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Hill Memorial designated a “Most Endangered” Ohio historic site for 2024

By Paula Pyzik Scott

Preservation Ohio, a nonprofit also known as Ohio Preservation Alliance, Inc., has named a building that was part of Ada’s nineteenth century Northwestern Ohio Normal School as one of 14 “significant and endangered” historic buildings in Ohio for 2024. 


In its announcement, Preservation Ohio notes, “A consultant recently recommended that Hill be demolished because of a stated restoration cost of $9 million. Some [Ohio Northern University] faculty members, current students, alumni and local residents believe this to be an overestimate to discourage dissent to demolition.”

A context that the statement does not provide is the financial environment currently stressing all universities: a significant population decline in the number of traditional college age Americans. In recent months, Ohio Northern has undertaken program viability studies and announced staffing and program cuts.

Hill Memorial, which was built in 1879, is located on Main St. near the intersection of E. University Ave on the campus of Ohio Northern University. The red two-story building survived fires in 1889 and 1913. It originally had three stories and a steeply peaked roof on the clock tower. Many other functional changes have been made to the building, which once included a power plant. Originally known as the Administration Building, the structure was renamed for itinerant minister John Wesley Hill in 1913. 

The 2024 most endangered list follows and includes the Hancock County Probate Court in Findlay,:

A.A. Cunningham House/Tiffin City Schools Administration Building — Tiffin, Seneca County

Lawndale Schoolhouse — Akron, Summit County

Hulett Iron Ore Unloaders — Cleveland, Cuyahoga County

Hoyt Building — North Fairfield, Huron County

AB Graham Memorial Center — Conover, Miami County

171-191 S. High Street — Columbus, Franklin County

Hancock County Probate Court — Findlay, Hancock County

Hill Memorial, Ohio Northern University — Ada, Hardin County

Firestone Plant 1 — Akron, Summit County

Farm Crest Bakeries Building — Columbus, Franklin County

Octagon House — Tiffin, Seneca County

Masonic Block — Caledonia, Marion County

Grace Church/Gabriel’s Place — Cincinnati, Hamilton County

Hessler Court and Hessler Road Historic District — Cleveland, Cuyahoga County

A university history of the Hill Memorial is HERE The building also appears on

A petition to save Hill was created on At the time of this article, 594 signatures were collected.