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Cleveland: League Park

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I think this is a good investment for such a small amount. Why do people live in a neighborhood? I think it's because of forward momentum, amenities and access to jobs. This project helps offer two out of the three. And the jobs are nearby in opposite directions, in UC and downtown.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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^^ It might be a little chicken-and-egg here. I'm all for stabilizing surrounding housing and creating building blocks for supporting a big cultural amenity, but I think there's plenty of examples of places where the cultural amenity has served as the cornerstone for private market interest in surrounding housing. It's hard for me to imagine the uptick of people moving to Detroit Shoreway without Cleveland Public Theatre there when it was still really rough ... Or Tremont without the artists buying up derelict houses for $5,000 or $10,000 for gallery conversions ... Or North Collinwood's vacancy rates dropping without the Beachland and the other hipster businesses that followed. All of these were cultural amenities that opened in places where people thought, I don't know how sustainable that is, but became destinations in their own right and catalyzed revitalization around them.

 

Great points except galleries in Tremont & the theater in Gordon Square are open 52 weeks a year and have other attractions nearby to walk to, enhancing the destination effect.  League Park does not.

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^^ It might be a little chicken-and-egg here. I'm all for stabilizing surrounding housing and creating building blocks for supporting a big cultural amenity, but I think there's plenty of examples of places where the cultural amenity has served as the cornerstone for private market interest in surrounding housing. It's hard for me to imagine the uptick of people moving to Detroit Shoreway without Cleveland Public Theatre there when it was still really rough ... Or Tremont without the artists buying up derelict houses for $5,000 or $10,000 for gallery conversions ... Or North Collinwood's vacancy rates dropping without the Beachland and the other hipster businesses that followed. All of these were cultural amenities that opened in places where people thought, I don't know how sustainable that is, but became destinations in their own right and catalyzed revitalization around them.

 

Great points except galleries in Tremont & the theater in Gordon Square are open 52 weeks a year and have other attractions nearby to walk to, enhancing the destination effect.  League Park does not.

 

12 years ago, did Tremont?  7 years ago did Gordon Square.  Yes or no?

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The plans for League Park are more than just for baseball. It will indeed be a general-purpose park with a baseball angle.

 

Consider what other general-purposes parks/recreation have done for attracting new residential, including this one......

 

http://www.freshwatercleveland.com/devnews/trailsideatmorganarun111011.aspx

http://community.railstotrails.org/blogs/trailblog/archive/2011/12/05/morgana-run-trail-sparks-new-home-construction.aspx


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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^^ It might be a little chicken-and-egg here. I'm all for stabilizing surrounding housing and creating building blocks for supporting a big cultural amenity, but I think there's plenty of examples of places where the cultural amenity has served as the cornerstone for private market interest in surrounding housing. It's hard for me to imagine the uptick of people moving to Detroit Shoreway without Cleveland Public Theatre there when it was still really rough ... Or Tremont without the artists buying up derelict houses for $5,000 or $10,000 for gallery conversions ... Or North Collinwood's vacancy rates dropping without the Beachland and the other hipster businesses that followed. All of these were cultural amenities that opened in places where people thought, I don't know how sustainable that is, but became destinations in their own right and catalyzed revitalization around them.

 

Great points except galleries in Tremont & the theater in Gordon Square are open 52 weeks a year and have other attractions nearby to walk to, enhancing the destination effect.  League Park does not.

 

12 years ago, did Tremont?  7 years ago did Gordon Square.  Yes or no?

 

Could something eventually evolve from this project?  Yes.  But you're ignoring the $5 million (estimate only, construction costs will likely come in much higher) up front investment and zero surrounding infrastructure to support this boondoggle.  No vacant shops that can be reopened easily like there was around Gordon Square, no closed up bars that can be reopened to serve crowds before & after like Tremont....    the money would be better spent elsewhere.

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Sorry but this is project is an albatross if there ever was one.  The location is surrounded by poverty, decrepit housing, vacant lots and it's hard to get to on top of all that.  It's great to see reinvestment in a historic structure but it won't trigger additional investment and it's not going to draw outside visitors more than a handful of times a year.  There is nothing else nearby that would warrant anyone to come down there and spend a day and it's too far off any real commercial corridors like E. 55th & Chester which would be the first to benefit from any new investment from the project.

 

Whats the project cost again?  Who's paying for it?

 

I tend to agree with the idea that it's a pipe dream to think that this will spark other investment in that area.  I just want to see this happen because I want to see a piece of Cleveland's baseball history preserved. 

