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Cleveland: Midtown: Development and News

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I'm actually happy to see this demolition.  All distinguishing architectural features had already been taken off to give RTA the extra 6" or whatever they needed, and all that is left is a massive shell.  The Dunham Tavern itself may not be open all the time, but the grounds are nicely maintained.  If (and sometimes this feels like a big if) we are smart as a community, we will use this space not only as grounds for the museum, but as a nice central park for eastern Midtown.

don't you mean central midtown?  midtown extends from 80th to the inner belt, right?

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1 - 2 - 3 - 4 ...I smell a geography war!


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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I'm actually happy to see this demolition. All distinguishing architectural features had already been taken off to give RTA the extra 6" or whatever they needed, and all that is left is a massive shell. The Dunham Tavern itself may not be open all the time, but the grounds are nicely maintained. If (and sometimes this feels like a big if) we are smart as a community, we will use this space not only as grounds for the museum, but as a nice central park for eastern Midtown.

 

That's the kind of short sighted view that has plagued this city.  It's not hard to image this bohemoth as part larger rethinking of this area.  Apparently for some it is...

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What is short sighted?  Demolishing the building's facade for a tiny bit of engineering clearance?  Demolishing the hulk that remains? Using that land as a central park?

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I would have loved to have seen this building used for conversion to housing, no doubt. But this would have been extremely expensive. Only a robust local economy, a housing shortage and/or huge demand for more core housing would have generated interest in this building. Since those conditions haven't existed here in decades, many buildings like this won't remain.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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What is short sighted? Demolishing the building's facade for a tiny bit of engineering clearance? Demolishing the hulk that remains? Using that land as a central park?

 

All of the above.  It's basically the same attitude that pushed the demolition of the Warehouse in the 70's, Prospect around East 4th and then around East 14th:  not recognizing the value and potential of existing structures and demolishing them for lesser "usage."  It's funny that you talk about the robustness of a neighborhood and economy, but one could argue if they didn't have this obsession of demo to begin since the 1960's, this structure and neighborhood may have had a chance to add to both the neighborhood and economy.  Now we simply saying this attitude should continue because we'ev torn down everything else that was worthwhile.  Great short sighed theory that shows there is no citywide agenda when it comes to dealing with this common situation.  The only question is what's the next one to come down?  And the idea of a central park?  Please.  Central to what?  Open pastures and suburban style industrial park buildings?  I'd rather not.

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What is short sighted? Demolishing the building's facade for a tiny bit of engineering clearance? Demolishing the hulk that remains? Using that land as a central park?

 

All of the above. It's basically the same attitude that pushed the demolition of the Warehouse in the 70's, Prospect around East 4th and then around East 14th: not recognizing the value and potential of existing structures and demolishing them for lesser "usage." It's funny that you talk about the robustness of a neighborhood and economy, but one could argue if they didn't have this obsession of demo to begin since the 1960's, this structure and neighborhood may have had a chance to add to both the neighborhood and economy. Now we simply saying this attitude should continue because we'ev torn down everything else that was worthwhile. Great short sighed theory that shows there is no citywide agenda when it comes to dealing with this common situation. The only question is what's the next one to come down? And the idea of a central park? Please. Central to what? Open pastures and suburban style industrial park buildings? I'd rather not.

 

I just don't know what else there is to do.  If a developer does not come forward with money and plans to renovate these structures, what is the city supposed to do.  I would rathere see an empty plot of developable land that can serve as various reasons for development versus blown out dilaptitaded buildings that developers are not willing to undertake.  Honestly, what should we do is my question.  Let them sit there for years and years until someone redevelops them?

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^The problem is, the only "value and potential" that matters in the property market is the kind that comes with cash...and as far as I know (from more than just reading these boards), this is the only viable cash offer RTA has received for this property.  Maybe the new county land bank can someday intervene in cases like this, but RTA can't afford to be in the business of mothballing buildings unrelated to their core business.

 

I agree with X that the real mistake was RTA's insistence that the front bay/facade be sliced off and the corner building knocked down, all because they absolutely had to have a BRT station in front of that building.  The writing's been on the wall for that shell ever since then.

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^I think RTA new, when they did this, that this building was coming down anyhow in the next couple years.  Had developers been coming to the table, they would not have done this.

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Don't get me wrong, I would be all in favor of redevelopment of this shell (a la Quay 55) if there was even the slightest hint that someone with the $$ was interested.  However, I have not heard a peep and I don't foresee it.  If this building was in the WHD, I would be throwing a fit.

