Perspectives Header
Kerri Broome, editor
October 2011

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In This Issue
Sacred Landmarks Update
Wolfe Music Store Building Endangered
Tudor Arms Reopens
Allen Theatre Revival
Cleveland Museum of Art Project Announced
Tax Credits Up in the Air with Casino Skywalk
Warehouse District Before & After Images
Energy Efficiency for Smaller Commercial Buildings
Loan Fund Expanded to Address Lead Paint
Heritage Program Expands to Canton
Maltz Museum Opens New Exhibit
Community Luncheon Registration Open
Send us Your Memories of the Library
Office Space For Rent
Rent the Benedict House for Parties & Meetings
More About CRS

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Endangered Sacred Landmarks Update

This month's issue brings several notable updates from around the city concerning significant churches, including two in the Cleveland Clinic zone:   

  1. Euclid Avenue Church of God: The Cleveland Clinic is aggressively pursuing this church.  More accurately, the Clinic is after the land that this church is currently sitting on. On September 19, CRS President Kathleen H. Crowther testified at a City of Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals hearing against the proposed demolition of Euclid Avenue Church of Godthe Euclid Avenue Church of God at 8601 Euclid Avenue. The church sought to overturn the denial of a demolition request they had made to the Cleveland Landmarks Commission on June 9. The board denied the church's request. CRS Director of Preservation Services Michael Fleenor gave a report on the condition of the building at a Landmarks Commission meeting at the request of the commission staff. The pastor has shared that the Cleveland Clinic has offered to purchase the land for $500,000 and reimburse the congregation for the cost of demolition (around $70,000) if the congregation can provide them the land with no church on it. Designed by Sidney Badgley, the building was completed in 1889 as the Reformed Episcopal Church of the Epiphany. Poorly maintained and now suffering from roof leaks, the building still maintains significant Gothic Revival details and can be restored for new uses - think ecumenical place of contemplation, restaurant - this is a church from the days of Millionaires' Row. We have heard from a distraught congregant that the Cleveland Clinic is also paying for the congregation's attorney. Expect this to go the Common Pleas court.  
  2. Church of the Transfiguration: This church is located across the street from Euclid Avenue Church of God. The Clinic wants it too. This church, designed by architect Ralph Adams Cram, architect of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York and Church of the Covenant in Cleveland, has been closed by its Episcopal bishop and is being allowed to deteriorate unfettered. What might the Cleveland Clinic offer for the land here? Are these two churches the next demolitions in the zone around the Cleveland Clinic?  
  3. St. Catherine Roman Catholic Church: Located on E. 93rd Street between St. Catherine and Heath Avenues, this church was sold by its parish without any preservation protections whatsoever. The buyer, Imagine Cleveland Academy, a charter school, recently St. Catherine during demolitiondemolished the church building to make way for a playground. The church, completed in 1917, was a beautiful Romanesque style design built of dark brick with lighter stone accents. The interior was large enough for 800 congregants. War memorial plaques located in the church were brought to light by several volunteers as the demolition was proceeding. No special green demolition for the dark red bricks, sandstone trim. All this sturdy material will now fill up a landfill somewhere. This church would have qualified for local designation. Too bad it was not designated.  
  4. Brooklyn Memorial United Methodist Church: One of the landmarks of Archwood Avenue is being sold. This church has been home to Cleveland's oldest Methodist congregation, the church is in stable condition but needs attention. The church, completed in 1914, was built with Gothic Revival elements using the "Akron Plan" layout. The church, parsonage, and some contents, were offered for auction on October 1 by Walton & Associates. At the time of this writing it is unknown whether it sold and, if so, to whom. This church is in the Archwood Avenue Historic District.



Wolfe Music Store Building

Endangered for More Than a Decade, Wolfe Music Store Building is Demo Target

As Cleveland State University continues to improve its urban campus, its plans may take down another historic building. A public meeting was held on September 8, 2011 to discuss Cuyahoga County's application for a $2 million Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund Grant for asbestos removal and demolition of 2130 Euclid Avenue, CSU's Viking Hall, and 2112 Euclid Avenue, the Wolfe Music Store Building/Kinko's Building to make way for new construction. The ca. 1930 Wolfe building was designed by Walker & Weeks and is a fine example of Neoclassical Revival complete with a terra cotta fašade. Once a part of a strong commercial block, it now stands alone as prominent reminder of a bustling Euclid Avenue. The vacant neighboring lots provide a tremendous opportunity for well-designed infill. The Wolfe Music Store Building is not a local landmark or in the National Register of Historic Places, but has potential for formal listing in both categories. Photo by Marina Marquez.





