Friday, September 30, 2005


This is perhaps one of the worst of any "worst-case-scenarios" you're ever likely to read about on this blog. This house, located near Pearl & Denison and built in 1884 for Frederick Wirth, the Postmaster of what was then the Village of Brooklyn, Ohio [now part of Cleveland], is on Cleveland's Historic Architecture Death Row. This is so despite the fact that it is a historic house located within a Local Designated Historic District. It is owned by an art-school, which occupies another building on the property. When they first acquired this property several years ago, they announced that they would be restoring this house for their primary facility, occupying the other building only until that restoration took place. Several months ago, though, they shocked their history-loving community by announcing that they were going to demolish the house, instead. The councilperson, a personal friend of the art-school's director, pushed politically to get this demolition appoved. "Politics" always 'pays off' in this pathetic city, and, sure enough, the City ignored the house's historic status and gave its 'blessing' to the demolition. This has literally infuriated many of the community's residents who take great pride in their neighborhood's history. This house could easily just be sold to someone who could use it, but, the muleheaded, arrogant -- and obviously history-hating -- owner refuses to consider anything other than their announced plans. The City ought to be ashamed of itself for being so hypocritical, but, we know they are not, and never will be. When this house comes down, it will establish a precedent; no structure with official historic status in this city will be safe. (Maybe they never were......)

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Many of us travel Martin Luther King Boulevard, through Rockefeller Park and Wade Park, between Chester and the Shoreway and, for the architecture-admiring among us, the four turn-of-the-century bridges that serve as road overpasses are perhaps the best part of the journey. The Wade Park Avenue bridge has been, perhaps, the most-admired of the four, primarily because of its romantic, curving pedestrian stairway. It has often been the subject of many a photograph. Tragically, the century-long wear and tear on this stairway has caused some breakage on a few of the individual stairs. Around two years ago (or has it been even longer than that?), the City 'saw fit' to place 'barricades' at both bottom and top of the stairway. Today -- years later -- the situation is unchanged. Apparently, this matter was referred to the "Deferred Maintenance Department". All four of the bridges are City Landmarks, but, that does not free them from the jurisdiction of the "Deferred Maintenance Department". What is the City waiting for? Another mayor? Or, perhaps for the problem to worsen so that they have an excuse to demolish the entire bridge? Bottom line: these 'barricades' are an insult to the artistic character of the bridge, and the Park the bridge rests upon.