Howard Johnsons on Cleveland Shoreway 2b Demolished

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Sun, 05/03/2009 - 19:10.

demolition ball

Credit George Nemeth for bringing this to my attention on Brewed Fresh Daily - George caught it from Stan Bullard at Crains Business.    

Maybe the recycling rules prohibit glass from the facade mixed in with the concrete.  But I doubt it.

After this vacant building sat here for 2 decades, what instigated the demolition? If something happens in Cleveland, it isn't because  the bureaucracy finally got to it, it is because a private interest requested scratching.  

What private interest has instigated the City of Cleveland spending taxpayer’s money to tear down a structure which has sat for 20 years?

When the status quo is disrupted in Cleveland, someone has exercised their influence.  Who?

(I'm repeating myself - can you tell I'm sputtering?)
Is anyone in the Realneo audience able to inform us as to the bidding process and specifications?


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CCPC blog

  Also noted at the Cuyahoga County Planning Commission blog--RSS feeds are the way to go:

The former Howard Johnson's near the East Shoreway and East 55th Street will soon be demolished. The 12-story hotel closed in 1992, and several developers have unsuccessfully attempted to rehabilitate the long-vacant tower. The Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's planned new facilities are not far from the property.

Mitch Schneider

Mitch Schneider got a big windfall--

Also, I noted that Coral Group is now part of the redevelopment of Euclid area around CSU.  It helps to ride the bus/silverline/healthline...whatever you want to call it...where we were all subjected to a treatment.  Such a strange town we live in...

Great video, Jeff :)  It looks like the Clinic is going to bring down the church next to the Playhouse complex on Euclid, too....Saw our friend Guy today and he is armed with his video camera, too!  Good work, my friends.

They will recycle the


They will recycle the concrete, so it preliminary. The structure is concrete with rebar, it will get broken up and sent through a crusher, then the aggregate will get sold. They may be pushing off what is metal and then that will or could also get recycled.

Those type of jobs are closed bid contracts, not time and material.

The cost of development is site prep, that building was just in a bad location great view but an obscure and isolated site.

The church I think is called the Transformation Church, between the Playhouses and the Clinics mega garage. The Clinic can go ahead and take the boulders out of the reflecting ponds, they do nothing for it.

I will tell you this in few years that area is going to be very green, they planted allot of trees! I think many of them are Sycamores!

They should publish a list of building that are marked for demolition and the costs as well. There may be somebody interested in them? There are allot of big empty building, like Richmond’s Brothers and a pair of interesting tall building on Euclid, the one near 55th across from Pierre’s ice cream was just knocked down, that was a really cool building.

They do need to be careful not to go crazy knocking too much down, the bight in some areas is overwhelming, then the values for investing not recoverable.

Maybe someday when and if the port moves, the land is open for port related industry? But the problem with planning way ahead is that nobody sees the value today. They need to show the plans and the actions being taken, if they have some.

Is purported "Trade District" Demo motivation?

Something else motivated the demolition.  Not the goofy Army Corps' dredge sludge - Wasserman  move to E55th.  

Who has the inside scoop?   Maybe Joe Roman knows?   Maybe the FBI knows?   Maybe Chris Kennedy knows? (MEDCON at DEAD MAN's CURVE?)  

OR , maybe we Realneoer's just haven't networked enought yet!  



A Historical Structure That Should Be Preserved

 This building appears to be dated from a particular slice of American architectural history which embodied a confluence of lifestyle indicators relative to the expansion of middle class prosperity intersecting the apex of  this nations obsession with highways and roads..."the car culture."  Of course by now, everyone not living under a rock fully understands why we as a nation desperately need to shift away from what started out as the car culture, becoming the SUV culture now having become the Big 3 bankruptcy culture.  However, what everyone does not seem to understand, especially many of our elected officials, is that we don't need to throw the baby away with the bathwater.   We don't need to allow our roads to rot and we don't need to allow the infrastructure that grew up around them rot either. 

The Holiday Inns, Howard Johnsons, Davis Brothers Motor Lodges, Shoney's Big Boys and the Stuckeys were at one time an integral part of American life.  This Holiday Inn, like most built, appear to be influenced by the architectural style of Louis Kahn with a touch of Mies Van Der Rohe -- lightly seasoned with Marcel Breuer's, low-tech chic, cast concrete aesthetic.  But whatever the case, tthis particular subset of buildings and businesses were something we as a nation, were all  once proud of.  During my entire childhood, my father worked at a Davis Brothers here in suburban Atlanta for nearly 20 years.  The business has long since closed, but that building still stands.  It is preserved, having been repurposed.  Still, in many if not most cases, as with the Holiday Inn being spoke of herein, such is not the case.

It is my sense that buildings of this age, that came at the end of Mid-Century Modernism -- being constructed during the International Style, but not necessarily being acknowledged as such (perhaps?) because of their more diminutive stature -- speak to a time of glory in this nation.  We were in an age of youth and vitality at that time -- the early 60's through the late 70's -- having a thriving, manufacturing based economy so accepted as "normal" that it was essentially taken for granted; all this, in spite of the Vietnam War. 

As the fictional sitcom characters Archie and Edith Bunker used to say, "Those were the days."

I don't relish the Vietnam War, but there were a lot of other good things that occured during that time.  I suspect that many on this site, like me, were probably born during that time.  And while I realize that I'm preaching to the choir in stating this on RealNeo, I'll say it anyway.  As a nation, as a people -- Americans -- we should not treat our building as if we are ashamed of them. 

Buildings are not cheap whores. 

The heart and soul of countless hard working women and men went into the construction of that Holiday Inn, not to mention all the children who visited there, the families that made their livelihood being employed there and the sense of pride that came from having prosperity in one's town.  So in reflection, I would suggest that we need to learn to have long, loving relationships with our buildings, instead of treating them like one generation stands.