 

As it stands now, the building is a big black eye coming up and down Euclid, not much different than the old Howard Johnshon along the shoreway.  It really gives MidTown a ghost town kind of feel.

 

All that said and while I would be in favor (very much so) of a "central park" type concept for this part of town, I am not a fan of what Dunham is proposing.  I would only be in a favor of a park that was large enough in scale to allow for recreational uses (biking, jogging, picnics, etc).

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Didn't we go thru all this in the Healthline thread?  Just putting it out there.

 

You are a moderator in your own mind. 

 

HUSH.  I only asked a question.  This is the exact same conversation we had then.  We're all unhappy about the situation.  I just see the value in repeating the same thing in this thread that's already in that thread.  If someone opened that thread and started the convo that would be one thing.  Just my opinion.

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When buildings are continually torn down the city losses the very thing that makes it interesting.

 

I will disagree with that, especially in this case.  Just like Hts44211 said, based on the location, it has to come down. 

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What is short sighted? Demolishing the building's facade for a tiny bit of engineering clearance? Demolishing the hulk that remains? Using that land as a central park?

 

All of the above. It's basically the same attitude that pushed the demolition of the Warehouse in the 70's, Prospect around East 4th and then around East 14th: not recognizing the value and potential of existing structures and demolishing them for lesser "usage." It's funny that you talk about the robustness of a neighborhood and economy, but one could argue if they didn't have this obsession of demo to begin since the 1960's, this structure and neighborhood may have had a chance to add to both the neighborhood and economy. Now we simply saying this attitude should continue because we'ev torn down everything else that was worthwhile. Great short sighed theory that shows there is no citywide agenda when it comes to dealing with this common situation. The only question is what's the next one to come down? And the idea of a central park? Please. Central to what? Open pastures and suburban style industrial park buildings? I'd rather not.

 

I would have loved to have seen the building as it existed originally saved, but I don't see any value in what is essentially a crumbling concrete skeleton.  If you had some interesting adaptive reuse idea for it, please share.  I'd genuinely be interested.

 

As for the Central Park idea I mentioned, who's being short sighted here?  I'm obviously referring to the possibility that Midtown could, and should, see some quality redevelopment that could interact with that open space to create an interesting urban/green contrast.

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damn i dk what to say. i really love that shell...but i love that park rendering too. the idea of focusing more park and attention around dunham tavern is sound and attractive.

 

of course what would really be great would be if they opened dt up for drinks like ye olde ale and grog again - heh.

 

practically speaking what do you do with such a massive and dilapidated old structure? its so far gone i dont see how it could ever be reused. not to mention that size of a building will just not be needed along there for long time, if ever again.

 

so elegiac as it is, i think this teardown will make euc & the vicinity much more attractive to new development, at least immediately around the park. its not hard to imagine it, a park facing home or business is potentially very enticing....and much more easily achievable than rescuing that old wrecked hulk. cant believe i just said that, but its true. carry on clevo.

 

 

 

 

 

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of course what would really be great would be if they opened dt up for drinks like ye olde ale and grog again - heh.

 

For real.  This demo would be a lot more palatable if the Dunham Tavern folks would be a little more ambitious with their programming and hours to make it more than just a fossil/educational installation.  Looks like the place is run on a shoe string now, so can't really blame them, but if they have money for this acquisition, maybe it's time to take open the doors a little wider, at least to the gardens.

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No offense whatsoever to the Dunham Tavern, but I question their ability to manage such a large section of land to the degree to which we would like to see. As of 2008, they had operating revenue of $106,697, of which only $13,600 went to salaries and wages of dedicated staff.

 

Don't know the specifics, but by all appearances, it looks as though they are almost solely a volunteer endeavor. Unless this project would be paired with a substantial capital campaign that includes an endowment for property maintenance, or unless they are receiving considerable assistance and investment from someone like Parks and Rec or Parkworks, or unless they are realizing some public revenue as a result of the proposed psychiatric hospital, I just can't see how they can make this a reality, particularly in this economic climate.

 

If I'm missing details here, I apologize to them for misconstruing the situation. But if I'm not, I can't see how this would be a preferred use. As hard as it might be to reactivate this complex, I don't want to see demolition if the ultimate use ends up being fallow field with a flower planting along the frontage.

