the new committee was her idea and that she agreed to serve as its leader.

She said the problem with the loss of historic structures such as the old theater, torn down in 2011 as part of the demolition of the old Clintonville Electric property on North High Street, or the Annex, razed in early June to create more playground space at Clinton Elementary School, is that people become aware such buildings are endangered too late to do anything about it.

Having a committee in place whose members are actively seeking to keep track of the historic properties in the neighborhood should help with that, Kuhel said.

She hastened to say that the purpose of the preservation panel is not to interfere with the rights of property owners, but rather to connect them with resources that might enable them to preserve a historic building.

Kuhel has five people lined up to serve on the historic preservation committee. Although she wanted to wait to announce their names Aug. 7, she said they all have "pretty good qualifications."

"I'm looking for people who really know what they're doing," Kuhel said.

"I can call a good meeting, but I'm looking for people who really understand the process and have connections with the resources ... so we can actually have a viable, working committee that produces something."

Once the committee's members are appointed, Kuhel said she would convene a preliminary meeting to see if they recommend seeking any others to join.

Anyone interested in serving on the panel may email Kuhel at nkuhelcac@ gmail.com.

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