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Cleveland: Lakefront Development and News

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^Cannot say that I disagree but it was pretty much the standard Holiday Inn high rise design when it was built in the early 70's and you see them across the country.

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Yeah. It's unfortunate that Holiday Inn has such low standards on all of their buildings. Oh, well. What can you do?

 

Slap a cornice on and some red banners, I guess.

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Yeah. It's unfortunate that Holiday Inn has such low standards on all of their buildings. Oh, well. What can you do?

 

Slap a cornice on and some red banners, I guess.

 

It's a brand thing, and fault shouldn't be placed on Cleveland's shoulders.  I've been to some cities where the Holiday Inn looks like its stuck in 1967.  I have to say our Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express are VERY nice compared to most cities.

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Doesn't Cleveland have design standards? I'm not asking this to pick a fight. Okay, maybe I am. But I'm genuinely ignorant on that one.

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Doesn't Cleveland have design standards? I'm not asking this to pick a fight. Okay, maybe I am. But I'm genuinely ignorant on that one.

 

Yes, its a two sided situation.  The brand has a "price point" to operate within.  They provided design standards within Cleveland's standards.

 

Also, Look at this from Intercontinental Hotel Groups point of view.  If they add or go above market to "improve" or "maintain" a particular property in an tight market where they have to fight hard for market share, (Downtown Cleveland is filled with a lot of mid-level hotels) do you "over improve" and raise the price of the room and risk losing customers for exterior aesthetics?

 

Most travelers are concerned with interior comfort.  Clean hotel, Rooms, Bathrooms, lobby and services offered (free wifi, etc.) than what the property looks like on the exterior.

 

 

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Yeah. And I understand your point. I guess that I just get frustrated when I see mediocre design because it lowers the appeal of the building/brand or whatever is represented inside. At least it does for me. When I see a building with mediocre design immediately I think, "Oh, well they're probably not very good because that building does nothing to attract me to it." But maybe that's just because I'm a designer. Maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist and I'm hard on myself, and I project that onto other things. Maybe I should stop psychoanalyzing myself. I dunno.

 

But that's the reason that I hate mediocre design. Because for me, if a city is represented by bad design in whatever form, it, in my opinion, represents the city poorly as a whole and gives people a bad image. If a city wants to attract people with a higher class palate, they need to step up their design standards across the board and demand better. But that's just me, I guess.

 

If people want to forego those standards in the name of getting development done, then there's a trade-off. But it's not the kind of trade-off I want. But again, that's just me.

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Yeah. And I understand your point. I guess that I just get frustrated when I see mediocre design because it lowers the appeal of the building/brand or whatever is represented inside. At least it does for me. When I see a building with mediocre design immediately I think, "Oh, well they're probably not very good because that building does nothing to attract me to it." But maybe that's just because I'm a designer. Maybe it's because I'm a perfectionist and I'm hard on myself, and I project that onto other things. Maybe I should stop psychoanalyzing myself. I dunno.

 

But that's the reason that I hate mediocre design. Because for me, if a city is represented by bad design in whatever form, it, in my opinion, represents the city poorly as a whole and gives people a bad image. If a city wants to attract people with a higher class palate, they need to step up their design standards across the board and demand better. But that's just me, I guess.

 

If people want to forego those standards in the name of getting development done, then there's a trade-off. But it's not the kind of trade-off I want. But again, that's just me.

 

We'll since you've only seen a rendering, don't get your pressure up.  There are many times a rendering is presented, and it looks suspect, and the final product looks better than anticipated.

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Well, we're at least talking about progress now.  Looks to be an extremely long progress unfortunitely.

 

http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2007/12/port_recommends_move_from_down.html

 

Port recommends move from downtown to north of E. 55th

Posted by Tom Breckenridge

December 11, 2007 19:06PM

 

 

Top port officials recommend that the port relocate to a man-made peninsula north of the East 55th Street lakefront.