Tudor Arms

University Circle Landmark Brought Back to Life

MRN Ltd., working with City Architecture, has recently completed the rehabilitation of the Cleveland Club building, more popularly known as the Tudor Arms. Located in Cleveland's University Circle Area at the intersection of Carnegie and E. 107th Street, the eleven story brick and limestone building is now a Hilton Doubletree Hotel. Designed by Cleveland architect Frank Mead and completed in 1931 as a private men's athletic club, the building became a hotel in 1939.  In the 1960s it was used as a dormitory by Case Western Reserve University. The university later leased the building to the Cleveland Job Corps., before selling it to MRN Ltd. The $22 million rehab project benefited from $4 million in New Markets tax credits, $3 million in federal tax credits and $4.4 million in Ohio historic preservation tax credits.




Allen TheatreAllen Theatre Revival

The Allen Theatre recently celebrated its grand reopening as the new home of the Cleveland Play House. CRS President Kathleen Crowther paused to look back two decades, when the demolition ball was poised for the theatre's destruction. "The developers wanted to raze the building for parking. They were going to "lop-off" the auditorium, creating a glass wall. The Cleveland Restoration Society was the last one to stick up for the building. We tracked it from the beginning. We had the Ohio Historic Preservation Office review the case for eligibility to use tax credits for redevelopment. It was determined eligible, but opinions were divided at first discussion due to the severe deterioration. Also, people were saying we had too many theatres, so we started to consider other uses." The Cleveland Planning Commission eventually approved the demolition of the Allen Theatre, but the permit was not immediately issued.  Development stalled, giving  PlayhouseSquare Foundation enough time to come up with a way to save it. Now it a new era has begun. Read more here. Photo by Peggy Turbett, Plain Dealer






Transformer Building

Historic Preservation + Art Gallery = Transformation

The Cleveland Museum of Art has recently announced a wonderfully innovative project about to take place in Cleveland's Ohio City neighborhood, the "The Transformer Station" gallery. In collaboration with Fred and Laura Bidwell, the museum will be adapting a former substation for the Cleveland Railway Company into an art gallery. The building, located on W. 29th Street, was completed in 1924. The space will be curated alternately by CMA and the Bidwells, who are nationally known art collectors, and is expected to open in late 2012.



Higbee Building proposed skywalk

Tax Credits and Historic Designation Up in the Air Over Skywalk

The Ohio Historic Preservation Office has recommended to the National Park Service to not approve the proposed skywalk from the new Horseshoe Casino parking and welcome center to the historic Higbee Building because it is a "significant intrusion." The welcome center is currently under construction at the southeast corner of Ontario Street and Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland. The walkway would cut diagonally across the northwest corner of the intersection and connect to the historic Higbee Building at the second level. Rock Gaming and Caesar's Entertainment Corp. is leasing four floors in the Higbee Building from Forest City Enterprises Inc. for the new casino's "phase one" operations. They feel the walkway is necessary to provide shelter and direct access in bad weather for visitors using the new parking garage, which will hold approximately 900 vehicles. Rock Ohio Caesars demolished the historic Columbia Building for a parking garage, a demolition approved by the Cleveland Landmarks Commission in a 3-2 vote. Over the past few years, Forest City has received millions of dollars in federal tax credits to off-set preservation-based renovation costs. The tax credits may have to be reimbursed, if the National Park Service agrees with OHPO and the skywalk is built. The Higbee Building would also lose its historic designation. Rock Ohio Caesars can appeal. Look for a decision by the National Park Service in the first week of October. Photo courtesy of Rock Ohio Caesars.




Cleveland BeforeWarehouse District: Before and After Images

Cleveland's Warehouse District was on The Atlantic's website recently, showing the remarkable difference in the area over the last five decades due to demolition. The two images, originally posted on Rust Wire, present a startling reality for our city.





