Defiance 1918 School Building Granted National Register Status
The historic Defiance School property was officially placed on the National Register of Historic Places the week of September 13th by the National Park Service. The 1918 Defiance High School building was nominated by the Save Our 1918 Defiance High School (SOS) Committee in response to the school district’s plan to demolish the building by November 2018 unless another option was agreed upon.
In addition to the old high school, the designation also includes the gymnasium, the Claude Henkle Middle School building, Defiance Community Auditorium, the former football field on the east side of the campus and Triangle Park at Arabella and Clinton streets.
The SOS volunteer group worked for more than a year on this issue, collectively with City officials and the school board. This effort has prevented the demolition of the historic school and with hope the building will find another purpose in the community. The National Register of Historic Places designation will also provide substantial tax breaks for any future developer of this property. A property such as this with potential for rehabilitation or redevelopment can offer a developer 25% Ohio state and 20% federal tax credits. “The successful designation of the old high school brings pride to the community having a historic site at the end of our downtown”, states Dr. Sally Myers of the SOS group.
The SOS group, a sub-committee of Historic Homes of Defiance organization; the Defiance Public Library; the Defiance College Library; the Andrew L. Tuttle Museum; Poggemeyer Design Group; and the Ohio Historic Preservation Office put an enormous effort into the project. The nomination contained historic information about the City of Defiance, evolution of education in the City of Defiance and Ohio from the early 1800’s to the 1960’s, broad historical patterns of the nation, detailed description of architectural styles, current and vintage photos, site plans and a justification for the granting of the National Register status.