Perspectives Header
  Kerri Broome, editor
July 2013  

CRS logo 40th Anniversary Logo
In This Issue
CRS Annual Meeting Notice
Presentation and Book Signing
John Hay Mural Restored
Update on Development at W. 117th and Clifton
Round 10 of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit
Changes to the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit
Nominations to the National Register
Preservation Green Lab Releases Report
Energy Audits for Homes
11 Most Endangered Announced
Use Website to Enhance Ohio Road Trips
Free Museum Admission for Military
Play Imagine MyNEO
News from the Sarah Benedict House
"History Alive" Series at Library
"Welcome to Cleveland" Weekend for Artists
Rent the Sarah Benedict House
More About CRS

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2012 Annual Meeting Cleveland Restoration Society
Annual Meeting Notice

Join us on Tuesday, July 16, for the annual meeting of the members of the Cleveland Restoration Society. The meeting will be convened from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. at the Sarah Benedict House, 3751 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, for the election of trustees. Refreshments and a chance to have informal conversation with trustees and staff will follow. There's plenty of free parking available at the Benedict House. Come find out what's new with CRS! RSVP for the meeting here.



From Animal House to Our House cover
Presentation and Book Signing at CRS

Award-winning writer and preservationist Ron Tanner will make a stop at CRS's Sarah Benedict House on Saturday, July 27 at 11:00 a.m. to offer a comic monologue about his funny, heart-warming book From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story.  Combining romance with history and humor, Tanner tells the true story of how he and his wife bought a condemned property - a wrecked former frat house - and restored it to its original Victorian splendor. They knew nothing about fixing up houses when they started. In 2008, This Old House magazine featured their remarkable work. They now run, a DIY website.  Watch a video trailer here. RSVP for this event here



John Hay mural

John Hay Mural Restored

A few months back, a member wrote on our Facebook page that the Cultural Cleveland murals at John Hay High School were in very poor condition. CRS had raised $10,000 to start a restoration fund for these murals as part of our benefit at John Hay in 2006. We decided to revisit the school and get the conservation plan for the murals updated. Michael Fleenor, CRS's director of preservation services, had the Intermuseum Conservation Associates (ICA) update its proposed treatments for the two murals. Thankfully, ICA volunteered to restore one mural - of Commodore Oliver Perry - for the funds available. In May, conservators from ICA worked on the mural, repairing a tear, cleaning the canvas, and repairing the frame. The completed project is beautiful, with details that had been obscured for decades now visible. The two murals in the Cultural Cleveland set, one of Mayor Tom Johnson and the other of Commodore Oliver Perry, were completed by Clarence Holbrook Carter in 1939 as part of the Works Progress Administration, a Depression-era works program.  ICA is now raising funds to complete treatment of the mural of Mayor Johnson. If you are interested in making a contribution, please contact Michael Fleenor at



 Update on Development Site at 117th & Clifton

Received by CRS on July 2, 2013


Dear Community Stakeholders:

We wanted to update you on the status of the development site on the block bordered by West 117th Street, Clifton Boulevard, West 116th Street, and Lake Avenue.  You may recall that the southern portion of this site was the former location of a Giant Eagle grocery store. The vacant Fifth Church of Christ Scientist building occupies the northwest portion.

Last year, following Super Storm Sandy, the condition of the buildings on the southern portion fronting Clifton grew increasingly poor, including basement flooding and other environmental challenges. The city of Cleveland required a plan of action, and the owner, the Carnegie Companies, took down the buildings to address the situation.


Earlier this year, you may have seen or heard about a site plan from Carnegie Companies that detailed setback retail with parking lots fronting Clifton Boulevard.  In order to demolish the existing compromised buildings to address their poor condition, Carnegie was required by the city to attach a site plan with its request for a demolition permit. Those plans will not be used as the development plan for this site, and Carnegie has clearly stated that it will not attempt to proceed with such a site plan.

