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LCF Receives Matching Grant From the Jeffris Family Foundation for $27,250

The Licking County Foundation is pleased to announce it has received a $27,250 matching grant from the Jeffris Family Foundation. These funds will support the development of a Historic Structures Report to ensure high standards and treatments for the restoration of the Louis Sullivan Building of Newark.

The Jeffris Family Foundation is dedicated to the Midwest’s cultural history and heritage through preserving regionally and nationally important historic buildings and decorative arts projects. The Foundation supports significant projects that strive for high preservation standards and show a strong degree of broad-based local support. They also support the preservation of history and culture and the unique sense of place in small towns and cities; develop significant historic sites in eight Midwestern States; assure sustainability and quality restoration through good research and planning; and inspire and motivate community leaders and local families to support historic preservation in their towns.

The Jeffris Family Foundation was established in 1979 by Bruce and Eleanor Jeffris and their son, Tom. Bruce Jeffris was born of a pioneer family that immigrated to Wisconsin from Kentucky in the 1840s. He joined the Parker Pen Company after World War I and retired as Chairman of the Board in 1960. Initially, the Jeffris Family Foundation focused on the rich architectural heritage of Wisconsin’s small towns and cities. In 2009, the Foundation expanded its reach to small towns and cities in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio.

A Historic Structures Report is a document of the National Park Service for guiding the treatment of significant historic properties. It is a standard study for restoration projects which chronicles a structure’s origins, use, evolution, and alterations over time, and provides some insight into the people and historic context of which it is associated. It documents the current conditions of all elements and systems of the building and identifies a list of actions necessary to restore the building. It recommends in detail appropriate preservation treatment of each character-defining feature and room of the structure. It also provides estimates of the cost of restoration based on the intended use and recommended preservation treatments.

Licking County Foundation has engaged an experienced project team to develop the Historic Structures Report and direct the restoration of the building: Rogers Krajnak Architects, Inc. (project management architectural services); Danis (construction manager); SMBH, Inc. (structural engineering services); Karpinski Engineering, Inc. (mechanical, fire protection, plumbing and electrical engineering services); Conrad Schmitt Studios, Inc. (murals, leaded glass windows, mosaics, restoration consultant); Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (terra cotta consultant); Lang Masonry (assistant to the terra cotta consultant); and Dr. Joseph Tebben (Sullivan Building historic consultant).

Thomas M. Jeffris, President of the Jeffris Family Foundation, said “The Jeffris Family Foundation supports significant projects that strive for high preservation standards and show a strong degree of local support. We are pleased to fund this comprehensive study which will guide the thoughtful restoration of one of America’s architectural treasures.”

Jeffrey Cox, the Foundation’s Governing Committee Chairman stated, “The Licking County Foundation is honored to receive this generous grant. We are grateful for the partnership and expertise provided by the Jeffris Family Foundation to assist with the restoration of this important national asset.” He also said, “We also appreciate the local donors who provided the matching support to help make the Historic Structures Report a reality.”

The Louis Sullivan Building of Newark is not only nationally significant, but is an important part of Licking County’s and Central Ohio’s cultural heritage that should be protected and preserved. Designed by noted architect Louis Sullivan, the jewel box bank was built in 1914 and opened its doors in 1915 as The Home Building Association Company. Through the years, it was also home to a butcher shop, a jewelry store, and eventually an ice cream parlor. With each new tenant the interior was altered, but the building’s historic and architectural significance never changed. In 1973, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. In 2013, the building was donated to the Licking County Foundation and planning for its restoration and reuse began. Helping to save this treasure is a meaningful way for Licking County Foundation to make an enduring investment in the vitality of the area and create synergy with the many other revitalization projects in our county’s seat.

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