Perspectives Header
Kerri Broome, editor
December 2011

CRS logo
In This Issue
Happy Holidays from CRS
Call for 2012 Preservation Award Nominations
Johnson to Propose Four Landmark Nominations
Historic Building on CSU Campus Threatened
Wood Frame Italianate Residence Endangered
Time Running Out for Forest City Brewery
Sign Petition Against Demolition of Churches
Can Section 106 Due Diligence be Measured?
Changes to Federal Application for Tax Credits
New National Register Nominations
Akron Redevelopment Plan
Seneca County Courthouse Update
Preservation Book Sale
Old Stone Church Lunchtime Concerts
Office Space For Rent
More About CRS

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Happy Holidays from the  

Cleveland Restoration Society

Don't forget the preservationists on your list this season!  A gift membership in the Cleveland Restoration Society begins at $35 ($55 for a family membership), with benefits that last for twelve months, making it an excellent, affordable present. CRS is also in the middle of our Annual Fund year-end campaign. Your gift in any amount is greatly appreciated. Donations and membership purchases, which are fully tax deductible,  can be completed securely online at And all donations to our organization stay local and support our work as the voice for endangered historic landmarks in the Greater Cleveland area.


Please note that we will not be holding a holiday open house this year. CRS's office will be closed December 26 - 30. From our Sarah Benedict House to your house, we hope that you have a wonderful holiday season!





Residences at 668

Preservation Award Nominations

Due January 16   

Do you know of a recently completed restoration project in Northeast Ohio, or one that will be completed soon? Do you think it should be considered for a 2012 Preservation Award by the Cleveland Restoration Society and the Cleveland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects? If so, fill out a nomination form and submit it to the Cleveland Restoration Society.  Please note that the deadline for nominations is Monday, January 16, 2012, which is sooner in the process than it has been previously. (Pictured are the Residences at 668 Euclid, a 2011 winner.)  




Stager-Beckwith House

Councilman to Propose Four Cleveland Landmark Nominations

Cleveland Councilman Jeff Johnson (Ward 8) will nominate four properties - the Wolfe Music Store Building, the Howe Mansion, the Stager-Beckwith Mansion, and Fenn Tower - for Cleveland Landmark status at the next Cleveland Landmarks Commission meeting, to be held tomorrow, Thursday, December 8.


The Wolfe Music Store Building, 2112 Euclid Avenue, was built 1927-1928 by Walker & Weeks. It is currently threatened by demolition. Read more about the Wolfe Music Store Building in this issue of Perspectives


The George W. Howe House, 2258 Euclid Avenue, built in 1894 and designed by Coburn and Barnum of Cleveland, is an unusual example of Italian Renaissance Revival architecture featuring thin buff-colored Roman brick with sandstone and terra cotta trim. It is one of the few remaining residential structures from the "Millionaires' Row" era of Cleveland's history. The Vixseboxse Art Gallery called the Howe Mansion home for many years. Cleveland State University incorporated the structure into its campus plan and it is now Parker Hannifin Administration Building.


The Stager-Beckwith House (pictured above), 3813 Euclid Avenue, is another "Millionaires' Row" mansion, designed by Joseph Ireland in 1866 for Anson Stanger, who sold the house to Thomas Sterling Beckwith in 1874. The house remained a residence until successive owner Charles Brush leased it to the University Club in 1912. Architects Milton Dyer and Henry Walsh designed the T-shaped annex to the original residence in 1912-1913. Meyers University purchased the building in 2002 and worked with the Ferchill Group to complete $10M in renovations, which merited a CRS Preservation Award in 2005.


Fenn Tower, 1983 East 24th Street, was designed by the influential beaux-arts architectural firm of George B. Post and Sons in 1930. It was originally intended as the home of the National Town and Country Club, but the stock market crash of 1929 arrested full development. Fenn College occupied the building in 1937 and became the nucleus of present day Cleveland State University. Fenn has a setback skyscraper design with a four-story entrance frontispiece with a recessed entrance. Vertical brick piers are decorated with abstract geometric ornaments of Art Deco and Egyptian style.


Please join us at the Cleveland Landmarks Commission meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday in Room 514 at Cleveland City Hall to show your support for these buildings.





Wolfe Music Store Building

Walker & Weeks-Designed Building on CSU Campus Threatened

The Plain Dealer reported in November that Cleveland State would demolish Viking Hall and "another building" to make way for a $25 million health sciences and life sciences building. The other building, which barely got a mention, was the Wolfe Music Store at 2112 Euclid Avenue, a white terra cotta clad building with the original bronze storefront. The building, constructed by Anthony Carlin 1927-28, was designed by the prestigious architectural firm of Walker & Weeks. The Wolfe Music Store leased the building until the store closed in 1930. It later served as National Cash Register and then a Kinko's copy center. The building has been vacant since being purchased by Cleveland State in the late 1990s. CRS President Kathleen Crowther wrote CSU President Ronald M. Berkman, encouraging that an adaptive use be considered. In his response, he said the university had "attempted to make good use of the structure," but that "the building beyond the fašade has no other significant or redeeming features and does not provide a floor plan that is useable. The University has been unable to identify and appropriate need for the building, and several private developers have declined our generous offers to help facilitate renovation."