It is the property owner's right and responsibility to develop the southern portion of the property, which is zoned LR-A1 (local retail) and P-1 (parking). The city has indicated that it will not support any zoning changes that would allow parking to front Clifton Boulevard, and has urged the owner to bring all prospective development to the Clifton Boulevard sidewalk line with no setback. Carnegie is aware of this position and will work within those parameters. A diverse local stakeholder group, including residents, businesses, and public officials, has been providing input to the city on the future development of this block. A meeting of this group was recently held in May to discuss a vision for the block and what actions steps might be taken to advance that vision and present the community's position. The consensus of this group is that an inviting destination should be created with quality retail that fronts Clifton. On the northern portion fronting Lake Avenue (zoned 1F-A1, single-family housing with a 35 foot setback), the group expressed a desire to maintain quality residential housing along Lake Avenue respectful of the surroundings.

The status of the church remains undetermined. It is owned by the city of Cleveland, and is a local historic landmark and cannot be torn down without approval from the Landmarks Commission. While a final decision about its future has not been made, the City has committed that the site will not become commercial. It will work with the stakeholder group to evaluate opportunities for this portion of the development site and connect it to the entire block. Moving forward, the stakeholder group will continue to meet, discuss progress and issues at the site, and provide ongoing guidance to the city. We will also continue to provide updates to you about its future development.  We look forward to an exciting future at this important neighborhood location.


Jay Westbrook, Councilman
Ward 16


Anita Brindza, Executive Director
Cudell Improvement, Inc.




Fairmont Creamery Round 10 of the Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credit Announced

The Ohio Development Services Agency recently announced $33.9 million in credits to 22 building owners in 10 communities. Many of these projects are located in Northeast Ohio (like the Fairmont Creamery project in Tremont, pictured here from the article)! Read more about all of the projects in this round here.



Changes to Ohio Historic Preservation Tax Credits

From Heritage Ohio, we hear news that the state General Assembly has passed two amendments to strengthen and expand the Ohio historic tax credit.  The administration has vetoed one amendment: the increase of per project caps to $10 million.  Language that allows projects to pass through state credits differently than federal credits has passed and become law.



Mantua Center School Nominations

to the National Register

Members of the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board have voted to recommend that nominations for seven properties in Ohio be forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places for her consideration. They include:

  • Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Headquarters, Akron
  • Capital University Historic District Boundary Increase, Bexley
  • Kirby Road School, Cincinnati
  • The Kinsey, Cincinnati
  • Mantua Center School, Mantua (pictured here) 
  • Green Township High School, Smithville
  • Zoar Historic District Amendment, Zoar

The board's recommendations were made on Friday, June 21, during a meeting held at the Ohio History Center in Columbus. As a result, nominations for each of the properties will be forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register, who directs the program for the U.S. Department of the Interior. If the Keeper agrees that the properties meet the criteria for listing, they will be added to the National Register of Historic Places. A decision from the Keeper is expected in about 90 days.




Green Lab image Preservation Green Lab Releases Report

A new report released in June by the Preservation Green Lab finds that an array of energy savings in small commercial buildings across the United States could profitably yield more than one quadrillion Btu annually, which translates into more than $30 billion in annual cost savings and improved financial performance for small businesses. While efforts to conserve energy commonly focus on larger structures, the reality is that 95 percent of all commercial buildings are less than 50,000 SF, representing a massive and largely untapped opportunity for new energy savings.  The report, "Realizing the Energy Efficiency Potential of Small Buildings," was produced by the Green Lab in partnership with the New Buildings Institute, a nonprofit that works collaboratively with commercial building interests to remove barriers to energy efficiency. Key findings include:

  • Small buildings are responsible for 47 percent of the energy consumed by commercial buildings.
  • Small businesses or firms with fewer than 500 employees own 84 percent (3.7 million of 4.4 million total) of small buildings.
  • Potential energy savings in small buildings range from 27 to 59 percent, depending on the building type. This represents 1.07 quadrillion Btu annually or 17 percent of commercial energy use.
  • Small, neighborhood businesses such as restaurants, grocers and retailers can improve profitability by more than 10 percent through smart investments in energy savings.

For more information click here



blower door test

Older Homes Can Be Energy Efficient!

Learn how by signing up for a Home Energy Assessment. For a fee of $50, an auditor certified by the GoodCents Building Performance Institute (BPI) will come to your house and perform a comprehensive home performance assessment. The auditor will conduct an array of tests, including a furnace inspection, combustion analysis on your appliances, infrared camera analysis of insulation levels, and blower door test of air leaks, to best assess the efficiency of your house and its systems. The auditor will provide an assessment report immediately after the tests are performed. The report will include a list of recommendations, as well as the projected energy savings for making the recommended improvements. Some improvements may qualify for rebates! Go online at or call (877) 287-3416 to set up your home energy audit today. Help CRS out too, just by mentioning the Cleveland Restoration Society when asked "Who referred you?" to the home energy assessment. CRS will receive a donation for each audit ordered in July, to help support its operations!




