State preservation leaders believe that downtown Cuyahoga Falls is special enough to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board has recommended that a 20-acre area covering 48 buildings receive the honor, along with eight other locations around the state.

Cuyahoga Falls has been seeking the designation for the properties along Front Street, Portage Trail and Stow Road as a way not only to preserve the buildings but also promote redevelopment.

“We wanted to protect these older buildings and we wanted the ability of property owners to get federal tax credits,” Cuyahoga Falls Planning Director Fred Guerra said.

“The National Register is also a prestigious register to be on,” he added.

The highlighted area includes a portion of Front Street that was used as a pedestrian mall for 40 years but has been reopened to vehicles.

In its 87-page application to the U.S. Department of Interior, which oversees the register, the city noted that the district “has retained its commercial character representing the American downtown tradition.”

Rick Krochka, president of TRIAD Communications in Cuyahoga Falls, said it’s important for a community to preserve its heritage.

His building, the former Falls Stamping and Welding Building at 1701 Front St., was added to the National Register in 2016 and helped spur the latest effort. TRIAD also is within the district being considered.

Krochka noted that it’s less expensive today to raze an old building and put up a new one.

“What that does, though, is erase any sense of a history of a town,” he said.

Krochka, who referred to himself as an “accidental preservationist,” said that going through the process provided him with a greater appreciation for the history of downtown and its reliance on hydropower generated by the Cuyahoga River.

“It brings you into this mind set of being able to preserve the history for generations to come,” he said.

The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board also recommended the Carl & Audrey Lavin House at 5240 Plain Center Ave. NE. in Canton be added to the National Register.

The board noted that the property “is one of two single-family homes in Ohio designed by the internationally known Chicago-based firm George Fred Keck–William Keck–Architects.”

The house, built in 1955 and updated in 1968, “features innovative techniques of solar heating, evaporative cooling, energy conservation and sun screening.”

The other properties recommended are:

• The Provident Savings Bank & Trust Co., 630-632 Vine St., Cincinnati.

• The Astrup Co. Building, 2397 W. 25th St., Cleveland.

• Hartman Hotel, 275 S. Fourth St. and 150 E. Main St., Columbus.

• Boss Manufacturing Co., 317 W. Main Cross St., Findlay.

• Reidy Bros. & Flanigan Building, 11730 Detroit Ave., Lakewood.

• Knights of Pythias Lodge Hall, 118 E. Washington St., New Madison.

• Tawawa Chimney Corner, 1198 Brush Row Road, Wilberforce.

The board expects to hear decisions on the nominations in about 90 days.

Rick Armon can be reached at 330-996-3569 or rarmon@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @armonrickABJ.