 

Members of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority's maritime committee voted unanimously Tuesday to recommend the relocation, from the port's 80-acre site downtown to a new, 200-acre site...

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I thought that press release came out a week ago???  I thought the property adjacent to the airport made the most sense, but the FAA was apparently not going to allow it. Somebody on here posted a cool "transit hub" idea about it.

 

Yeesh, I know it's a big project but 20 years...very frustrating how slowly things move.

 

That's the crux of my disappointment with the lakefront plan as a whole.

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I understand, but is it really fair to be disappointed or frustrated with it without showing how it could reasonably be done quicker?

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There is the product called rubber soil (heated mix of scrap tires and pulverized concrete from demolition sites) that can be used with dredgings to more rapidly expand the lake fill and get it done in a decade or so. But unless we want to dredge the Cuyahoga River to a 100-foot depth in a couple of years, there really is no way to speed up the process further that I'm aware of.


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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Is the 20 years considering that material's use?  In addition to the time it will take to create fill the dredging dump area, there is the time to actually build all the facilites.  That has to tack on a few years to that decade or so.

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To qualify for federal funds from the Army Corps of Engineers, any dredgings dump needs to have a multi-decade capacity. But it can also be combined with beach nourishment -- if the dredgings are cleaned of pollutants first. See my article at:

 

http://www.urbanohio.com/forum2/index.php?topic=2591.msg70057#msg70057


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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I understand, but is it really fair to be disappointed or frustrated with it without showing how it could reasonably be done quicker?

 

Do you mean the port relocation or lakefront plan in general or both?  I am sure your definition of "reasonable" may be different than mine. I'm just an average person that's frustrated by how long it will take to fix a coastline that has been horribly mistreated for 150 years. I find the timeline unacceptable. I hate waiting and that is a long long time for things to improve. I will buy everyone a shovel if that will help speed things up.  :-)

 

Seriously though, any one of us can come up with a far reaching, unrealistic, 50-100 year plan that looks terrific in a flashy powerpoint presentation. Problem is, over such a long stretch of time there are literally thousands of variables that will intervene over the course of that timeline.  As you've seen with the West Shoreway relocation, delays equal much higher costs as time goes on. The longer the city waits to fully capitalize on its waterfront the greater the damage.

 

The shoreline has to be recognized by the state of Ohio as damaged infrastructure that is in immediate need of restoration/redevelopment. A simple boardwalk along the coastline would be a realistic and timely first step. It would be a tremendous engine for retail and recreational development. And it could be constructed to coexist with the Port, bringing thousands access to view and experience the beautiful lake and striking views of our industrial and shipping heritage. The longer the city waits to fully capitalize on its waterfront the greater the damage.

 

 

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I do suppose in all retrospect, 20 years is much less than another 100-150 years.  I'm not sure if that's what you're implying as well surfohio, but it does put it in better perspective.  Building for the next generation is never a bad thing, and maybe that is something we have lacked here in recent history (EDIT: mostly meaning 60's and 70's ...seems like we're still recovering from the era!)

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The move could displace a state-owned marina at East 55th, but port officials said the site would be less expensive and offer more business-development opportunities than another relocation option -- a man-made island off the west breakwall.

 

From my perspective, this is a real shame. Would we be talking about just the marina portion of the park or the pier and the boardwalk as well? Maybe I'm being a NIMBY, and I recognize that something had to go, short of building offshore, but it is nice to have a park, bike trail and cafe (Andrea's) all centered around E. 55th, and the area is surprisingly well used. Not to mention, on a shoreline peppered with private, semi-exclusive yacht clubs, it's nice to have a public launching area.

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I do suppose in all retrospect, 20 years is much less than another 100-150 years.  I'm not sure if that's what you're implying as well surfohio, but it does put it in better perspective.  Building for the next generation is never a bad thing, and maybe that is something we have lacked here in recent history (EDIT: mostly meaning 60's and 70's ...seems like we're still recovering from the era!)