Mariemont map

11 Most Endangered List Announced

On June 19, the National Trust for Historic Preservation released its annual list of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. This year, the Trust's list includes some of the nation's most iconic and recognizable places - like the Astrodome in Houston and Gay Head Lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard - as well as lesser known, but no less important, places like the Abyssinian Meeting House in Portland, Maine and the Chinatown House in Rancho Cucamonga, California. One of the places listed is not too far from Northeast Ohio.  The Village of Mariemont, a community designated a National Historic Landmark located close to Cincinnati, is threatened by a proposed transportation project.  As National Trust president Stephanie Meeks notes in the YouTube video unveiling all 11 sites, over its history, the 11 Most list has been a powerful tool for mobilizing people to action.  See the whole list here.



See Ohio First logo

Traveling Close to Home This Summer? See Ohio First!

For those of us who are heritage travelers, Ohio can be a wonderful place to experience history, savor culinary treats, and delight in natural beauty!  Here you can find ancient earthworks built to follow the moon and visit a museum dedicated to the first man to walk on the lunar surface.  A website,, hosts The New Ohio Guide, sponsored by the Ohio Humanities Council, and can help you discover stories along the road as you drive around our state.  The roots of this guide are found in the Great Depression, when Federal Writers Project compiled The Ohio Guide to chronicle the state's history and geography, and ultimately boost tourism through driving tours across the state.  The New Ohio Guide presents updated versions of those tours.  The guide can be downloaded and copied to a CD to play on your vehicle's audio system or saved to your portable media player.



Blue Star Museums logo

Museums Offer Free Admission for Military Members and Their Families

More than 2,000 museums across the country are offering free admission for all active duty military personnel and their families this summer through Labor Day through the Blue Star Museums program.  Blue Star Museums is a collaboration of the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and the participating museums. First launched in summer 2010, Blue Star Museums offers free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 27, through Labor Day, September 2, 2013. Local participating museums include Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage and Shaker Historical Society. Click here to find out more.



Imagine MyNEO

Play Imagine MyNEO and  

Plot our Region's Future

What future do you want for Northeast Ohio? Now's your chance to share what you think the future of our region should look like. Imagine MyNEO is a new unique way being offered by Vibrant NEO 2040 for us to share our priorities for the region and show the kind of policy choices we would make for our region.  Vibrant NEO 2040 is the shared vision of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium (NEOSCC), which is a group of 33 organizations representing geographically, economically, socially, racially and politically diverse communities across Northeast Ohio. Preliminary results will be presented this month at the Phase Two Open Houses of the Northeast Ohio Sustainable Communities Consortium.




News from the  

Sarah Benedict House

CRS welcomes two new professionals to the Heritage Home Program(SM) staff. Margaret Lann joined us in May as an assistant in the Heritage program.  Her duties include facilitating the home loan process, providing technical assistance, and advising homeowners regarding preservation practices.  She also performs community outreach and development through presentations and workshops.  Margaret will also help out in our Preservation Services department with special projects, classes and seminars.  Margaret holds a Master's of Arts in Historic Preservation.  Colin Compton joined our team last month as an intern in the Heritage Home Program(SM).  He is responsible for receiving homeowner inquiries, processing mailings, and scheduling site visits.  He also assists on-site as part of the Technical Assistance staff.  Prior to coming to CRS, Colin worked for two years as a residential painter where he specialized in work on historic homes throughout Cleveland.  He also participated in a historic preservation internship with the Western Reserve Historical Society.  He completed his BFA in Historic Preservation at the Savannah College of Art and Design. Hannah Vaughn recently came to CRS through Cleveland State University's Summer in the City internship program.  Hannah, a student at Ohio University, is majoring in Anthropology and Spanish with a minor in History. She's assisting staff in all program areas and is doing a fantastic job. We are thrilled to have her for the summer!  Be sure to say hello to Margaret, Colin, and Hannah at our annual meeting!




