January 2009 - Vol. 23, No. 1
Kerri Broome, editor
In This Issue

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 The Year Ahead
 opportunities for preservation in 2009

Much is made of the idea that we Northeastern Ohioans are our own worst critics. And it's true - sometimes we forget how fortunate we are to have such a large inventory of properties built around the turn of the last century. News outlets focus on the storm clouds that hang over our current economic times. But through it all, the Cleveland Restoration Society looks for the silver linings. As our world shifts and changes, our work is more important than ever before. In 2009 we will continue to promote the strengths of historic preservation as an effective tool that addresses a variety of important goals that profoundly impact our local economy, such as neighborhood reinvestment, downtown revitalization, and tourism promotion.


 President-elect Obama and Historic Preservation

In his address to approximately 40 governors at the National Governor's Association in early December, Barack Obama asked for innovation and collaboration in dealing with the nation's current economic problems and their impact upon state budgets, which could have a devastating impact on America's quality of life. Specifically, he pointed to job cuts, reduced programs for the needy and the prospect of libraries and historic sites being closed. See a video of the speech HERE.

The Obama administration has provided a remarkable tool for preservationists to communicate with the President-Elect's policy team. You have the opportunity to submit questions to the incoming administration and to vote on those already submitted that you feel are of primary importance:
  1. Go HERE.
  2. Sign in or create a username.
  3. Do a search for "historic preservation".
  4. Click the check on the questions that you think are most important.
  5. Add questions of your own.
It takes just a few minutes, and may make a difference in the reception of your preservation advocates when they approach the new administration.


 New Legislation for Vacant Buildings
 historic preservation provisions contemplated

Encouraged by president-elect Obama's interest in historic preservation, Congressman Tim Ryan (D-OH) is drafting vacant buildings legislation that would support historic preservation efforts in urban areas nationally. Although demolition of vacant properties would be permitted, the draft clearly states that these funds could not be used to demolish structures that are listed in the National Register of Historic Places or any property designated under state or local law as historically significant, unless the responsible historic preservation officials, after public review, issue a waiver. Adaptive use of a historic property is considered an eligible expense. No funding limit has been specified. The draft is called "The Renaissance Communities Act of 2009". It focuses on areas that have suffered a population loss of at least 10% since 1980. Representative Ryan's office is seeking input from the preservation community; address your comments to Steve Cerny.


 Cuyahoga County Land Bank
 modeled on successful Michigan program

A radical plan that addresses declining Cuyahoga County neighborhoods through a land bank passed the Ohio Senate by an almost unanimous vote in mid December. The bill would permit Cuyahoga County officials to establish a nonprofit land reuse program to accept or buy foreclosed or abandoned properties. Properties deemed un-repairable would be demolished; others would be held in trust. The bill is expected to run into some opposition in the House, where there appears to be a clear bias towards demolition as opposed to rehabilitation.


 2009 Cuyahoga County Budget
 departmental spending reduced 5.8 to 11.5 percent

The decaying regional economy is forcing severe cutbacks by Cuyahoga County across the board. At least 35 separate reductions are planned and the situation could worsen by mid-2009, if the state does not receive federal aid to offset its own projected $640 million shortfall.


 St. Paul Shrine Illuminated
 another beacon of hope shines in Cleveland

St. Paul Shrine The Conversion of St. Paul Shrine, 4120 Euclid Avenue, dedicated a newly lit steeple on December 21 thanks to the Reinhold W. Erickson Fund of The Cleveland Foundation and CRS's Sacred Landmarks Assistance Program. CRS awarded the church $31,259 for the cleaning and painting of the interior of the tower and its lighting. St. Paul Shrine, built in 1876 as St. Paul Episcopal Church, was designed by architect Gordon W. Lloyd of Detroit as an elaborate Gothic Revival structure of Amherst sandstone with a 120-foot tower. Completion of the project at St. Paul Shrine brings the number of illuminated sacred landmarks lit by CRS since 1995 to 16 and highlights the current revitalization of Cleveland's Euclid Avenue and Midtown neighborhood.


 Promising Urban Infill in University Circle
 two small condo buildings planned

Wade Park Flats from Studio Techne Architects Developer Donald Gest is planning to build two adjacent structures containing a total of eight apartments on the east side of East 118th Street. The $1.2 million project, Wade Park Flats, has been designed by Studio Techne architects in a contemporary style that appears to be compatible with the traditional wood-frame houses of the neighborhood. This project fits within University Circle, Inc.'s objective of stimulating more residential construction within its radius. Funding for the project is still in progress.