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^^ It might be a little chicken-and-egg here. I'm all for stabilizing surrounding housing and creating building blocks for supporting a big cultural amenity, but I think there's plenty of examples of places where the cultural amenity has served as the cornerstone for private market interest in surrounding housing. It's hard for me to imagine the uptick of people moving to Detroit Shoreway without Cleveland Public Theatre there when it was still really rough ... Or Tremont without the artists buying up derelict houses for $5,000 or $10,000 for gallery conversions ... Or North Collinwood's vacancy rates dropping without the Beachland and the other hipster businesses that followed. All of these were cultural amenities that opened in places where people thought, I don't know how sustainable that is, but became destinations in their own right and catalyzed revitalization around them.

 

Great points except galleries in Tremont & the theater in Gordon Square are open 52 weeks a year and have other attractions nearby to walk to, enhancing the destination effect.  League Park does not.

 

12 years ago, did Tremont?  7 years ago did Gordon Square.  Yes or no?

 

Could something eventually evolve from this project?  Yes.  But you're ignoring the $5 million (estimate only, construction costs will likely come in much higher) up front investment and zero surrounding infrastructure to support this boondoggle.  No vacant shops that can be reopened easily like there was around Gordon Square, no closed up bars that can be reopened to serve crowds before & after like Tremont....    the money would be better spent elsewhere.

 

We're going to have to agree to disagree.  This is a great project for Hough and the entire eastside.

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I wouldn't call what happened at Gordon Square as occurring easily. How much did the streetscape cost?

 

The only boondoggle is us continuing to let this urban setting lie fallow (60+ years and counting). I hope they do spend more money at and around League Park. It's time to put aside past feelings about the area and its people who didn't deserve what was done to them -- and continues to be done by saying they don't deserve similar investments as other parts of Cleveland. This community has been neglected, if not hated, long enough.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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This is about as far from a "boondoggle" as anything I can imagine.  It's one of the only worthy projects the east side has gotten in the past decade.  If this project becomes a reality, it would give the east side its first legitimate attraction outside of University Circle.  If that's not a big deal I don't know what is.  While I agree that there are no commercial districts on the verge of revival immediately nearby, I think this would instantly make the core of the east side a lot more liveable, and I think that would bode well for several commercial districts in the general area... St Clair, Superior, Euclid, Carnegie, and a slew of smaller strips on the numbered streets.

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There are actually a smattering of vacant storefronts in the blocks around League Park that could feasibly be restored if there was market demand and community will power to do so ... And I think a rehabilitated park and historic structures would at least marginally increase residential rehabs in the surrounding blocks. Even if it fails to generate any development investment around it, though, I can't see it failing as a park, and this is a neighborhood that could almost certainly use more community gathering space and greenspace.

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This is exactly the direction I was going.  Have you actually been in the area recently?  The entire Hough area has a lot of new suburban style housing.  There is a lot of vacant space for retail to be built...throw in some kind of museum and BAM! you have draw.  Don't be short-sighted.  This renovation is only around $5 million coming from various sources.

 

I drive through there every few weeks, mostly to see updates or action at League park, so yes I'm very familiar with the area.  I'm familiar with the random spots of suburban housing also.  I'd rather see the City spend the $5 million to continue cleaning up the abandoned housing and making the area more attractive for development.  Then in another 3-4 years if the progress continues, a League Park renovation might make sense.

 

As far as being short sighted, it only makes sense, in a shrinking city like Cleveland, to focus development in the areas which are best poised for a rebirth and growth.  Throwing development money at random projects in random areas will get random results.  Focusing $5 million in areas which the City has already targeted for supporting new development would get much better results. 

 

Spending $5 million on what will essentially be used a handful of times for something other than a little league facility is silly.  Spend a fraction of that on modest improvements to keep the place functional and let the area around it continue to grow to a point where further improvements are justified.

 

I agree.  And I am not trying to be negative or sound like a Cleveland.com poster, but in all honesty, having the Indians play a game or two here would only further peoples' negative perceptions of the city.  They already have enough bad things to say about downtown before they get on 77 or 90 and head back to their houses in the suburbs; imagine what they would think if they had to go to a game here and see what the surrounding area looks like.  I read an article the other day talking about the casino and how Presque Isle plans to lose out on people due to Cleveland's casino opening up next month, and the one lady that worked there that was interviewed said a lot of people she talked to said they would visit it a few times until the luxury of it all "wore off" and also made mention "most said they would never step foot downtown."  The perception of Cleveland, even in its best parts, is not good by a lot of people out there.  The eastside is in bad shape, not that it is news to most here, but this is definitely a good start, and I hope this becomes a huge success. Although, being matter of fact and a realist, this area has a lot to do before bringing people in from outside the city to actually feel comfortable visiting.

