Uptown Westerville soon will have a series of markers commemorating its most historically important buildings.

In early August, the city's Uptown Review Board approved the addition of the 11-by-16.5-inch bronze markers at 20 sites. The markers will provide information about the building, along with a photo of what it looked like in the past.

Board member Bassem Bitar said the idea of the historical markers has been floated many times.

"The effort actually started at least 15 years ago," he said.

But the plan was revived by Uptown Westerville Inc., the city's Uptown-oriented advisory board.

Executive director Lynn Aventino said the project fit with the organization's goals.

"That's the thing about our organization -- one of our missions is the historic preservation of Uptown," she said. "We were able to take ahold of it and find community members who were interested in supporting the program."

Aventino said the residents supporting the markers -- valued about $900 apiece -- are Bill Bishop of Associated Insurance Agencies, Inc. and Jane Horn, the former owner of the Otterbein bookstore building that now houses Pure Roots.

According to Aventino, the first five markers should be unveiled in September. She said they'll be at Pure Roots, the Holmes Hotel building, Morgan's Treasures, the Westerville Visitors and Convention Bureau and the Ohio Art Market. An unveiling event will be announced later.

Bitar said he thinks the markers will help promote the "marvelous buildings and sights we have," and Aventino said she thinks it will help draw people to Uptown.

"We think it's a really good way to bring people into the community," Aventino said. "I think this type of program is a good way for someone to ... see the history of the buildings and a picture of what they looked like originally. And what we've found is that it's very close. The buildings are so recognizable (compared) to their original build. We want to keep that preservation going."

Aventino said Uptown Westerville Inc. also is working to add Uptown to the National Register of Historic Places.

"Those two things will play on each other," she said.

For more information, visit UptownWestervilleInc.com.

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