Sunday, December 21, 2014


One could write seemingly endlessly about the historic buildings in Cleveland, Ohio, that are on the chopping block.  But, for now, just a few have been selected for this post.  Two of the three are immediately adjacent to each other and consequently are part of a proposed demolition "package".  It is being promoted by the local Catholic diocese, who owns both buildings, as part of the ever-continuing expansion of the campus of Ignatius High School, on Cleveland's west side, in the heart of the historic Ohio City neighborhood.  One is a house and the other a church.  Both were built in the middle part of the nineteenth century.  The accompanying photos are historic views.  Neither house nor church have been occupied/used in years.  The house's historic character has been obscured by vinyl-siding.  The church's exterior remains largely the same as it was when it functioned as the First German Reformed Church.  Ignatius High School's presently-expansive campus is a product of a decades-long practice of acquiring numerous historic building of all kinds and demolishing them.  Their appetite for destruction is insatiable.

Meanwhile, further out the west side, in the historic Brooklyn Center neighborhood, the jeopardized building was recently owned by the Applewood Center facility, whose campus is largely across West 25th Street from it. Originally, this was the residence built in 1888 for Harry Farnsworth, a member of one of Brooklyn Center's most prominent families.  Applewood Center acquired the house in 1999, gave it a full renovation, and used it as additional residential housing for the center.  Now, after only a handful of years, they've abandoned it.  And just a leap away is the campus of Metro Hospital, yet another corporate entity, which has chewed up and spit out entire blocks of historic houses and commercial buildings (in its apparent strategy to out-do the Cleveland Clinic on the other side of town) and who have now obtained this modestly-sized piece of land -- to further expand their campus -- "just because".  There is no plan to use this house, of course.  The property will most likely become just a patch of grass -- with maybe a Metro Hospital sign to 'jazz' it up.

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