While we at CRS have been pleased with CSU's development in the neighborhood, including the historic rehab of the Howe Mansion, Fenn Tower, and the current Union Building project, we feel that the loss of this jewel of a storefront is significant. This building is a reflection of the history and character of the neighborhood and every effort should be made to incorporate it into the new development.





6512 Superior Ave. (1988)

Italianate on Superior Condemned

We are sad to see the fine Italianate structure at 6512 Superior Avenue has been condemned by the City of Cleveland. Built in 1874 by Jan Zoeter, this property is one of the most elaborate Italianate-style houses remaining in northeastern Ohio. The front fašade, although wood, looks like plain ashlar cut stone, including quoins at the corners. The porch features chamfered posts (resting on wooden piers) that terminate in Corinthian style capitals with foliated brackets above. The massive double front doors, with carved inset panels and windows, are arched and are framed in rope molding. The hooded windows also have elaborate frames. On the first floor the hoods terminate in ornate pendant drops. The whole is crowned by a deep bracketed frieze panel with a series of rosettes. As you can tell, the home features more detail than we can easily convey in this post. We have notified the Cleveland Municipal Housing Court that we are interested in helping to save this property and would consider a receivership action with the approval of our Board of Trustees. We have also called Councilman T. J. Dow, the local development corporation, and the head of Building and Housing, to seek assistance in saving this structure. We will keep our members informed of our progress. This photo of the house was taken by CRS member Craig Bobby in 1988. 




Forest City Brewery

Old Forest City Brewery is Still Looking for a Savior as the Wrecking Ball Approaches

The historic Forest City Brewery building, located in Cleveland's Slavic Village neighborhood, is still in imminent danger of demolition. Because of the rapid speed of this demolition proposal, the Cleveland Restoration Society acted quickly to assist in re-examining the structure through an on-site visit and a thorough investigation of possible financial or procedural options. CRS staff members who toured the facility were impressed with the fine exterior architectural detail and stability of much of the structure. However, Slavic Village Development believes that saving the building should be "low on our priority list for restoration" because of issues with the Brewery's location, size, and design. While the building's prospects are becoming more tenuous with each passing day, it is still hoped that an individual or company will see the building's possibilities and act to save this important tie to Cleveland's past.




Cleveland Restoration Society is Newest Contributor to Cleveland Area History Blog

The Cleveland Restoration Society will be taking questions from Cleveland Area History blog readers on a wide variety of preservation-related issues and concerns on the popular Cleveland Area History website.  These technically focused articles will seek to assist the owners of historic buildings with questions like, "How do I clean and restore a clear finish on historic wood?" or even, "So, what's the big deal with using vinyl siding on a historic home?"  This partnership between the Cleveland Restoration Society and Cleveland Area History will expand CRS's reach and help us be more active in the northeastern Ohio community.  See our first post here.  



St. Catherines

Petition Against the Demolition of Churches

Elizabeth Kucinich, wife of Congressman Dennis Kucinich, has created an online petition to increase awareness of the deconstruction and demolition of our historic churches. This is one of the many heritage conservation issues that Elizabeth spoke about when she recently met with the Cleveland Restoration Society. She's passionate about Cleveland and preserving its architectural legacy for future generations. Sign the petition here. (Shown is St. Catherine's in Cleveland, which was demolished earlier this year.) 





Can Section 106 Due Diligence be Measured?

Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 requires federal agencies to consider the effects of projects they carry out, approve, or fund on historic properties. It also affords the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation (ACHP) a reasonable opportunity to comment on the projects prior to the federal agency's decision. The federal agency is responsible for initiating Section 106 review and must identify the area of potential effect, identify and gather information on properties listed, or are eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places, determine how the properties will be affected, explore measures to avoid or reduce harm, and reach an agreement with the State Historic Preservation Office or the Tribal Historic Preservation office to resolve any adverse effects or obtain advisory comments from the ACHP, which are sent to the head of the agency.


Regulations state that federal agencies make a "reasonable and good faith effort" to identify historic properties. ACHP commonly fields the question of how to define the extent of effort in the agency's identification process and has now issued guidance, which sets forth criteria the ACHP will use when it is asked to provide its advisory opinion on whether a specific identification effort was both reasonable, in terms of intensity and scale, and carried out in good faith, through its development and execution.




