05.30.07 is Historic Day for Hough Bakeries Complex Header of the Day

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Wed, 05/30/2007 - 16:31.

Props to Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative Senior Planner David Reed for having the insight and personal knowledge to schedule a meeting today with Ohio Historic Preservation Office Architecture Reviews Managers Lisa Adkins and Justin Cook, at the Hough Bakeries Complex, in Cleveland and East Cleveland, to discuss the planning taking place in East Cleveland and with this historic property. To tell a long story short, they feel the property merits landmark status and we will begin the application process immediately, and follow all guidelines in planning and operations. More on the historic character of the property here.

Distracted only by the aroma of sweet-potato-pie-being baked upstairs, the meeting on the breezy loading-dock patio of The Inner Circle is the pan of the day above for May 30, 2007 (larger version attached below).

Historic status will entitle the property to funding opportunities and tax benefits not available otherwise. After the meeting, I visited with Greg Williams, the son of the property owner, LeMaud Williams, and Greg was clearly excited that the property was viewed as a landmark. Having worked on other landmark development projects before, I know how mush satisfaction there is to be part of important history, and preserving it for the future. Adding to that the community development value of this project, there is no doubt the Williams have much to be proud of.

David Reed and I took Justin and Lisa - each Masters Degreed in Historic Preservation and/or Planning - around the Hough building neighborhood of East Cleveland, up to Rozelle Park, and along some of the most important historic side-streets, and they were really awed by the quality of buildings and their overall good condition. That so many are brick is a plus, as it is so durable - and less lead issues. They concluded that there is definitely a neighborhood south of Euclid, between Lakeview and Superior, that is definitely Landmark District Worthy!

There are many other individual streets and properties worthy of landmark status. The next step is that Justin and Lisa will provide David and me with all the material we need to document and apply for landmark status for the Hough Bakeries property, and we will begin the process. David will access the GIS records for the Historic Preservation Office (available to cities for $100 a year - to others for $250) and we will add all layers of historic property data to the planning GIS mapping for the neighborhood. We will then inventory all the property in the area using the Ohio terms and forms and add that data to the system, providing the most comprehensive historic property analysis toolset possible.

Justin and Lisa will also work with CUDC and the cities to update ordinances, zoning, and other planning guidelines to make sure the city is preservation-friendly. At the same time, Justin and Lisa will help make sure all lead eradication efforts are sensitive to historic property considerations.

Having done a few of these projects in my day, I'm very comfortable with seeking historic landmark status for these properties and neighborhoods. The secret to leveraging the value is good planning. To really restore a large historic property is a big project - there are few tradespeople here with skills in renovation - many challenges. But if you have a good architect, and talk to all the right people at the city - many departments - and at the chamber, and historic preservation office, and neigborhood association - let everyone know what you are doing - then they get very excited for you and for the project. That is when you can make big things happen. Be part of making that happen at the Star.