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I believe you're right that they have an agreement for maintenance of the existing Learning Garden set back from Chester, but I hadn't seen anything to date about this rather large-scale expansion. That would definitely make me feel better, although I would hope they have that the agreement would be pretty long-term in nature. I'm still a bit concerned about the longevity of the Tavern, given their small budget, the amount derived from private donations (which seems like it would not be very resilient in economic downturns) and what I perceive to be a disproportionate share of very old supporters. That being said, if they can pull this off, and they very well may be able to, maybe it will drive additional attention, visitation and support to them.

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The solution isn't to tear it down and build a park in the middle of a swath of nothingness. The solution isn't to leave it standing to decay even further. The problem isn't the building. The problem isn't the location. The problem began 40 years ago when Cleveland was deemed a wasteland. The solution is to reverse the mindset plaguing NE Ohio's business owners and make them want to re-locate to MidTown and Cleveland in general instead of places like Beachwood and Solon. Until that happens, W28 and others like myself will continue to draw tears from our eyes as this shit continues and everyone questions why, why, why.

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What is short sighted? Demolishing the building's facade for a tiny bit of engineering clearance? Demolishing the hulk that remains? Using that land as a central park?

 

All of the above. It's basically the same attitude that pushed the demolition of the Warehouse in the 70's, Prospect around East 4th and then around East 14th: not recognizing the value and potential of existing structures and demolishing them for lesser "usage." It's funny that you talk about the robustness of a neighborhood and economy, but one could argue if they didn't have this obsession of demo to begin since the 1960's, this structure and neighborhood may have had a chance to add to both the neighborhood and economy. Now we simply saying this attitude should continue because we'ev torn down everything else that was worthwhile. Great short sighed theory that shows there is no citywide agenda when it comes to dealing with this common situation. The only question is what's the next one to come down? And the idea of a central park? Please. Central to what? Open pastures and suburban style industrial park buildings? I'd rather not.

 

Good stuff, w28th. 

 

I'm not sure this particular building was worth saving at this point, but I've had it with "greenspace" proposals replacing urban density.  How on earth does ruralizing Euclid Avenue capitalize on the 24-7 transit system we just built there?  Gag me with a ladle.

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The "density" on that stretch of Euclid was demolished long ago.  It already has somewhat of a rural feel.  Let's face it, that building was HUGE and a big black eye along the corridor.  It looked like something out of Detroit. 

 

Any re-use would have been on the Bingham scale... perhaps even bigger.  Suppose it was rennovated and residential units were put on the market - how many of you genuinely believe it would have filled up with tenants any time soon?  A Tyler Village type concept might have had some promise, but I would rather (at this point in time) that the local developers invest closer to CSU or UC.

 

All that said, I don't particularly care for what they have planned. 

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The only thing that makes me feel any better is that I dealt with the sadness of losing this building a long time ago when they removed the facade.  The building was essentially demoed at that point.

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^ Right now it's like "Juno the transparent woman building"  Imagine it as a museum with the buiilding's innards, hvac, electrical, plumbing, and structural elements exposed and explained to visitors  :wink:  .

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Found this on the Euclid Corridor Design Review District notes Aug 20th meeting.  Pierre's Ice Cream expansion sounds interesting.

EC 2009-014 Pierre's Ice Cream expansion            ©

                      6200 Euclid Ave  Mike Novachek - Ray Fogg Building Methods, Inc.

 

More on that here:  http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2009/09/pierres_icecream_wants_to_expa.html

 

They want to double capacity and build a 35,540 sq. ft. facility attached to their current one.  They'd start construction immediately (once plans are approved) and be finished within a year. 

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Great news about the expansion. I just wish they would expand toward the sidewalk on Euclid. Imagine a factory outlet store. If Gallucci's can do so well in this area, why can't a Pierre's store? Who knows, maybe it could spark a specialty foods retailing district in Midtown? It used to be a wholesaling area for the restaurant and hospitality markets so this wouldn't be a big leap of faith.


"Save the planet. Move to the city." -- The Downtowner podcast

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^ Right now it's like "Juno the transparent woman building"  Imagine it as a museum with the buiilding's innards, hvac, electrical, plumbing, and structural elements exposed and explained to visitors  :wink:  .

 

hey you got a very cool and creative point there! it could remain part of an expanded dunham tavern park around that block. dunham tavern, a park and that historic industrial era relic. what a park that would be, cleveland history in a nutshell. that would be outstanding. unfortunately, i'm afraid it would take nyc's new highline park type of big money for it to be made safe and to git'r done like that.

 

 

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I will disagree with that, especially in this case.  Just like Hts44211 said, based on the location, it has to come down. 

