Monday, January 19, 2009


Some unusually large holes will soon appear on certain main thoroughfares in the city of Cleveland, Ohio, due to the unusually large historic buildings whose demolition is planned for the very near future. One is St. Peter's Hall, the Gothic-Second Empire structure next door to St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church, on Superior Avenue at E. 17th. Built in 1874 as a parochial school and hall for St. Peter's, many Clevelanders will remember it as Erieview Catholic High School, functioning at this location from its founding in 1971 to its demise in 1993. A designated Cleveland Landmark for many years, the local Catholic diocese has been wanting to demolish it for nearly as long. Allowing it to slowly deteriorate (even though this sort of willful neglect is in violation of the Landmark ordinances -- which is cancelled out by the fact that the City has NEVER enforced these ordinances), the diocese has finally been able to demonstate that the deterioration now qualifies for official "nuisance/hazard" designation from the City's Building Department. Meanwhile, with the very successful conversion of a greatly deteriorated historic clothing factory to upscale residential suites, only a block or so from this building, St. Peter's Hall has been an obvious candidate (to at least some of us) for bringing yet more disillusioned suburbanites back to "downtown" Cleveland. But, alas, what we get, instead, is yet another example of "Classic Cleveland" -- one step forward, followed by ten steps backwards. ----- NOTE: THIS BUILDING WAS DEMOLISHED IN THE SUMMER OF 2009. IRONICALLY, THERE IS NOW A BANNER ON THE FENCE YOU SEE IN THE PHOTO THAT REFERS TO THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHURCH'S DEDICATION. THEY SEEM TO BE CELEBRATING THEIR HISTORY -- HOW WAS DESTROYING THE ORIGINAL SCHOOL "CELEBRATING" THEIR HISTORY?


Blogger Tim Ferris said...

You would think that it would be better for the diocese to sell it to somebody who could use tax credits to bring it back. It is surely a classier building than the new things going up around it.

6:56 PM  
Blogger Bill Barrow said...

I really liked this building and am sorry to see it go. We'd better get used to holes in the city's historic streetscapes, what with all the changes going on with the economy, the church's decision to close parishes and the auto dealerships being canceled (will anyone lament their loss?)

2:00 PM  
Blogger Tim Ferris said...

I think the only things I'd get used to would be not having new construction. Now's the optimal time for adaptive reuse, absorbing the surpluses we have in our vacant or underused structures until we actually must build new things again. We need to redirect our wealth away from new construction for a while, especially this cheap stuff.

9:54 PM  

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