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I drive through there every few weeks, mostly to see updates or action at League park, so yes I'm very familiar with the area.  I'm familiar with the random spots of suburban housing also.  I'd rather see the City spend the $5 million to continue cleaning up the abandoned housing and making the area more attractive for development.  Then in another 3-4 years if the progress continues, a League Park renovation might make sense.

 

 

Driving down Lexington once a month does not make you familiar with the area.  Come out and volunteer if you want to see change.  I spent a few hours in Hough today cleaning up some vacant homes near Thurgood Marshall to "make the area more attractive for development." Ironically, the community organizer mentioned that fact that sometimes "people from the suburbs like Beachwood and Solon" come out for the day to feel good about themselves and take a picture of them 'giving back' to post on twitter, and then never go back again.  Get to know the community and have a vested interest in the comminuty and then pass judgement on whether this project is useful.  I see and talk to tons of people using that park and I think the vast majority of them would say it's a great project.  It's also right down the way from MLK HS, Thurgood Marshall Rec, and the Salvation Army, I think it has the potential to easily unite and rally the neighborhood. 

 

While I agree that a lot more money can be invested in cleaning up vacant parcels and demolishing homes that cannot be saved, not all of that effort can come from the public side.  However, a public investment in something of this caliber (if handled properly) can attract massive amounts of private investment; investment that is needed for the neighborhood to really pull through. 

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Public investment in important amenities like parks is what government does. Even better is making such investments in a way that strengthens the neighborhood to attract private investment in housing and business. Add the historic aspect and you've hit a home run.

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And I am not trying to be negative or sound like a Cleveland.com poster, but in all honesty, having the Indians play a game or two here would only further peoples' negative perceptions of the city.

 

I wasn't being serious with that comment.  I was being sarcastic shedding light on the Tribe's terrible attendance and the arguably minor league quality product they've been known to put on the field in recent years. 

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I dont really see how this will drive massive amounts of private investment. Lets be honest with ourselves. Its basically just glorified community baseball fields on a historic lot. There is no 4000 seats as previously mentioned. Its in the middle of a neighborhood that is hurting.

 

Take a look at the rendering again. I dont believe they will even draw any "weekend travel league tournaments starring teams from all over Ohio/Midwest." Those tournaments will probably go to a suburban location with <b>multiple baseball fields</b>, where parking is available, and crime isn't an issue. The bigger tournaments will go to places like Classic Park in Eastlake(Home to the Lake County Captains) where you actually get a stadium feel and lots of seating. Its nice for the residents of the neighborhood, but I truly dont see this as being some major economic driver that will be used from all over Ohio. Its one adult field and one little league field.

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When my team plays there we bring in quite a lot of suburbanites.  All of them connected with the teams playing, of course, but nobody seems hesitant to come.  I don't get why there isn't more seating in this plan though.  One would think that if they expect it to be a draw at all, there would be somewhere for people to sit.

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Update......

 

League Park District Transportation and Redevelopment Plan – NOACA TLCI Study

 

http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/designreview/drcagenda/2012/09202012/index.php

 

 

The 39mb plan is posted here:

http://www.noaca.org/tlciLeaguePark.pdf


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Looks like more progress......

 

http://planning.city.cleveland.oh.us/designreview/drcagenda/2012/10192012/index.php

 

City Planning Commission

Agenda for October 19, 2012

 

Ordinance No. 1458-12(Ward 7/Councilmember Dow): Authorizing the Director of Community Development to transfer property described as Permanent Parcel Nos. 106-13-039, 106-13-042, 106-13-043, 106-13-067, 106-13-069, 106-13-070, 106-13-071, 106-13-072, 106-13-073, 106-13-074, 106-13-076, and 106-13-102, to the control, possession, and use of the Department of Public Works, for future development of League Park.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Cleveland's historic League Park to be restored

Groundbreaking held for $6.3 million project

 

By: Bob Fenner, newsnet5.com

 

CLEVELAND - Cleveland's historic League Park will be getting a new and improved look soon that will benefit residents in the city's Hough neighborhood.

 

Saturday, a groundbreaking ceremony was held at the former home of the Cleveland Indians located at 6601 Lexington Ave.

