One of the things that makes Cleveland so unique is the numerous beautiful and historic homes dotted all over the city. Keeping these structures maintained and in pristine condition honors Cleveland’s past and enhances Cleveland’s future, creating the need for an organization to step in to provide residents with resources to accomplish this.
This is where the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) comes in. Founded in 1972, this nonprofit offers economic and technical assistance, educational resources, and other tools to preserve and advocate for the many historic buildings in the city.
In collaboration with several other organizations, CRS also works to preserve and document the history of Cleveland area sites, with a recent emphasis on African American history.
- Heritage Home Program:
- The Heritage Home Program Loan offers a low-interest, fixed-rate loan with rates as low as 1.4%. This loan is made available for improving and maintaining older homes (i.e. built before 1970) in a way that preserves their distinct style and character. Eligibility also depends on a number of other factors, including location, tax status, number of occupancy units, and amount of equity in the home. Click here for more information about eligibility.
- Information Sessions (currently held via Zoom)
- Technical Assistance, including site visits, color consults, and general advice.
- African-American History Programs
- African American Civil Rights Trail: Funded by a grant from the National Park Service’s African American Civil Rights Grant Program, this program will install Ohio Historical Markers at the 10 most important sites involved in the fight for African-American civil rights from 1954-1976. This is done to honor those who fought for this progress, as well as remind us of the ongoing struggle that is still happening today.
- Lee-Harvard: The Suburb in The City: The CRS is partnering with Cleveland Councilman Joe Jones and other organizations to tell the story of this unique neighborhood and help preserve its post-WWII houses in its two distinct areas (Lee-Seville and the former village of Miles Heights). CRS hosts discussions with professors from Cleveland State and city council members, published The Making of Cleveland’s Black “Suburb in the City”: Lee-Seville & Lee-Harvard, and drives an ongoing, collaborative effort to tell the story of the neighborhood through its residents.
- The African-American Experience in Cleveland: This endeavor, done in collaboration with the Ohio History Fund for the CRS 40th anniversary, seeks to tell the story of important sites in the Black community and the people and events that influenced them. This was done through building surveys, outreach, research, and a digital publication titled “Know Our Heritage”, highlighting The Great Migration, The Black Church, and Blacks in Business.
- Sacred Landmarks Assistance Program: Cleveland is blessed with many beautiful congregations. This program offers on-site assistance, property stewardship, workshops seminars, and other resources to help preserve these historical structures.
CRS offers many more resources, which can be found on their website.