Mitigation Plan Created for
Wolfe Music Building
For years the Cleveland Restoration Society (CRS) has monitored the condition and status of the Wolfe Music building, located at 2112 Euclid Avenue, on the campus of Cleveland State University. Most recently it was leased to a Kinko's copy business. Owned by the university, the building has been vacant since 1996.
The Wolfe Music building was constructed in 1927 to house the Wolfe Music Store. It was designed by noted early twentieth century architectural firm Walker & Weeks, who also designed such significant buildings as Severance Hall, Cleveland Public Library, the Board of Education building, and Public Auditorium. The building features a facade of white terra cotta and Georgian marble with a bronze and glass storefront. Unfortunately, the building has suffered significant deterioration.
CSU plans to build a $45 million health sciences and life sciences building on the site of the Wolfe Music building and Viking Hall, and is seeking a demolition permit from the Cleveland Planning Commission for the buildings. Viking Hall (shown in the smaller photo at left) was built in 1970 as a Holiday Inn and had been used as a dormitory. It was constructed on the site of the New Amsterdam Hotel (built 1900). Both the New Amsterdam Hotel and Wolfe Music building are shown in the historic photo at left.
Led by Councilman Jeff Johnson, CRS has been in negotiations with CSU over the university's plans. We have come to a Mitigation Agreement that provides for:
- Architectural and photographic documentation of the Wolfe Music building to an agreed-upon standard.
- An interior plaque or display within the new building, allowing for the memory of the Wolfe Music building and recounting the carriage trade on Euclid Avenue.
- The salvaging of the bronze storefront to the extent possible and exploration of salvage of terra cotta portions.
- A fall 2013 symposium on historic preservation in conjunction with partners such as CRS, the Cleveland Landmarks Commission, and Councilman Johnson. The symposium will be regional in scope.
- Initiation of a Historic Preservation Certificate Program at the Levin College of Urban Affairs.
It is not our first choice for a historic building to be demolished, but the reality of practicing historic preservation is that a victory may not be what we have traditionally thought of as preservation "win". We can't help but feel that a certificate program for preservation at the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, named for a founder of the Cleveland Restoration Society, ultimately is a win for the future of Cleveland and its legacy of historic architecture.
The Cleveland Restoration Society
is a Local Partner affiliate of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Founded in 1972, CRS uses the powerful tool of historic preservation to revitalize our diverse communities, strengthen the regional economy, and enhance the quality of life in northeastern Ohio.