Energy Efficiency for Smaller Commercial Buildings

Interesting news from the National Trust for Historic Preservation on retrofitting older, smaller building to be more energy efficient (and did you realize that 95% of America's commercial buildings are under 50,000 square feet?). Last week, the National Trust's sustainability program team was in Boulder, Colorado, co-hosting a national summit workshop on "Deep Energy Savings in Existing Buildings." More than 70 national experts gathered to discuss technical strategies, market mechanisms, and policy approaches that will increase energy savings in existing commercial buildings, with emphasis on smaller, older buildings. The workshop was part of the "Getting to 50 Project", an initiative to develop tools that will drive energy efficiency improvements of at least 50 percent in existing buildings. Getting to 50 is a partnership with New Buildings Institute (NBI), a national leader in building energy efficiency policy development and implementation, and the National Trust's Seattle-based Preservation Green Lab. Learn more about this collaboration between preservationists and green builders at the website for the summit.




Loan Fund Expanded to Address Lead Paint

The Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund can now be used to address remediation of lead-based paint in historic buildings. Loans are available for up to $1 million and may be used for costs associated with the cleanup of asbestos-containing materials, lead-based paint, and universal waste, demonstrated by recent environmental assessments. Loans are made at below-market interest rates and have no penalty for early payoff.




CRS and Community Building Partnership of Stark County Launch Canton Heritage Home Program(SM)

CRS has partnered with the Community Building Partnership of Stark County (CBP) to expand our very successful homeowner maintenance and restoration program, the Heritage Home Program(SM), into the Canton area. The program, which is offered with the support of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency and the State Treasurer, provides low interest financing and free technical advice to enable owners of 1 - 3-unit properties for home rehab. Program staff provides in depth assistance to homeowners via site visits, custom construction specifications, historic color consults, and collateral materials. Homeowners can use a 3.5% fixed interest rate, 10-year term rehabilitation loan to fund a large variety of home maintenance and improvement projects.  Houses that are built before 1961 and have no vinyl or aluminum siding are eligible for both exterior and interior projects.  Non-owner occupied properties up to a three family are also eligible. The program will be available throughout Canton, although specific neighborhoods with particularly intact historic housing stock, such as Ridgewood/Vassar Park, West Park, Market Heights, and Harter Heights, will be prioritized. KeyBank is the lender for this program and the Canton Preservation Society is a program partner.


CRS's New Toll Free Number for Stark and Summit County

CRS' team of historic rehabilitation specialists can answer your questions about the proper repair and maintenance of your older home ─ at no charge. If you are interested in finding out more information on the program, or to see if your house qualifies contact the Canton Heritage Home Program(SM) at (855) 897-1949.



The Dump

Maltz Museum Opens New Exhibit

A new exhibition has opened at the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage that shows a turbulent and creative time in Cleveland - the 1930s. Working with Cleveland State University, Karamu House, the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Artists Foundation, Western Reserve Historical Society and a private collection, the museum has gathered more than sixty-five pieces, art and artifacts for "Hardship to Hope: African American Art from the Karamu Workshop". A full season of programs, lectures, and performances will be offered in coordination with the exhibition. See the museum website for details. The exhibition will be open until January 1, 2012. (Art pictured: The Dump, Curtis E. Tann, watercolor. Courtesy of Russell and Rowena Jelliffe Collection, Cleveland State University Library)




Ed FitzGerald

Community Luncheon Registration Open/Advertising Opportunities Available Now

Make plans now to attend the 38th Annual Community Luncheon on Tuesday, November 22. The speaker will be Cuyahoga County Executive Edward FitzGerald. Also during the lunch, Ted Sande, AIA Emeritus, historic preservation consultant and retired architect, will receive the Robert C. Gaede, FAIA Lifetime Achievement Award in Historic Preservation. Online registration is now open.  Individual tickets start at $60 (student discounts are available). Tables host opportunities and program advertising spots are available now. Contact CRS for more information. 





ISO Photos and Memories of the "Library" Bar 

Did you go to the "Library" (wink, wink)? If so, the Cleveland Restoration Society needs your help.  We are looking for old photos and recollections of our  headquarters, the Sarah Benedict House, 3751 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, in its previous life as the Library, a drinking establishment especially popular with Cleveland State University students. The property was donated to CRS by Maxine Goodman Levin in the 1990s, and following an extensive rehabilitation, now looks like the picture shown here.  It serves not only as home to CRS, but also to Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition, LiveCLEVELAND!, and Your Bean Counters.  We would love know more. If you have pictures of the house from its days as the Library, we would love to see them. Please contact us! 