 

Good point, lack of foresight was the problem, but I am selfish and more motivated by what benefits me!!! The next generation will be listening to bad music, spray painting buildings, reminiscing about 60's-70's architecture and pushing the elderly (us) around all over the newly renovated lakefront.

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I understand, but is it really fair to be disappointed or frustrated with it without showing how it could reasonably be done quicker?

 

Do you mean the port relocation or lakefront plan in general or both? 

 

Either or both, the point really is the same.

 

 

I am sure your definition of "reasonable" may be different than mine. I'm just an average person that's frustrated by how long it will take to fix a coastline that has been horribly mistreated for 150 years. I find the timeline unacceptable. I hate waiting and that is a long long time for things to improve. I will buy everyone a shovel if that will help speed things up.  :-)

 

I'm sure our definitions of reasonable differ, but that's irrelevent.  Reason tends to be pretty impersonal as compared to emotional response. Emotionally, I want to see it done tomorrow or the next day.  Reasonably, I realize that building a whole new area of fill dirt is going to take some longer amount of time, apparently 20 years.  If someone can show how it can be done faster in a reasonable manner- cost/suitability/etc, then let's do it.  But just saying "that's taking too long" doesn't get us anywhere.

 

 

Seriously though, any one of us can come up with a far reaching, unrealistic, 50-100 year plan that looks terrific in a flashy powerpoint presentation. Problem is, over such a long stretch of time there are literally thousands of variables that will intervene over the course of that timeline.  As you've seen with the West Shoreway relocation, delays equal much higher costs as time goes on. The longer the city waits to fully capitalize on its waterfront the greater the damage.

 

I'm sure all of us could come up with a far reaching, unrealistic 50-100 year plan that looks terrific in a flashy powerpoint presentation.  The question you raise though is if any of us can come up with a short term, realistic plan to open the lakefront up to greater public use.  That's the rub.

 

 

The shoreline has to be recognized by the state of Ohio as damaged infrastructure that is in immediate need of restoration/redevelopment. A simple boardwalk along the coastline would be a realistic and timely first step. It would be a tremendous engine for retail and recreational development. And it could be constructed to coexist with the Port, bringing thousands access to view and experience the beautiful lake and striking views of our industrial and shipping heritage. The longer the city waits to fully capitalize on its waterfront the greater the damage.

 

That sounds nice, but I'm not sure how we quickly/easily get a boardwalk across an industrial port, across a river, across security obsessed marinas, etc.  And I'm not so sure that if you throw a boardwalk down there without supporting land uses that it will be used by the public.

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That sounds nice, but I'm not sure how we quickly/easily get a boardwalk across an industrial port, across a river, across security obsessed marinas, etc.  And I'm not so sure that if you throw a boardwalk down there without supporting land uses that it will be used by the public.

 

I'm not sure about that ... there are a ton of people down there on the existing (repair-required) boardwalk during spring and summer months ... the little short stretch just beyond the public pier typically has 10-15 people fishing off of the boardwalk on weekends ... another 10-15 are usually fishing along the pier. On bike trips from E. 36th down Marginal Road, up the lakefront bike trail to MLK, I also usually saw an average of 50 or so people cycling, walking or running the trail on any given trip (obviously, a good deal more during Walk and Roll, Red Ribbon Ride, Parade the Circle, etc.).

 

That being said, I agree ... you won't hit the volume of people you might be inclined to without expanding additional public use around a boardwalk.

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Is the marina at Whiskey Island still used?  Is it owned by the state?

 

Perhaps they can relocate the state marina to Whiskey Island. 

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Is the marina at Whiskey Island still used?  Is it owned by the state?

 

Perhaps they can relocate the state marina to Whiskey Island. 

It's still being used, it's owned by Cuyahoga County, there are empty docks.

 

Overall, there ought to be enough capacity among the several marinas in Cuyahoga County to accommodate boaters.  The problem is that the fees will be significantly higher, even in the less-pleasant private marinas.

