Friday, May 17, 2013


Accompanying this post are three views from 1995 of what originally had been the Fifth Church Of Christ Scientist, a dome-roofed Classical Revival structure built in Cleveland, Ohio, at Lake and W. 117th in 1926, from designs created by architect Frank Bail.  Abandoned by the congregation in the 1980s, it has been unused since that time.  It is now only a short spell of time away from its demolition.  A small, grass-roots group -- named, simply and appropriately, "Save Fifth Church" -- had attempted to grab the attention of someone who could be a new owner, who they hoped would renovate the deteriorated structure.  Now even they have abandoned this historic structure, compromising their original position -- reinventing themselves as "Neighbors In Action" and now primarily advocating only the preservation of the church's portico as a sort of classy entrance to a small, neighborhood park.  Of course, none of this can happen without extensive community support, particularly of the political persuasion, and many thousands of dollars, which of course has not materialized.  More than likely, all that is going to occur is that the entire structure will be demolished so that the owner, now in the process of constructing a new retail complex immediately adjacent to the site, will be able to provide more parking.  It is nothing less than impressive that a group of individuals, that are not the usual very tiny group of genuine preservationists, formed in the first place with a goal of trying to save an attractive, historic building -- a rare occurance, indeed, in a city notorious for obliterating as much of its built past as it possibly can, and having a general population who otherwise are either passive and indifferent, or who blindly support only anything that is new.