Citizen Architect Profile: Craig Gossman, AIA

Craig Gossman, AIA, Board of Directors, Heritage Ohio

Firm and Role: Owner, GOSSMANgroup

What is the purpose of the organization where you are involved? 

Heritage Ohio is Ohio’s official historic preservation and Main Street organization. The organization’s headquarters is located in Columbus where a full-time Director and 4 full time Staff Associates oversee numerous programs, workshops, and events throughout the state focused on historic preservation. Administering the Main Street Program for 22 towns and 35 emerging communities is a significant part of the organization’s offerings. Another key responsibility of the organization is in the area of historic preservation advocacy. Staff and board members work closely with the State Historic Preservation Office to educate and support state and federal legislators regarding the benefits and importance of historic renovation tax credits.  

Why did you choose to get involved? 

I have always had a love for historic buildings and an interest in the ways in which historic towns and cities can leverage their historic assets into significant community and economic development benefits.

How does your experience as an architect contribute to the commission? 

In addition to being a board member, I serve on the Executive Board and also Chair the Strategic Planning Committee. I think my architectural and urban design background has provided me with unique problem-solving methodologies that I can bring to the table when working on numerous board assignments and in particular long-range planning for the organization.

How has serving in this role benefits you as an architect? 

Having always appreciated historic buildings, my experience is a natural fit with what Heritage Ohio is advocating. Working with various real estate development interests over the years has provided me with a unique perspective on what makes a successful downtown, district, or neighborhoods. Sharing this knowledge with the leadership in the communities we serve contributes to Heritage Ohio’s mission while rewarding me personally as well.

How much time and effort does your role require? 

Heritage Ohio recently adopted mandatory three-year term limits. We have quarterly full board meetings, monthly executive board meetings, and committee meetings as required at the discretion of the chair. Additionally, we are encouraged to attend our workshops and visit the towns and cities we represent occasionally to better understand our constituents needs and concerns.

Would you encourage other architects to get involved in similar commissions? 

I strongly encourage architects to get involved with organizations in their communities regardless if the organization has a direct link to architecture or not. The organization might focus on causes you might be personally interested in which can be extremely rewarding. Architects bring a unique perspective to the table which can benefit the organization greatly. Additionally, it might provide an opportunity to educate others within the organization on the architecture profession and the benefit of working with architects on their current & future building needs.

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Are you interested in getting more involved with your community? Check out AIA Ohio’s Finding Your Voice advocacy series or come to one of AIA Cincinnati’s Local Advocacy Working Group meetings (second Thursday each month at 8:30 am on Zoom).

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