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I'm sure our definitions of reasonable differ, but that's irrelevent.  Reason tends to be pretty impersonal as compared to emotional response. Emotionally, I want to see it done tomorrow or the next day.  Reasonably, I realize that building a whole new area of fill dirt is going to take some longer amount of time, apparently 20 years.  If someone can show how it can be done faster in a reasonable manner- cost/suitability/etc, then let's do it.  But just saying "that's taking too long" doesn't get us anywhere.

 

Putting so much stock into waiting for the Ports relocation is what I find unreasonable. In my opinion, that aspect is a major flaw in the Lakefront Plan. More emphasis should be put into coexisting with the Port rather than this billion dollar relocation. There are examples of mixed-use residential/retail/industrial waterfronts elsewhere in America. It's not hard to imagine a development like Stonebridge building right up alongside the port. As for boardwalks and access, the Port can grant easements across its property much faster and cheaper than building an entire new island.

 

That sounds nice, but I'm not sure how we quickly/easily get a boardwalk across an industrial port, across a river, across security obsessed marinas, etc.  And I'm not so sure that if you throw a boardwalk down there without supporting land uses that it will be used by the public.

 

No you're right it would not be easy. But siimply giving the public something we've been denied for so long, access to the waters edge, would alone work wonders and be a major accomplishment. The boardwalk would not have to be continuously supported by adjacent development, but by pockets of retail and residential, just like an urban/coastal version of the towpath trail. Right now Whiskey Island, North Coast Harbor, edgewater park, Flats planned boardwalk, etc. would be the dots to help connect and form a user friendly walkable, bikeable waterfront.

 

 

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Some Steamship William B. Mather volunteers disgruntled after Great Lakes Science Center merger

Science center has new vision of ship's role

Friday, February 22, 2008

Jim Nichols

 

Sixteen months after the Great Lakes Science Center took the helm of the Steamship William G. Mather Museum, the ship's new owners are maneuvering along a new course.

 

Initially, at least, the floating museum's voyage is proving a bit rocky: A post-merger culture clash with the new owners has some longtime Mather volunteers abandoning ship.

 

The science center has a grand vision for converting the 83-year-old retired freighter it acquired in October 2006 from a museum of lakes shipping to an interactive 618-foot-long wing of the parent institution.

 

The Mather's new role will be a celebration of much broader connections between humans and the Great Lakes, said Bryan Kwapil, the science center's vice president of operations.

 

The transformation starts this spring, when work begins on a $2.7 million, glass-enclosed walkway connecting the shore-side science center to the acquisition moored 100 yards to the north. Then, in a year or so, the science center will launch a fund-raising campaign to pay for a host of new lakes-oriented exhibits, Kwapil said. The Mather will house those in the cavernous bulk-cargo holds that once carried 14,000 tons of iron ore per voyage...

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"But he and Gerber believe the science center's staff should have "come in with hats in hands" to curry favor with the volunteers. Instead, science center staff told them to apply for the volunteer jobs they themselves had created and performed.

 

"After 17 years, they were asking for references," Durica fumed. "It was an insult.""

 

Should the science center have done a better job in befriending the volunteers? Probably. But as a public and non-profit entity, the Science Center isn't out of line for requiring the volunteers to follow procedures - including filling out paperwork; it's called accountability.

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I think Kwapil's statement at the end of the article is kind of an asshole thing to say, and I can empathize with the volunteers with his lack of tactfulness on this matter, even though I support what the Science Center wants to do:

 

"These few individuals like to think they're the heart and soul of the Mather and the ship won't survive without them," Kwapil said.

 

"Well, that ship's been here longer than any of us, and it'll be there long after we're all gone."

 

I think with that, he's kinda brushing off the contribution they've made to the Mather. There might be some truth to what he's saying, but not the most gracious thing to say to people who aren't getting paid to support a city attraction.

