Sunday, February 28, 2016

CONDEMNATION BY TRASH

One of the latest (early-2016) of the many preservation travesties in Cleveland, Ohio, is the Cleveland De-Landmarking Commission's approval to demolish an 1890 house in the Broadway Local Historic District.
Historic 1959 View
A typical visual presentation given to the Commission to attempt to establish that circumstances exist that warrant a building must be demolished are almost always photos showing structural damage.  But, in this matter, the photos presented merely show a generally "trashed" house inside, as the last tenants apparently moved out while leaving behind a great deal of their belongings, with relatively little, easily reparable, structural damage of any kind.  The outside is mostly intact and in fair, if not good, condition.  Although vinyl sided, most of its artistic exterior architectural features, typical for 1890, have survived.
Despite this absence of ability to demonstrate any genuinely 'unsafe' structural situation, the De-Landmarking Commission agreed to the demolition request.  Being in a Local Historic District, this house had to be de-landmarked.  This is, of course, is the Commission's area of established expertise.

The house is in a severely declining section of the city where demolitions and their resulting vacant lots have become an all-too-common occurance.  As has been the case for generations, the City government's general attitude about this kind of neighborhood is to generally "abandon" it -- represented best by "automatic" demolition approvals such as this one.  'Historic' considerations -- even when a Historic District has been established -- are dismissed as of no importance.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Tim Ferris said...

I'll link this to a comment on Facebook. These demolitions make no sense economically. Who benefits?

What's the current ownership on this property, Craig?

Is the local "development" corporation behind the pressure to demolish? If not, then who is?

4:56 PM  

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