Although she now lives in Upper Arlington, Clintonville will always be special to Beth Armstrong.

Although she now lives in Upper Arlington, Clintonville will always be special to Beth Armstrong.

She grew up in the neighborhood in the 1960s, attending Immaculate Conception School, swimming at the Olympic Swim Club and exploring the ravines with friends.

"Honestly, Clintonville was always a place of magic for me," Armstrong said last week. "I've always loved the look of the architecture because it wasn't cookie-cutter."

Because of her emotional connection to her old neighborhood and its streetscapes, Armstrong was eager to serve on the Clintonville Area Commission's historic building committee. Thanks to a charter change enacted during the commission's June 2 meeting, the group becomes one of the CAC's four permanent standing committees.

With that unanimous decision made, District 2 representative Nancy Kuhel, who helped bring the historic buildings committee into being, and the other members of the panel can continue the formidable task of cataloging all of the buildings in Clintonville's two commercial corridors, North High Street and Indianola Avenue.

"It's big," Kuhel said of the ongoing project. "I don't know the number of buildings, but the goal is to catalog every single building from Arcadia (Avenue) to the north border along Indianola and High Street."

One aspect of the process involves gathering images of the structures -- something that has been accomplished through "photo walks" organized by the committee. Kuhel said another of these will be held in the late summer or early fall.

"Those photos help us complete the cataloging effort," she said. "That's the big focus, to get all that information pulled together."

"Just to have it on record: This is what we have," Armstrong said. "What the neighborhood would choose to do with it, I don't know, but at least we have a record."

That's vital, the Clintonville native said.

"I think we're kind of moving ahead very quickly without taking a moment to assess the beauty of where you live," Armstrong said. "It's just a matter of, let's take thought, let's stop for a moment and really appreciate what we have. Part of it to me is the story older buildings tell, the charm of them, the quirkiness of them. I think that sort of informs a neighborhood, is the charm and the things that don't match.

"I may not live in Clintonville, but I go over there and shop over there. It's a bit of a touchstone for me. It represents charm."

Looking to the future of the historic buildings committee, Kuhel said next year the panel would hand out another round of awards for stewardship, preservation and adaptive use, as was done June 2. Those awards went to Urban Podiatry, Columbus City Schools and Elm and Iron Home Goods.

This time around, Kuhel said committee members are hoping to solicit nominations from residents.

The committee also hopes to do more in the way of encouraging preservation of Clintonville's historic structures.

"Giving out awards one time and having some photo walks is fun and nice, but it doesn't provide any groundwork, a foundation for long-term preservation to retain the feel of the community," Kuhel said. "It's just so important to a vibrant community to have that historic-preservation approach to those things that are integral to a community.

"Buildings tell stories. If you knock them all down, then you've got a different story."