Friday, January 02, 2015


There has been only ONE example of a positive story that has ever been posted on this blog.  It truly seems like the passion for preserving our historic buildings is fading away to nothingness.  Was its former popularity just some sort of 'fad'??  It seems that the masses have embraced a new era of 'urban renewal', instead.  It seems that historic buildings are, once again, being perceived as nothing but 'eyesores'.  Even the sustainability movement, which had originally promoted historic preservation as an important expression of sustainability, has seemingly now turned its back on this former 'ally'.

The 'scorecard' of historic architecture losses in the Cleveland, Ohio, area continues on its downward spiral into the dark abyss.  Only two months ago, in October of 2014, the Caine House, one of Cleveland's most important Italianate-style houses and located on one of Cleveland's most traveled thoroughfares, was demolished.  It was built in 1877 for William H.Caine, who owned a stone-yard in the nearby valley of Mill Creek that specialized in providing stone suitable for sidewalks.  Perhaps the sole remaining stone example of Italianate style residential architecture in the city, located on Broadway Avenue near Miles Avenue, it has been seen thousands upon thousands of times because of its very 'high-profile' location.  This house was included as one of Cleveland's prominent residences featured in Cleveland Illustrated, published in 1889.  It had been a City Of Cleveland Landmark for many years (which, at best, "protects" a structure only "on paper" since the Ordinances that require proper maintenance have NEVER been enforced).
1991 photo
Another 'high-profile' historic structure, due to its location on a much-traveled street, was demolished back in March of 2013.  Located on Cedar Avenue not far from East 55th Street, it was also frequently noticed by  travelers along the latter street, as well, due to the general absence of other buildings between the house and that street.  Built in 1883 in the midst of a period in Cleveland history when Cedar Avenue was considered a 'fashionable' residential street, many passers-by most likely noticed its quirky little round bay above the front entrance.  It originally had a fine front porch with an expansive arch stretched across its entire width.

1992 photo

Yet another blow to the local architectural heritage pertains to a house that probably went largely unnoticed by many.  Located on a very secondary street, it was unfortunately located very close to a university campus, where much new residential construction is going on.  The house was in remarkably good condition for its age -- it was built in 1892 -- and had a remarkably original exterior.  One might imagine that its only 'crime' was being immediately adjacent to a brand-new housing developed for 'upscale' occupants.  It was demolished in January of 2014.
1997 photo

So much artistic beauty, lost forever.  Cleveland, Ohio, charges along in its determination to become one of the nation's most UN-distinctive locations.  It certainly has found a "winning" strategy.