CLEVELAND - WATCH OUT FOR THEFT OF HISTORIC BUILDING

Submitted by Roldo on Sun, 02/15/2009 - 15:43.

Just what I feared.

If the Cleveland Mall site is chosen for the Medical Mart & Convention Center we could expect a raid on the historic Cleveland School headquarter building on E. 6th, across from the present convention center. It sits on valuable land next to the mall underground parking facility in front of the Marriott Hotel.

A letter to the editor today in the Sunday Plain Dealer from Francis M. Coakley of Coakley Real Estate Company, suggests this public building be taken private with, of course, “federal, state, county and city incentives.” Coakley is a member of the Cleveland Historic Restoration Society and the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

You’d expect he wouldn’t even think of reverting the building to some private use. He suggests a “five-star hotel” as a “perfect fit” with the proposed convention facility.

It has been tried before. Development of the site as a hotel has tried for the historic six-story public building.

If a new convention facility sits across the street the temptation to steal the public building will be even more enticing than in the past for developers.

Coakley writes, “This hidden jewel must be brought back to its original grandeur.” With this, I totally agreed. But as a PUBLIC building, not some highly-subsidized luxury hotel.

Developer John Ferchill – Foxy Ferchill, I called him - had eyes for the building in the early 1980 and had the cooperation of the School Board president Ted Bonda. Both were part of a group seeking the city’s cable franchise at the time and heavily into political activity.

The school headquarter building is part of the city’s original Group Plan.

Here is what Eric Johannesen in “Cleveland Architecture, 1876-1976” said of it, “Cleveland was the first of a number of cities to make a comprehensive plan for grouping its major public building. More important, Cleveland’s Group Plan was the only one which was actually carried out with any degree of completeness.”

Harper’s Weekly in 1904 wrote, “Probably no city in the country, outside the Capitol, has undertaken the systematic development of public architecture and parks on so splendid a scale as has the city of Cleveland.”

So it should be “hands off” any public building in the Group Plan.

Mayor George Voinovich’s administration was offering everything possible – from a $10 million no-interest urban action grant to allowing the city to purchase of the building. The city’s purchase would circumvent state law. State law requires open bidding on such properties. Voinovich was eager to get the public property in the hands of private developers. Typical.

What stopped the raid? Several black elected school board members – Mildred Madison, Ed Young and Stan Tolliver – felt the move a slap at the black community. As black students were becoming the majority in the schools they figured, politicians wanted this historic symbol snatched away.

At the time I wrote four issues of Point of View, my newsletter, on the deal. I called it a “Shabby Affair.”

This possibility also brings up the issue of control of the Cleveland School System. The Cleveland Mayor names board members. They appear relatively unknown and voiceless.

I agree that the school board in the past was hectic and often irresponsible. However, the lack of an elected school board seems to insure a silent democracy. The two – silent and democracy – don’t go together.

So to Cleveland residents – watch out for the snatching of a historic building and a symbol of public education.

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Buildings

  The fate of so many historic CMSD buildings has received almost no coverage by the Plain Dealer.  To name a few--John Marshall and Benjamin Franklin--are slated for demolition. 

I am surprised that the landmark Group Plan building that houses the school administration was never named in honor of someone.  I does seem like another easy target for exploitation by outside interests. I am also concerned about the Allen Memorial Library on the Case campus.  Is it slated to come down for University Hospitals? I took some photos today.  What's wrong with our city? 

I wish that we could apply the philosophy of restore rather than destroy.  It is ironic that the Cleveland Restoration Society seems to have allowed others to distort their mission.

Horizon Denison Science Academy did that much with the East Denison building discarded by the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. 
The building sits on W.C. Reed field overlooking the City of Cleveland and the kids have all they need to succeed.

Problem with Sustainability is Lack of Environmentalism

Having grown up an environmentalist, I've always had a problem with the Bush-era, yuppiiefied term sustainability, which has become the mantra for destruction of our community.

Sustainability is a plan to accellerate the destruction of our environment to benefit young shits who don't want to recognize the destruction of our planet and become environmentally conscious.... it is about getting "My Share" before time runs out on humanity... it is the result of  children being taught "newmath" in the 1970s, and not learning the real thing

Historic preservation and carbon footprints matter about as much as new coal fired power plants and the Federal debt, in the Sustainable World.

Kill Sustainability and renew commitments to environmentalism, preservation and conservation.

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Closer reading

  Hint, hint, nudge, nudge, wink, wink...all transparent, right?!

As seventeen years+ Planning Commission lackey Anthony Coyne states in his Sunday 2/15 editorial, Making the Case for the medical mart and convention center on the mall:

Three thousand is critical mass. The Marriott Hotel was designed in anticipation of such connectivity. Consultants to the Planning Commission and the CFA stressed the importance of the hotel room count in proximity to the Convention Center. Some added that a new, headquarter hotel would be significant. 

 

Former WKYC building

  Meanwhile, the beautiful beaux-arts building that once housed WKYC has been shuttered now for over seven years.  It sits across from the beaux-arts Board of Education building.  I suppose we better watch out for the beautiful beaux-arts courthouse and beaux-arts library buildings, as well.

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Cleveland, have you inspected the WKYC Building lately

If you want to cry, go look at the demolition of the old Carnegie Medical Buiding, by the Cleveland Clinic, for the still not real "Opportunity Corridor", AKA the unreal NEO subsurban neighborhood stabalization project.... and then drive a mile or so down to the Cleveland Restoration Society to ask for the resignation of their director and staff.

It is pathetic the leadership, foundations and non-profits of unrealNEO would demolish Frank Giglio's historic home for code violations, in the residential neighborhood of Tremont, yet allow rich and influential property owners of important historic core Cleveland properties like the WKYC landmark property in downtown to demolish buildings by neglect. Another good example was the Coarst Guard Station, now being demolished by neglect by the City of Cleveland, after buying this landmark blight sight from Dick Jacobs, to save him $1 million+.

Where is WKYC on the story of the demolition by neglect of their former HQ buuilding - who owns this building now and how much are the fines against them for their poor treatment of their community.

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