Heritage Ohio – the state’s official historic preservation and main street organization – has selected three Main Street Delaware nominees to receive awards during Heritage Ohio’s annual Preservation and Revitalization Conference set for Oct. 18-20 in Springfield, Ohio.
Selected for 2021 Heritage Ohio Awards are Jerry Warner, Outstanding Leader in Revitalization; the Delaware County Board of Commissioners, Best Public Building Rehabilitation; and The Strand Theatre, Historic Theater of the Year.
As chief building administrator for the City of Delaware, Warner consistently provides helpful advice on innovative restoration while balancing code enforcement, allowing downtown Delaware to thrive.
“Jerry Warner has been a tremendous advocate for building owners in not only renovating buildings in a safe way, but he also helps them understand how to accomplish safety and quality with an emphasis on cost-effectiveness,” said Sean Hughes, the city’s economic development director and a nonvoting member of Main Street Delaware’s Board of Directors. “Jerry works with building owners to find solutions to difficult projects so that our historic buildings continue to serve our communities for hundreds of years longer.”
Delaware County commissioners Jeff Benton, Barb Lewis, and Gary Merrell are being honored by Heritage Ohio for their leadership in renovating the historic Delaware County Courthouse, 91 N. Sandusky St. The courthouse, originally completed in 1868, is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The renovation was launched in June 2019 and originally was set to be completed in summer 2020. Because of the pandemic, however, work continued until early 2021. In addition to housing several county offices, the Historic Courthouse also is a showcase of artifacts highlighting many of Delaware’s historical moments.
The Strand Theatre and its managing director, Tracey Peyton, are being recognized with Heritage Ohio’s 2021 Historic Theater of the Year Award.
The 105-year-old Strand, 28 E. Winter St., is one of the 10 oldest continually operating movie theaters in the country that shows first-run films. When the pandemic threatened its legacy of success, Peyton and members of the Strand Theatre and Cultural Arts Association got busy.
In January 2020, the nonprofit theatre started taking precautions to protect guests from COVID-19, but in March, it was required to close. In response, the Strand launched a series of community engagement and fundraising efforts that included a virtual movie campaign, curbside popcorn sales on Fridays and Saturdays, a GoFundMe campaign that raised nearly $54,800, a marquee rental program, and T-shirts sales. Now, the Strand is back showing first-run movies while continuing many of its popular new programs.
Susie Bibler, executive director of Main Street Delaware, said she is pleased that Heritage Ohio also saw the contributions made by Delaware’s 2021 statewide award recipients.
“Our board was so excited to make this year’s nominations, and we are pleased to see these community superstars recognized for all of their efforts to make Delaware a better place,” Bibler said. “Congratulations and thank you to Jerry Warner, our county commissioners, and the Strand Theatre.”
Submitted by Main Street Delaware.