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Newton Falls center nominated for national historic list

NEWTON FALLS — The village’s community center — one of four former USO buildings still standing in the United States — will be considered for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

Members of the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board on Friday unanimously recommended to forward the nomination for the center on East Quarry Street to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places, who directs the program for the U.S. Department of Interior.

If the keeper agrees the property meets the criteria to be on the register, it will be added. A decision takes about 90 days. It was among nine properties the board recommended at its meeting in Columbus.

With national recognition, the center could qualify for grants that would help restore it.

The Newton Falls Preservation Foundation has already secured a plaque from the Trumbull County Historical Society recognizing the building’s historical significance.

Foundation President Steve Simpson said the state’s decision “is a big step forward for the foundation, but also for the community.”

Simpson said members of the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board told him they do not foresee any reason why the center will not get the national designation.

The center closed at the beginning of 2016 because the village did not have enough money to keep it open. Afterward, the village’s parks and recreation board voted to tear down the aging structure. Since then, supporters of the building began their effort to preserve it.

Even with the national recognition, the village can still have the building torn down, but doing so becomes more difficult.

Built in 1941, the United Service Organizations building was a 24 / 7 facility offering resources and events for employees at the Ravenna Arsenal during World War II. It was later used as a government building and for social events.

news@tribtoday.com

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