Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Some of you may have elsewhere learned of the latest plans of the Board of Education of Cleveland, Ohio, to close many school buildings. Some examples of these are not just simple closings -- they include plans to build replacement schools on the same sites, which of course means demolition of the schools already there. As is always the case, the oldest buildings were automatically chosen for this death-row roster, giving no regard to the good physical condition of some of the buildings, and/or the exemplary architecture of some of the buildings. One school that is in both of these catagories is the one known in recent years as the School Of The Arts. Built in 1910 as the Board's new Normal School (i.e., a training school for new teachers), it was constructed just off of University Circle, on Stearns Road, facing the campus of what was then the Case School Of Applied Sciences, and a stone's-throw from all the city's primary cultural institutions. Seemingly as a result of the company it would be keeping at this location, the building was enhanced with what may very well be the most artistic architectural embellishments that were perhaps ever put onto a Cleveland school building [please see accompanying photos]. What better structure could there be to represent Cleveland's School Of The Arts?? To destroy a building with artwork that rivals art on display at the nearby Art Museum is nothing less than an act of savagry. But destroy it they shall -- the demolition fencing is already in place, as seen in the full-view photo. New assignment: School Of The Landfill.


Blogger A Guy in the Kitchen said...

A real shame, Cleveland has so many beautiful buildings that they take for granted. It would be great if they could gut the building to keep the exterior and interior elements that give it character. Have you seen the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State? That building is awesome. Had chance to see construction process while in college there. Great building. Cleveland needs to invest in itself. Seems like a great opportunity.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Christopher Busta-Peck said...

They're going to demolish it? Seriously? I just assumed that the fencing was to keep trespassers out during the renovations of the building.

If we need jobs so badly in this city, why don't we spend more of our money rehabbing buildings?

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a sin!! what is wrong with Cleve.???
The same people that have okayed this are probalby paying big buck to go to Europe to enjoy the architechure and culture!

4:21 PM  
Blogger Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I would add that at the very least, I'd like to see some of the architectural detail from this building saved. The terra cotta on the exterior is beautiful. Presumably there are plenty of interesting old building parts inside as well.

I can see (though disagree vehemently with) the argument for tearing it down, but there's no justification for not allowing people access to material that's just going to go to the landfill.

4:37 PM  

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