COLUMBUS -- The Ohio House OK'd legislation Wednesday that would designate the barn as the state's official historical architectural structure.

HB 12 passed on a unanimous vote and heads to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

The bill was offered by Rep. Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) at the request of a group of school kids in her district as a way to recognize and promote the preservation of barns in the state.

"I believe this is an important piece of legislation to cherish and preserve the architectural relics that are such an important part of our rural heritage," Gonzales said.

Ohio already has a number of official designations, including a state cultivated flower (the scarlet carnation), bird (the cardinal), frog (the American bullfrog) and amphibian (the spotted salamander). A few years ago, it added the Adena Pipe to the list as the official state artifact.

HB 12 would comparably honor the barn, which, an analysis by the state's Legislative Service Commission noted, "is an agricultural building located on farms and used for many purposes."

Marc Kovac covers the Ohio Statehouse for Gatehouse Media. Contact him at mkovac@recordpub.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.