It's a crying shame.


Buildings are not cheap whores.

  May I quote you?  Well said :)

Eternity has a bigger view - HoJo's is a keeper? 2 late

Typical for Cleveland, we're blowin' it again. 

Read Eternity's stuff.  


HoJo's was the era of car hops and drive inn and drive thrus. 

We need to keep HoJo just like Breuer.

I'm going to bed....


Thank you "lmcshane"...and yes, you may quote me.

not so fast Howard Johnson

Judge (Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Richard McMonagle) halts Cleveland's demoltion of old Howard Johnson Motor Inn off the East Shoreway

Added Councilman Joe Cimperman, who grew up near the hotel and represents the neighboring ward: "We don't need symbols of blight on our freeways, we need welcome mats."

Is this like the "Welcome to Tremont mat", formerly Frank's house?

There seem to be some interesting stories around demolition and stalled development efforts in Cleveland right now. What's the rush on the HoJo? The port won't be moving this year... How many years did Jacobs sit on the Breuer - uh 20 years. How many years til we decide what to do with the coast guard station? Any building in Cleveland - not rented - Tear it down?

There'll be more reporting tomorrow from Henry Gomez. Thanks Henry.

Taps into ?

  The demo taps into which pot of tax payer funded monies?

I will definitely be reading tomorrow's Plain Dealer :)

My thanks to Henry Gomez, too!  And, also belated thanks to Laura Johnston (great name) for her common sense accounting of what we get for the money, we, taxpayers, dole out for local government.  We need newspapers--and we need real reporters.  I appreciate you folks everyday!  And, so do my neighbors. 

That building may have been

That building may have been sitting empty for ten years, but the current owner has only had it for barely two. Considering the economy they should cut them some slack, seriously. The judge may agree.

What's the story, I would say a developer with a poor design plan and no capital.

There are pictures on the net of that proposal, there was at one time. I saw them and they were really bad. Considering the building is pretty simple in design, if my memory is correct it had some exterior facade treatments that were just odd…bad taste? Not to say that is a good reason to interject with a demolition, it is not, but maybe somebody is doing that to prevent an even more permanent eyesore?

Some developers come in and say they have this wonderful idea and it is not. Consider all the things uncovered under facades on Euclid Ave?

I remember an owner being forced to paint and then resorting to lemon yellow, kelly green, bright red and cobalt blue. It is about people not accepting direction from others, they will say it is mine and I can do what I want and taste is a matter of personal preferences. Paint it or we will fine you, then they paint it in the most obnoxious colors to be spiteful.

It can or could be called insensitive to design, or standards. It can also at times be pretentious and overdone, or gaudy and out of place, or just cheap looking.

I always thought that building looked out of place on the lake front, sitting all by itself. It’s distance from anything made it not preferred place to stay. I think people living at Quay 55 feel that way as well.

I do not recognize it as Howard Johnson’s It would need a big orange A frame and blue trim, it is just a modern midsize to me, not bad but not in a good location to live, there nothing around its all industry.


Demolition of Howard Johnson's Hotel on Shorewat

As a community, we need to be able to make distinctions and rally scarce resources when we can, distinguishing between "old and worth saving" versus "just old."  The Howard Johnson on the South Marginal Rd. has sat under utilized for decades. Theses building were put up all over the country and are not unique or particularly noteworthy to NE Ohio, even if they do, for some, trigger warm fuzzy feelings of nostalgia.  If the owners haven't found a productive re-use in thirty years, let's start over and offer the City and someone else a fresh start with the space.  For those of us working in midtown, I am concerned that this structure, which is already partially demolished,  is an uninviting gateway to a neighborhood, likely to discourage visits, growth and neighborhood investment.  I don't know of any plans for the place, but the first step is getting rid of the structure going nowhere.  Should the deconstruction proceed to separate glass and concrete and steel? Sure, but the building needs to come down so the neighborhood can move on.  Architects that have looked at the structure say that the building is poorly suited to the owners professed plans, high end condos, as the space is limited, it sits near a noisy freeeway entrance and construction standards were (how shall I put it) flimsy (t was a motel).  So to recap...Breuer Tower? "Old and worth saving."  Howard Johnson's on the shoreway? Just "old."

Plain Dealer and CCPC

  The Plain Dealer and the Cuyahoga Planning Commission picked up the discussion on the Howard Johnson demo, AFTER Crain's story and RealNEO photage (scroll up). 

Ditto--Stanford Homes/Aberdeen Investments in Old Brooklyn. Does anyone care that the City of Cleveland is using YOUR money to demolish/deconstruct these structures?


From the CCPC blog:


A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge gave the owners of the old Howard Johnson's hotel in Cleveland a three-week deadline to demonstrate progress in their plans to redevelop the tower. Contractors for the City of Cleveland began razing the building in April, but were halted last week.

The Stanford Homes development in Old Brooklyn is being deconstructed. Construction of the six-house project on Stanford Avenue began in 2005, but was never completed.

And, on the same day, the PD's story--

No one asks:

Should the City of Cleveland use tax dollars to demolish and clear land for developers? 

Credit ultimately to Crain's Cleveland for first running the story in April:

Jamie Blackson Baker, executive director of the St. Clair-Superior Coalition local development corporation, said the city of Cleveland has hired a contractor to demolish the property. A crew from Precision Environmental Inc. of Independence, a demolition contractor, is preparing to level the building, she said.

Still--it begs the question, especially if you live in the City of Cleveland--what is the priority for your tax dollar--quality of life, fixing streets, sewers, maintaining parks, recreation centers, waste management, safety forces-- or is the priority to hand out contracts to friends and clear land for developers?