 

Why? At least its something on the landscape.  Already, 55th to 61st, both sides of Euclid are vacant.  That is a very urban area for some and there is nothing there.  Why not just knock them all down, right?

 

What is short sighted?  Demolishing the building's facade for a tiny bit of engineering clearance?  Demolishing the hulk that remains? Using that land as a central park?

 

The fact that you mention this plot of land in the same sentence with the most successful urban park in the world is laughable.

 

It has already been stated that what it comes down to anybody who has money can buy it and do whatever they want with it, unfortunately, and only one buyer has stepped up.

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yanni have you seen these buildings?

 

also I don't believe x was referring to THE central park but rather A central park... as in centrally located in midtown.

 

Yes, traveled through there twice last month coming from dt to university circle for events.  As I stated, there are huge lots already vacant from 55th to 61st.  I would rather see a structure like that crumble than be torn down to create another unmaintained lot.  At least it is being used for public art on the facade now.

The idea of creating a "park" would infer that there are enough people already living in that area to support it.

I understand money is the driving factor, so what myself or others want is fairly irrelevant at this point.

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Public art... i guess that's one way of looking at what's up there  :lol:

 

I was devestated when word came down that they were demolishing the building directly west of what's left, removing the facade of what is now in place, and demolishing the buildings on the south side of the street at 55th, all for the euclid corridor.  I know people that fought that fight as long and as hard as they possibly could.  In the end, as usual, it was roadway engineers who refused to be concerned with anything except what some guidebook told them was the quickest and most efficient way to move traffic that doomed these structures.  They should have just taken down what's left of these at that point.  Honestly once the building to the left came down and the facade was removed taking away any architectural and historic features... it simply became a lifeless hulking concrete support structure, that akwardly sits in the middle of a block that already is 2/3rds consumed by the dunham tavern plan.  In no way am I advocating for the dunham park plan, and think there probably could be better uses for the lots, the one thing I'm not worried about is another "unmaintained" lot.  Dunham actually does a really nice job of maintaining their grounds. 

 

If we want to get really upset about building demolition focus attention on the buildings on the south side of euclid at 73rd that they want to tear down for one of those new "developments".

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yanni have you seen these buildings?

 

also I don't believe x was referring to THE central park but rather A central park... as in centrally located in midtown.

 

Indeed that is what I meant. 

 

Folks may find the idea "laughable" or "near sighted", but if so, give up a better idea to the board, and we can discuss the merits of that.  Given the condition of the building, the prospects for it's redevelopment, the likely market in Midtown, and the reality of Dunham Museum's actions and intentions I see this as the most reasonable way to make some lemonade out of the lemons that are rolling our way.  Not as the most ideal solution, nor as a given.  Just the most likely possibility for this piece of land to be a positive piece of Midtown.

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The situation at hand is that Euclid Avenue began as a utopia. It was millionaire's row. It was lined with mansions. Then they were torn down and things like this said warehouse(s) and huge industrial complexes were constructed. That in itself was the end of millionaire's row, but, it was also the beginning of a very urban and dense street which was previously nothing but mansions. Now, in the present day, we're taking that urban density, tearing it down and entering phase 3 of Euclid Avenue. Some parts dystopia, some parts "rennaisance in the making", some parts like an old man with alzheimer's, confused and not sure of anything. It's a mix of: a) several remaining mansions (Only one on this segment of Euclid), b) decaying/abandoned/grafitti covered industrial buildings, c) open fields, d) planned hospital/social services facilities, and e) an extremely pedestrian-friendly bus system built to handles masses of people. Since Euclid in MidTown still has a mix of old and new, there should be more emphasis on re-development and preservation, because ever since Euclid declined in the 30's, nobody seems to want to save anything, just tear down and build inferior things.

 

A new warehouse for the ice cream factory is not going to enhance Euclid Avenue. For those opposing a mental hospital, you should practically be picketing an ice cream warehouse proposal, since that will do absolutely nothing for Euclid. At least a mental hospital will bring staff and people to the city. Sure, an expansion at Pierre's may bring some new staff, but I suspect expanded facility space not much expansion in staff.

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How can you say that?  A new warehouse for an ice cream factory is precisely what this road needs.  More middle class jobs, more of a middle class presence in general, proof that the Euclid Corridor Project can induce new or expanding business, etc.

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If I understand the expansion correctly, they are building on land they already own.  Nothing much to protest there unless a developer has some grand plans for that parcel and is willing to pay for it.

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