 

The $6.3 million restoration project will restore the playing field and some portions of the original ballpark.

 

In addition to restoring the ticket house and grandstand wall, the project will include a synthetic turf ball diamond with home plate in its historic location. A Visitors Center with display areas and a concession stand will also be built.

 

Read more: http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/news/local_news/cleveland_metro/clevelands-historic-league-park-to-be-restored#ixzz2AXCnpdUy

 

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at last -- very awesome news. various people have wanted to do this all long, i remember my relatives talking about it when i was a kid, but i guess it has been so hard to pull $ together and getr done - bravo! maybe it will kick off further improvements to league park and even some spinoff in the immediate area.

 

 

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From the NY TIMES:

 

Bringing Back History and a Neighborhood

League Park, a home to the Cleveland Indians until 1946, in the early 1900s. The ballpark was razed in 1951.

By HILLEL KUTTLER

Published: February 5, 2013

 

 

CLEVELAND — The grassy field at East 66th Street and Lexington Avenue in this city’s Hough neighborhood has a rich baseball past.

 

The site has remained virtually untouched since the stadium was razed in 1951. But it is expected to reopen in turn-back-the-clock glory, featuring a baseball diamond aligned as it was during its major league heyday. The field will be made of artificial turf to reduce postponements in Little League, high school, college and recreational baseball games. It may also be used for soccer and football games, as well as concerts and other events. A second baseball diamond and a children’s water park, surrounded by a winding walking track, are to be built on the property.

 

The project’s historical flourishes are to include a grandstand from first base to third base along the footprint of League Park. A visitor center will help buttress the portion of the original brick facade that is being held up by steel supports. The dilapidated two-story building that had been the stadium’s ticket office is to become a League Park museum. A facsimile of the Great Wall is to be built, after the foundation of the original one is excavated for display in the museum.

 

www.nytimes.com/2013/02/06/sports/baseball/in-cleveland-bringing-back-baseball-history-and-a-neighborhood.html

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^ Awesome!

 

I've visited Bob Zimmer's Baseball Heritage Museum in Colonial Fifth Street Arcade. It's pretty incredible. I wish more people knew about it.

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Very nice article. Truly one of baseball's hallowed grounds.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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^ Awesome!

 

I've visited Bob Zimmer's Baseball Heritage Museum in Colonial Fifth Street Arcade. It's pretty incredible. I wish more people knew about it.

 

The Baseball Heritage Museum is currently closed after a pipe burst and flooded the place. Apparently, they have had multiple issues there over the years and are moving. Zimmer is looking at putting it in Eastlake at their stadium temporarily. I wonder if long term, he would consider putting it at League Park or nearby?

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Great article. I really hope the city does not oversee this place as I see that would contribute to disaster and it looking run down in a very short time. And someone needs to make sure it is secure, given the surrounds are not always exactly  Disney World--and as some see such places as places to vandalize for their definition as play and recreational use or simply practicing their "culture!"

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Holy sh*t!! They really cleaned up that fieldhouse!! Looks great.

 

I remember when the fieldhouse and remaining stands were whitewashed...

 

league03.jpg


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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What are they going to use this park for?

 

Baseball! ...and youth programs. And historical education.


"Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you respond." -- Coach Lou Holtz

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Restoration of Cleveland Indians' first home at League Park targets Opening Day in July

By Tim Warsinskey, The Plain Dealer

on April 03, 2014 at 2:02 PM, updated April 03, 2014 at 2:55 PM

 

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Lounging in Viola Super's porch swing and gazing at the ornate and slightly bowed brick wall of League Park, it's possible to squint and imagine fans pouring down East 66th Street in 1891, eager to watch Cleveland Spiders ace Cy Young throw the first pitch in the new stadium.

 

Sit still long enough and one can listen for echos of cheering throngs who witnessed the only Indians World Series championship clinched at home, in 1920, or the crack of Babe Ruth's 500th career home run over the 60-foot Great Wall onto Lexington Avenue nine years later.

 

Those days, of course, are long gone. But baseball is not dead on this quiet, historic corner of Cleveland's Hough neighborhood, and Super said she could not be more pleased to see a bright future finally nearing realization at League Park after decades of neglect and decay.

 

As the Indians celebrate their 114th home opener Friday three miles away at Progressive Field, a $6.3 million restoration and renovation of League Park is about 75 percent finished and continues, now that winter has thawed, toward a mid-July completion target.

 

 

http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index.ssf/2014/04/restoration_of_cleveland_india.html#incart_m-rpt-2

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