small tile

Office Space Available in MidTown

The historic Sarah Benedict House has a suite available for rent. Share the third floor with prestigious Cleveland nonprofits looking for a roommate. The house is well-located in an established neighborhood with easy access to highways and downtown and ample, free parking. In addition to the fully improved office space, there are meeting rooms on the first floor of the house available for use for free. The garden, open seasonally, can also be reserved for events, and is a wonderful spot for a restful lunch break.  A kitchen is provided for individual use or catering. To arrange a tour and find out more contact Felicia Hall.       




wedding at the Sarah Benedict House

Benedict House Available for Events and Meetings

Are you looking for a unique venue for your next special event or business meeting?  Consider the historic Sarah Benedict House, one of Cleveland's hidden gems,  located in the heart of the MidTown neighborhood at 3751 Prospect Avenue! The house was built in 1883 for Sarah Rathbone Benedict, the widow of Cleveland Herald publisher George Benedict. The Sarah Benedict House offers 4 accessible rooms on its first floor, separate restrooms for men and women, and a kitchen for catering. A beautiful garden is just steps away, with both open grass and paved levels separated by a sculptural fountain. The house has ample, free parking and easy access to freeways. This fully restored gem is waiting for you. Contact CRS today!



Upcoming Events


Now Through January 1, 2012

Exhibit: "Hardship to Hope: African American Art from the Karamu Workshop"

2929 Richmond Rd. Beachwood

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

In cooperation with Cleveland State University


October 5

Webinar: "An Introduction to the Federal & Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Programs"

1:00 - 2:30 p.m., registration required, FREE

Heritage Ohio


October 5

"Preserving a Streetcar Suburb"

Lakewood Public Library, 15425 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

7:00 p.m., FREE

Lakewood Historical Society

Cleveland Restoration Society 


October 7

Historic Tax Credit Workshop

Lafayette Hotel, 101 Front St., Marietta

10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m., registration required, $$

Heritage Ohio


October 9

Bach, Brats & Beer

Sarah Benedict House, 3751 Prospect Ave., Cleveland

5:00 - 8:00 p.m., $$

Music Outreach Collaborative


October 11

Green Job Fair

3421 Independence Rd., Cleveland

4:00 - 8:00 p.m., FREE

Institute for Career Development

Employment Connection


October 11

Homeowner Workshop: "Maintenance and Energy Efficiency" 

Shaker Heights Public Library, Bertram Woods Branch, 20600 Fayette Rd., Shaker Heights 

7:00 - 9:00 p.m., FREE 

Cleveland Restoration Society 


October 18

Webinar: "How to Meet the Secretary of the Interior's Standards for Rehabilitation in Historic Tax Credit Projects"

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., registration required, $

Ohio Historic Preservation Office


October 19-22 

National Preservation Conference

Buffalo, NY, registration open, $$$

National Trust for Historic Preservation  


October 21 - 22

Halloween Harvest Festival

Medina Square, hours vary 

Main Street Medina


October 22

Squire Valleevue Farm and the Valley Ridge Farm

37125 Fairmount Blvd., Hunting Valley

10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Western Reserve Architectural Historians


October 22

"Vintage Varieties" Sale

Lakewood Park, Skate House (behind the Oldest Stone House), 14750 Lake Ave., Lakewood

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lakewood Historical Society


October 25

Webinar: "Utilizing the Online Mapping System"

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., registration required, $

Ohio Historic Preservation Office


October 24

Tax Credit Workshop


Heritage Ohio   


October 26

Progressive Dinner Around the Square

Medina Square

6:30 - 9:00 p.m., $$ 

Main Street Medina 


October 27

"Identifying and Evaluation Properties of the Recent Past"

Ohio Historical Center, I-71 & 17th Avenue, Columbus

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., registration required, $$

Ohio Historic Preservation Office


October 28

"Building a Meaningful Collection"

Oberlin Depot, 240 S. Main St., Oberlin

9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., registration required, $

Ohio Historical Society


November 1

"Historic Preservation for Local Governments"

Burton Public Library, Burton

10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., registration required, $$

Ohio Historic Preservation Office


November 2

"Dennison, Todd & Brough: Ohio's Civil War Governors"

Lakewood Public Library, 15425 Detroit Ave., Lakewood

7:00 p.m., FREE

Lakewood Historical Society




Save the Date


November 22

Community Luncheon

Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square, 1260 Euclid Ave., Cleveland

11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., registration required, $$ 

Cleveland Restoration Society 





Cleveland Restoration Society
3751 Prospect Avenue

Cleveland, OH  44115

(216) 426-1000