The Old House Guild of Sandusky is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and adaptive use of Sandusky’s Historic Structures.

Our Past…

The Old House Guild of Sandusky was founded in 1978 as a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and adaptive use of the historic buildings, houses, sites and objects in Sandusky, Ohio. When the Guild was formed, it seemed than while some people appreciated our fine old buildings, many were still unaware of the excellent examples of period architecture in Sandusky. The Old House Guild hopes to help others see and preserve the beauty of these buildings so we can all enjoy the legacy left to us by past generations.

The Guild completed a comprehensive inventory of Sandusky’s historic structures for the Ohio Historical Society. Nearly 1500 buildings were catalogued – the largest volunteer inventory ever completed in Ohio. Over 100 of these buildings are now on the National Register of Historic Places including several Historic Districts.

A preservation curriculum was presented to the Sandusky grade schools. Preservation reference materials including Treasure by the Bay, by Ellie Damm, have been provided for study. Several slide programs of Sandusky’s historic buildings have benn produced and are available. They have been shown locally and throughout the state.

The Old House Guild of Sandusky has received awards and recognition from the Ohio Preservation Office, the Ohio Association of Historical Societies and Museums, and the American Association for State and Local History for its contributions to the preservation of Sandusky’s heritage.

Our Present…

The Old House Guild is the only all volunteer preservation organization recognized by the Ohio Preservation Office.

The annual Christmas Candlelight Tour of Homes gives the public a rare glimpse into many of Sandusky’s fine old homes. The last Wednesday of January brings members together at the annual meeting where those who have preserved, restored or rehabilitated their property are honored with the Community Preservation Awards.

The Cooke-Dorn House Historic Site (formerly Eleutheros Cooke House and Garden) is managed by the Guild for Ohio History Connection (formerly Ohio Historical Society.) Built in 1844, the house is furnished with the collection of its last owners, Mr. and Mrs. Randolph Dorn. The garden has a large greenhouse, which is maintained during the winter months.

The Guild can provide advice on preservation issues at no charge. Bronze plaques are available for homeowners to display the date of construction of their house. These plaques are donated to semi-public buildings.

Our Future…

Many buildings in Sandusky are candidates for restoration, preservation or adaptive use. The Old House Guild is concerned with structures whose original function has passed. How do we best incorporate them into the 21st century?

The Old House Guild acts as a catalyst in achieving the orderly preservation of our community. Because we are a non-profit organization, any funds received for preservation projects are used to achieve that goal.

Community Commitment…

America has a long history of building, tearing down and building again. Only recently have we begun to actively recycle our national resources. We believe this recycling should apply also to using our old buildings to their fullest potential.

This is a constant challenge if we wish to retain those tangible signs of the past that will enrich future generations. It is a challenge we must all address or risk the loss of a significant part of our heritage.