Changes to Federal Applications for Tax Credits

The National Park Service has recently redesigned the Historic Preservation Certification Application forms for federal historic preservation tax incentives, and has revised the instructions for completing the forms. As of January 1, 2012, only the new application forms will be accepted by the Ohio Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. The submission requirements have not changed. For Ohio properties, two paper copies of applications (with the owner's original signature) and all supporting materials must be submitted to the Ohio Historic Preservation Office.




Shaker Farms Historic District

New NEO National Register Nominations

The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board recently held its final meeting of 2011 and voted to recommend four Ohio properties be forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places for consideration. Two of the nominations are located in Northeast Ohio: the Shaker Farm Historic District located in Cleveland Heights (pictured here) and South Newbury Union Chapel in South Newbury (Geauga County). The Shaker Farm Historic District is a 266-acre residential development platted in 1904 and developed by O. P. and J. J. Van Sweringen. The district is being nominated for its merits of community planning and development as well as architectural styles. It is the model for the Van Sweringens' later development, Shaker Heights. The proposed Shaker Farm Historic District includes a portion of the Fairmount Boulevard Historic District, listed on the National Register in 1974. South Newbury Union Chapel was the product of an 1857 controversy in which James A. Garfield, a member of the clergy and later president of the United States, was prevented from speaking in a local church because of his religious beliefs. The incident angered some, who decided to build a chapel that would allow free speech by all people. Union Chapel was used by a variety of social reform organizations as a place for free discussion of ideas like women's right to vote, temperance and other social issues. A decision from the Keeper is expected in about 90 days.



Image courtesy of University Park Alliance

Akron Redevelopment Plan

An ambitious plan to dramatically redevelop fifty blocks near the center of the city of Akron and the University of Akron is set to begin. Work will kick off on several projects this spring in the University Park area, which encompasses 50 blocks and includes some of the city's oldest housing stock. Read more here.


Seneca County Courthouse

Seneca County Courthouse Update

Despite dedicated support from both the public and private sectors, the 1884 Seneca County Courthouse, a Beaux Arts structure located in downtown Tiffin, is inching closer to being lost forever. Seneca County Commissioners recently approved a contract for demolition with Cleveland-based B&B Wrecking and Excavating. As part of that contract the wrecking company may salvage as much, or as little, of the structure's high-quality architectural materials and features as they choose. Still, supporters of the restoration and reuse of the courthouse are pressing forward. Paper and online petitions, urging the Commissioners to delay demolition in order to consider all options, have been circulated. Possible alternatives to demolition, such as the option to temporarily lease the structure to interested parties in return for them mothballing the building and assuming all liability, have been promoted. Even Governor Kasich entered the debate, sending a two-page letter to the Commissioners urging them to agree to the lease option. If the Seneca County Courthouse is lost it will be the first National Register-listed Ohio courthouse to ever be demolished, and the first Ohio county courthouse to fall in more than forty years.





Preservation Book Sale

Twenty years ago, Preservation Books titles sold for $2 each. Those good old days are back. Through the end of December, you will find deeply discounted prices on Preservation Books and Main Street publications, many for just $2. Discounts apply to online orders only. These remarkable prices are good until the end of the year. Take this opportunity to expand your preservation library and to save money on training materials and publications for yourself and your staff. National Trust Forum and Main Street members get 25% off these discounted prices, National Trust members 10%. Visit to order.




Old Stone Church

Brownbag Concert Series on Thursday at Old Stone Church

Cleveland's Old Stone Church is presenting thirty-minute recitals every Thursday. The series features a traditional classical repertoire for organ, piano and voice programmed in innovative ways. Guests this year include voice faculty from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, and some of the finest opera singers in the region. All recitals take place in the sanctuary of Old Stone Church, 91 Public Square, beginning at 12:15 p.m. Bring your lunch, relax, and enjoy!




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.       





Upcoming Events


December 7

Webinar: "Ohio Modern: Preserving Our Recent Past, Dayton Survey"

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

Heritage Ohio


December 7

African American Cultural Garden Ceremony

Cleveland City Hall, 601 Lakeside Ave.

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.


December 7

12th Annual Holiday Tour

Includes dessert reception at the Hat Factory

5:30 - 11:00 p.m., $$

Historic Warehouse District


December 10

Annual Meeting & Community Pancake Breakfast 

Our Lady of Peace School 12406 Buckingham Avenue, Cleveland 

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

Free Resource Fair to follow from 12:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Shaker Square Area Development Corporation


December 15

Annual Holiday Party

Massimo Da Milano, 1400 West 25th St., Cleveland

5:30 - 8:00 p.m., RSVP by 12/12 to Alicia Torres 

Cleveland Neighborhood Development Coalition


December 16

The Black and Tan Holiday Gala

Market Garden Brewery, 1947 W. 25th St., Cleveland

5:30 - 9:00 p.m., register online, $$

Sponsored by the Office of Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson





Cleveland Restoration Society
3751 Prospect Avenue

Cleveland, OH  44115

(216) 426-1000