Sunday, October 25, 2015

TINY HISTORIC DISTRICT GETS EVEN TINIER

The Cleveland, Ohio, architectural partnership of Granger & Meade (Alfred Hoyt Granger and Frank Meade) lasted only three years -- possibly only two and a half -- before Granger left Cleveland for presumably greener pastures in Chicago.  The designs of this firm were 'ahead of the curve' when compared to most of their contemporaries and nearly all their work were 'country' residences for upper-class owner-occupants.  Because of the brief tenure of the firm and its progressive design ideas, there wasn't a particularly large body of work executed in Cleveland.  And, because of the suburban locations, most were demolished long ago to be replaced by apartment buildings, gas-stations, and the like.  Remarkably, one inner-city example of their work survived -- that is at least until very recently (October, 2015).  It was historically the Harry Vail Residence and was begun in 1896 and finished in 1897.
It had been vacant for many years and had been abandoned and deteriorating.  As always, Cleveland's Building Department did not force owners to maintain the house according to the Building Code, and paid attention to it only after it reached the 'point of no return'.  It was located in a historic district known as the Ingleside Avenue Historic District (named after the street's historic name).  An embarrassingly small Historic District, it contained all of seven buildings.  Now it contains only six.  The District's 'mass' has been reduced by roughly 14% by the demolition of this one building.  It is very likely that three or even four of the remaining structures are headed for the same fate.  Cleveland's extant architectural history -- much of it truly spectacular -- continues to be wantonly disregarded.

As a sort of "footnote" to the primary story above, another house from the same area, in the same neighborhood (literally two and a half blocks away) was being demolished at the same time.
1997 photo
Built in 1893, it was occupied by teacher Ella Burnham 1895-6, and then, for many years starting in 1898, occupied by coal company officer Frederick Powers.  Another example of an architecturally stylish upper-middle-class home of its era, typical of what this area was like because of its proximity to the famed Euclid Avenue.  So many of these homes were destroyed in later years, particularly during the 1960s and '70s.  Only a handful remain and obviously that handful is soon to become a baby-sized handful.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Tim Ferris said...

Where's Ingleside?

5:44 AM  

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