 

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The thing is - if the Science Center *didn't* make them register/file paperwork, etc., Carl Monday (or his ilk) would be there the first time something bad happened with "The Science Center is Wasting YOUR Tax Dollars!!!". And while it comes across as cruel, what Kwapil said is the honest-to-god truth. Kudos to the volunteers for everything they've done but "memento mori", my friends.

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Port Authority's big move gives hope for a new wave

by Steven Litt / Plain Dealer Architecture Critic

Sunday March 23, 2008, 12:00 AM

 

 

Cleveland, a city with miles of ugly, neglected and underused waterfront on a river and a Great Lake, has done precious little in recent decades to capitalize on its watery blessings.

 

One reason is a lack of leaders with the guts and vision to make big plans and stick around long enough to make them stick. But maybe, just maybe, the city's relationship to the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie is about to change dramatically for the better.

 

Adam Wasserman, one year into his new job as president and chief executive officer of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority, has just pulled off one of the biggest city-planning coups in decades...

 

More at:  http://www.cleveland.com/entertainment/index.ssf/2008/03/port_authoritys_big_move_gives.html

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Why do we need another planning process for the Lakefront?  We just underwent one which forsaw the port moving from that land and suggested what development should be there.  This was not unforseen!  I can see reassessing the industrial area that the port is moving to in order to ensure that it is done right, but I wouldn't throw the entire lakefront plan out.

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I think that the planning process would become much more site specific. The old plan was pretty generic and simply said that the area should become residential. It provided a street grid, but it was more of a suggestion of an eventual direction. I think that this is a great way to be thinking.

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"It's easy to view the Eaton proposal as the first step toward a rapid development of other single-purpose corporate "campuses" pressing even closer to the water's edge. But Wasserman, who supports the Eaton move, said he doesn't want that to happen."

 

Thank you Mr. Wasserman.  Many of us feel the same.

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I think that the planning process would become much more site specific. The old plan was pretty generic and simply said that the area should become residential. It provided a street grid, but it was more of a suggestion of an eventual direction. I think that this is a great way to be thinking.

 

Ahh, you're right.  After reading your post I see how this is planning at a different level than what was done already.

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"We'd like to bring in some talent to stir people's imagination," he said, "folks that have worked on waterfronts in Sydney [Australia] and Barcelona [spain]. What are the greatest cities that have had an opportunity like ours? Why don't we bring those folks in?"

 

I find this very refreshing. Bring in the world's best to renew the waterfront. Experienced planners and engineers with a proven track record, specifically  in coastal restoration. 

 

No offense, but I think the makeover we require is a feat of coastal planning well beyond what the locals can provide. And certainly well beyond what I've seen from the Army Corps of Engineers.

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Developing the current port property at the lake is going to require building sewer infrastructure that is going to require a lot of uphill pumping.  That means energy.  Just sayin'.

 

Hey, can they make it less windy there in December?

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Developing the current port property at the lake is going to require building sewer infrastructure that is going to require a lot of uphill pumping.  That means energy.  Just sayin'.

 

Hey, can they make it less windy there in December?

 

Why? Use the wind to power a pump to get the sewage up the hill. Problem solved.


"Fascism begins the moment a ruling class, fearing the people may use their political democracy to gain economic democracy, begins to destroy political democracy in order to retain its power of exploitation and special privilege." -- Tommy Douglas, Scottish-born Canadian Baptist minister and the seventh Premier of Saskatchewan

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Developing the current port property at the lake is going to require building sewer infrastructure that is going to require a lot of uphill pumping.  That means energy.  Just sayin'.

 

Hey, can they make it less windy there in December?

 

If they align the streets right, yes, they can cut down on the wind some.

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Developing the current port property at the lake is going to require building sewer infrastructure that is going to require a lot of uphill pumping.  That means energy.  Just sayin'.

 

Hey, can they make it less windy there in December?

 

The current port property is currently developed and should have high capacity infrastructure for the work that is being performed there.  I could see some upgrades needed due to new infrastructure.

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