"History Alive in the Western Reserve" Series

This summer, the Cuyahoga County Public Library is offering a six-week series of programs entitled "History Alive in the Western Reserve". These programs will be held at the Orange Branch of the library, 31300 Chagrin Boulevard, on Wednesdays at 2:00 p.m. The series started June 12. The topics of the programs remaining for July are:  "The Rockefeller Family" (July 10); and "Interesting Folks" (July 17). Each program will be led by Katherine Kohl, retired director of development of Lake View Cemetery. Registration is required.  To register, visit or call 216-831-4282. Sponsored by the Friends of the Orange Branch Library.



"Welcome to Cleveland" Weekend for Artists

The Community Partnership for Arts and Culture and Northeast Shores are hosting a 'Welcome to Cleveland" Weekend August 1 - 4. This will be an exciting opportunity to make the case for why artists all over the country should consider relocating to our incredible city! For these few days, they are going to welcome a group of artists to Cleveland and show them all the reasons they should become the newest members of our dynamic community. Thanks to the generosity of funders, they are able to offer this experience at an incredibly low price. They'll be helping artists with lodging, food and transportation in Cleveland, and then giving them a three-day tour of the city we all love. Help spread the word about this opportunity!



garden party

Rent the Sarah Benedict House for Your Event 

Are you looking for a unique venue for your next special event or business meeting?  Consider the historic Sarah Benedict House, located in the heart of Cleveland's MidTown neighborhood at 3751 Prospect Avenue.  Built in 1883, the house is fully restored and rehabilitated and offers four accessible rooms on its first floor, two restrooms, a catering kitchen, and a beautiful garden. There is plenty of free parking. Click here for more information.       





Upcoming Events    


July 9

"The Saloon Must Go!"

Kendal at Oberlin, 600 Kendal Drive, Oberlin

7:15 p.m., FREE

Oberlin Heritage Center 


July 10

"The Rockefeller Family"

Part of the "History Alive in the Western Reserve" Series

Orange Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, 31300 Chagrin Blvd.

2:00 p.m., registration required online or by calling 216-831-4282, FREE

Friends of the Orange Branch Library


July 13

Gordon Square 5K Run & 1 Mile Walk

Starts: Edgewater Park Lower Pavilion, 6500 Cleveland Memorial Shoreway  

Finishes: Capitol Theatre, 1390 West 65th St., Cleveland

Registration from 7:30 -8:30 a.m., race begins at 8:30 a.m., pre-registration discount available, $$

Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization 

Capitol Theatre


July 16

Annual Membership Meeting

Sarah Benedict House, 3751 Prospect Ave., Cleveland

9:00 - 10:00 a.m., RSVP here, FREE 

Cleveland Restoration Society  


July 17

"Interesting Folks"

Part of the "History Alive in the Western Reserve" Series

Orange Branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library, 31300 Chagrin Blvd.

2:00 p.m., registration required online or by calling 216-831-4282, FREE

Friends of the Orange Branch Library


July 17

16th Annual Walk & Dine Benefit

5:30 -11:00 p.m., reservations required, call 216-771-1994, $$

Historic Gateway Neighborhood Corporation


July 21

Home Tour: The First International Style House in Cleveland: Butler/Nissen House & the Clauss/Bates House

Part of the "Elegant Domesticity" Series of Tours

1:00 - 5:00 p.m., call 216-227-9507 for more information, $$

Cleveland Artists Foundation


July 26

Arts and Culture Roundtable  

Featuring Jason Schupbach, director of design programs, National Endowment for the Arts

Cleveland Institute of Music, Mixon Hall

8:30 - 10:00 a.m., register online 

Community Partnership for Arts and Culture


July 27

Presentation and Book Signing: "From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story" with author Ron Tanner

Sarah Benedict House, 3751 Prospect Ave., Cleveland

11:00 a.m., registration required, FREE 

Cleveland Restoration Society  


August 1-4

"Welcome to Cleveland" Weekend for Artists

Cleveland, registration required, $$$

Community Partnership for Arts and Culture

Northeast Shores




Save the Date    


September 14

CRS Benefit

ASM International Headquarters, Materials Park 

Cleveland Restoration Society




Cleveland Restoration Society
3751 Prospect Avenue

Cleveland, OH  44115

(216) 426-1000