 Inglewood Historic District Nominated
 submitted to National Register

A Cleveland Heights neighborhood is currently under consideration for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The area, between Taylor and Warrensville Roads north of Mayfield, includes two 1920s subdivisions developed by the Shaker Heights Improvement Company. The district was reviewed by the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board in early December and forwarded to the National Register with a recommendation for listing. The Inglewood portion was begun in 1920 and consists of 81 lots of various sizes arranged within a curvilinear street pattern. In 1923, the northwest corner of Oakridge and additional lots on Quilliams Road created a further 78 houses. The houses were designed in historical revival styles, typical of the period and meeting Van Sweringen specifications, by leading Cleveland architects, including Howell and Thomas, Walker and Weeks, Charles Schneider and Bloodgood Tuttle.


 Cleveland Heights High School Clock Tower
 alumni-led effort to restore iconic feature

The Cleveland Heights High School Alumni Foundation started a campaign in December to raise $250,000 toward a $400,000 goal to restore the clock tower that rises above the sprawling complex of the original 1926 building and various additions since then. The remaining $150,000 is expected to come from the school district and work could be done as early as 2010. The tower suffers from severe weathering and deferred maintenance. It is anticipated that most of the money will come from the school's 50, 000 alumni.


 Geneva Receives Large State Grant
 one of only six Ohio communities to be awarded

The northeastern Ohio city of Geneva has received a $394,600 Revitalization Grant from the Ohio Department of Development, which must be matched by local businesses and be used to repair and restore older buildings in the city. Twenty-one storefronts will benefit from the award. City staff and the local business association collaborated in developing a marketing and development plan, one of the ODOD grant requirements. "Now in these tough economic times, it is difficult for some business owners to put up a lot of money to improve city buildings. This money will go a long way for the city," said Assistant City Manager Jennifer Brown.


 Streetsboro House Receives Funding
 historic home has spent two years on a trailer

Walmart Stores Inc. has provided the Streetsboro Heritage Foundation with $65,000 in order to create a permanent home for the 1828 Col. John Singletary House. The house, the second oldest wood-frame structure in Portage County, has been waiting two years to find a permanent home, since it was moved for new development and placed on top of a trailer behind the Walmart Supercenter on S. R. 14. The structure was Streetsboro's first post office, its first telephone exchange, a tavern and a stagecoach stop. This is the second time Walmart has donated money for the house - in 2006, Walmart provided $80,000 to have the house placed on the trailer. The Streetsboro Heritage Foundation, which was formed to save the house, plans to have it moved onto its new foundation by early spring of this year.


 Calendar of Events
 what to do, where to do it, and when to go

January 8
Creative Marketing for the Arts
Cleveland Play House, 4:00 - 6:00 pm
8500 Euclid Ave., Cleveland
Registration required, $
COSE Arts Network

January 23
Deep Energy: Extreme Energy Efficiency in New and Existing Homes
Cleveland Environmental Center, 2:30 - 5:00 pm
3500 Lorain Ave., Cleveland
Registration required, 216-961-4646
Environmental Health Watch

January 25
The Underground Railroad in Northeastern Ohio
Joan Southgate, speaker
Cuyahoga County Archives, 2:00 pm
2905 Franklin Blvd., Cleveland
Cuyahoga County Bicentennial Lecture Series

January 29
"Historic Preservation Issues for Cleveland Heights Homeowners"
Jamie Phillips, speaker
Home Repair Resource Center, 7:00 pm
2520 Noble Road Cleveland Heights
RSVP to 216-381-6100
Home Repair Resource Center

February 11
Members Reception
Featuring local art expert William Busta
3751 Prospect Ave., Cleveland
Cleveland Restoration Society, 216-426-1000


 Save the Date!

February 15
An Afternoon with Abraham Lincoln
Mel Maurer, speaker
Cuyahoga County Archives, 2:00 pm
2905 Franklin Blvd., Cleveland
Cuyahoga County Bicentennial Lecture Series

February 21
Restoring or Designing Your Historic Garden
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, Akron, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
RSVP to Chrissy Kozey, 330-315-3261, $
Part of the 2009 Historic House Workshop Series
Cleveland Restoration Society
Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens
Progress Through Preservation

February 24
"Maintaining Your Older Home"
Sara Hobbs, speaker
Oberlin Public Library, 7:00 pm
65 South Main Street, Oberlin
Oberlin Heritage Center
Lorain County Preservation Network
Oberlin Historic Preservation Commission

March 1 - 4
National Main Streets Conference
Chicago, early registration before 1/16, $$$
National Trust for Historic Preservation


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