Art May Show
Office of Citizen
Rest in Peace,
Beck Board, Plain Dealer, Bob Stark and CPAC's Tom Schorgl show complete ignorance of Real NEO arts community intelligence
Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 07/02/2006 - 04:12.
The Plain Dealer's perverse obsession with puffing and enriching big box developer Robert Stark sunk to new lows last week with the Plain Dealers promotion of the Beck Center of Lakewood moving to suburban nightmare Crocker Stark, in Westlake.
The problem is not that Stark, the PD and Board of Beck are planning to terminate the value of what many consider an important Lakewood resource - Beck's value can easily be replaced by the more dynamic Cleveland Public Theater and other arts insitutions, so let Lakewood cut its losses and look East.
And the problem is not that most NEOans and the PD pretend sprawl is good, although it is disgusting that they promote sprawl the same week as sprawl proved so gushingly disastrous for 1,000s of NEO flood victims - the PD already floated over that truth for Stark in hopes of keeping suburban property values from washing completely down the drain and into Lake Eria, along with 8 billion gallons of raw sewage.
No, the problem is the PD succeeded to corrupt yet another arts institution by roping Community Partnership for Arts and Culture President Tom Schorgl into betraying many really great developers, entrepreneurs and community leaders, in a complete sell-out to no-culture, as he allowed to escape from his mouth and feed into the PD's puffery foolish praise of low-cultural Bob Stark as follow... and yes, Schorlg is really saying this about Crocker Stark... "I don't know of another developer who's talking about culture as a community building block," Schorgl said. "That's the kind of thinking that's going to keep culture vital." YEAH RIGHT, PLEASE.
Schorgl now owes many people serious apologies, starting with his landlord David Perkowski, developer of the spectacular arts community building block The Tower Press, and the spectacular arts community building block The Hyacinth Lofts, and many other exciting arts-related community building blocks.
The Plain Dealer staff well know the Tower Press is a remarkable historic-salvation development based entirely on the economic value of arts and culture - the building towers over the Plain Dealer's anti-urbanism-fortress across the street, and journalists and editors see it from their windows all day long. Even if they are completely ignorant of local art, they must surely wander over from time to time for a coffee or snack at the hip, artist owned Artofino Gallery and Cafe (shown in the pan above during a meeting of filmmakers there).
Perhaps the Plain Dealer staff don't know that NEO film genius Robert Banks' studio is next to Artofino, in the Tower Press, along with like a dozen of the area's top artists, who live and work in 20% of the entire complex, at 50% the market rent, under a revolutionary financing arrangement innovative NEO developer Perkowski structured when he saved the landmark building many years ago. Yes, the PD may be ignorant of all this, but Schorgl may not, as the CPAC offices are right down the hall, smack in the heart of the Tower Press arts community building block.
And the PD and Schorgl certainly must know Perkowski is also the developer of the amazing Hyacinth Loft complex, in a former Cleveland Municipal School District service complex, that is already helping to anchor a new era for Slavic Village, as Perkowski starts and arts-centric mixed-use development of the old Meyers Dairy complex across the stree from the lofts, and plans development of other outer buildings in the area, all focused around arts and culture. Here, he has set aside space and kept rents reasonable for artists and musicians and plans to offer reasonable space for music and film production and dance in next phases, starting development soon.
No, they couldn't be ignorant of all this - they are misleading the public.
They are pretending Ari Maron and MRN, LLC didn't consciously choose to make E. 4th into an arts and entertainment development, specifically avoiding the Stark big-box mall model by developing a real urban living and playing neighborhood centered around musical venues like the House of Blues, entertainment facilities like Pickwick and Frolic, and now attracting world-class Lola's Bistro, all intermixed with affordable new economy offices and housing for the discriminating real NEO urbanist.
And they are ignoring the reality MRN, LLC is now working with the world's leading arts and cultural institutions and University Circle Incorporated to transform "downtown" University Circle into a cultural community of global importance, bringing much needed mixed use to the core of regional arts where they will blend such global assets as the Cleveland Orchestra and Cleveland Institute of Art with new cultural engines like the Museum of Contemporary Art, movie theaters and other high-culture attractions.
They completely disrespect all the decades of work, $100,000,000s and 1,000s of people's hard work that have saved some of America's greatest theaters and combined them with a major hotel, offices and 100s of new housing units that make Playhouse Square a very vibrant community already, and they disregard the further living cultural growth that is occurring in the area as the Euclid Corridor gains momentum, IdeaStream shines brighter, and CSU goes residential.
They cause harm to James Levin and associates, developers of the Cleveland Public Theater neighborhood, who are transforming the Gordon Square area and Detroit Avenue wasteland into the most hip arts and culture neighborhood in Cleveland, against great odds and without the benefit of the Plain Dealer and Port Authority paving and paying the way, all while bringing to NEO the most dynamic cultural happening in our history, being Ingenuity Festival... coming to downtown in a few short weeks. Want that in Westlake too? Yeah right!
They trivialize the St. Clair Superior Development Corporations outstanding initiative to leverage the finest of arts and culture now over a decade in root at the Hodge School to breath life into one of the most troubled areas of Cleveland - for shame.
The slap the face of the Beachland Ballroom developers who made arts and culture core to a Renaissance of the thus transitioning North Collinwood neighborhood.
They show contempt for scores of small developers and 100s of conscientious homeowners who have redeveloped Tremont into the arts-walkable community of choice for culture-conscious GenXs and boomers alike.
They show foolish ignorance of the Cleveland Heights strategic vision for their community's future centered around arts and culture, and disregard the importance of long-time cultural institutions like Dobama Theater and the Grog Shop.
They even overlook the one big-boxer who seems to really be trying to do the right things, Peter Rubin, who has really sparked up historic Shaker Square by focusing on arts and culture there - obviously, Schorgl and the PD journailists have missed the fact Rubin hosts near weekly international music events all over the square, and that has brought near shut-ins of Moreland Courts and outsiders together in great harmony, as he has brought the Cleveland Museum to the square, and has personally stepped up to lead the Cleveland Opera in very troubled times... and it seems he has reduced ticket prices in the process.
No, No, No. The PD, Stark and Schorgl are wrong, but they will not lay waste and ruin upon all these good people and institions detailed above and their fantastic initiatives - the only good developments in NEO in my lifetime. Let Stark have the Beck LeCenter - knowing it is gone will save arts patrons years of wasted donations and patronage there, as we already know to no longer support the institution, so we may let our money show our dedication to all the really great arts and culture building blocks that are the foundations of so many really great neighborhoods - step up and show extra support of all the other great developments listed above and elsewhere in the real NEO community, to show them love and support, as we wave Bye Bye Beck forever.
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