Cleveland – June 2019 – Architecture and Public Art of University Circle

Featured on a number of postings, the University Circle area of Cleveland is home to Case Western Reserve University, as well as most of the museums for the city.

We were in town on this sunny Saturday for ‘Parade the Circle’ (featured on an upcoming posting), we also wanted to participate in a walking tour of the area lead by the volunteers from ‘Take a Hike Cleveland’, but apparently because of the parade they cancelled. As with other times like this, we made our own tour.



The Cleveland History Center features a carousel from a long lost amusement park – Euclid Beach.



The Cancer Survivors Plaza. A local independent newspaper named this the worst public sculpture in America, with the surreal look of the people seemingly running away from something.




The tower in the background (and on the featured photo for this posting) has unique brickwork.




Just across the street the Museum of Natural History has an excellent welcoming sign.



While the population of Cleveland has dropped precipitously over the last 50 years, there are still some grand old apartment buildings in the city, as evidenced by the Park Lane Villa.



The Maltz Performing Arts Center. Built in 1924 as the Temple Tifereth, it now serves the arts community.



There are statues scattered throughout the area.



A view of University Circle United Methodist Church.



There was once the largest skating rink the world located in here – the Elysian. It is celebrated by art on an electrical box.




Mark Hanna – While William McGinley was officially the president, Mark told him what to do.




A view of the Museum of Art.




Severance Hall – home of the Cleveland Orchestra.



The Kelvin Smith Library at Case Western Reserve.



Case Western Reserve was at one time two separate entities, including the Western Reserve College for Women.



A chapel at Case Western Reserve.




Finally, the best building in the area. It is now home to the Cleveland Institute of Art, but it’s first life was as an assembly plant for making Ford Model T’s!






Southeastern Ohio – April 2019 – Interesting and Unusual Sights Part 2

Part 2 of the Southeastern Ohio tour shows some of the results of the struggles that an area that has been economically depressed for decades looks like.

A Ghost Sign in New Lexington.





Apparently not much fun in the sun anymore. It seems like it would’ve always been a bad business model because pools are expensive, and this area has never had much personal income, not to mention it is sparsely populated.





Some seem to have a unique beauty in their deterioration.





While others seem to be just barely standing.





Welcome to Historic Shawnee, Ohio!




This town once had over 3000 residents, now it is down to 600.




While at first glance it appears to be a ghost town, Shawnee is hanging on. While many of the buildings are vacant, some continue to be used.




Closer inspection of this ‘building’ shows the front is still there, but the rest of the building is gone, resulting in a courtyard of sorts.




This building, completed in 1907, was originally a hotel that hosted among others William McKinley. In addition there has always been a theater within.

This theater has recently been restored, and hosts concerns, plays and amazingly basketball games.




When buying a ‘fixer upper’, make sure it isn’t relying on the neighbor to stand up. (amazingly the small building behind the sign had a sign on the front indicating it was the real estate agents office, but it seems unlikely.




While sadly worn down, the buildings do have interesting architectural elements to them. If this were anywhere near somewhere with real estate in demand these cool little old buildings would be snapped up and restored.




With Shawnee being far from any population or jobs centers, they just look like a movie set.




Moving on, we passed this once a school, once a church, now (apparently) vacant building.





In nearby Glouster is a worn sign for The Wonder Bar (which apparently is long gone). No Wonder Dogs for lunch today.





Nearby is what looks like a scene from a Hitchcock movie – and old dilapidated building covered with birds.





Just out of town is an abandoned school, which nature is taking over.





As noted in Part 1 of this day, Nelsonville was a brick town. A park on the outskirts of town have the remains of a brick factory.




With the tower and a couple of large kilns, it is very cool place to check out.




This factory was started in 1880, and closed in 1940.




Amazingly the bricks are still sitting in the kiln.




Look closely you will see ‘Nelsonville Block’ embossed in many of the bricks. This company won awards for their bricks at the World’s Fair in St Louis in 1904.




Stacks of bricks are stored in the park (thankfully it appears nobody is stealing them).





Nearby is the Hocking Canal Lock 19 remains. Canals were essential to the initial development of the area in the mid 1800s.



This photo is representative of transportation in the area over the times. First there was the canal, then the railroad killed the canals.

The railroad itself was mostly displaced by the highway. Why can I stand in the middle of the highway and take this picture? Because it too has been displaced by a newer freeway that bypass all of the towns and this section of road, further killing any chance of survival these towns have.





Our final stop is in the interesting little town of Haydenville.



Haydenville is a company town founded by Columbus industrialist Peter Hayden. If you check out my posts of the Historic Architecture of Broad Street in Columbus you will find the Hayden Building and the New Hayden Building.
https://rdzphotographyblog.com/2019/03/11/columbus-march-2019-a-broad-street-national-historic-registry-lesson/

For his company town Hayden used the products he produced for sale to build the buildings.




The town was built in stages, and the materials reflect the era that they were producing them in the factory.




Some have interesting architectural features (and satellite dishes and trash).




Even the church was built out of the Haydenville Mining and Manufacturing company’s products.




In fact closer inspection shows a plethora of different tiles used for accent pieces and features.




Even some of the individual homes have these features. Note the pipes in the upper part of the left side of this house used for decoration.




Next door is a similar one, with slightly different features.




The final really unique house in the old company town of Haydenville.

Southesatern Ohio parallels much of Appalachia – there is natural beauty, but much has been destroyed by rampant disregard of nature for the benefit of industry for 100 years or so, now it is left on it’s own.

Yet some survive, either through tourism or other means. Regardless there is much to see in the area, and worth a trip (with an open mind to ‘beauty’)







Southeastern Ohio – April 2019 – Interesting and Unusual Sights Part 1

A long spring Sunday was spent wandering throughout Southeastern Ohio. For those not familiar, this area of the state is the beginning of Appalachia – both the good point and bad points.

Part 1 of the posting is showing the interesting sights of the area. Part 2 (in a second post) shows some of the hardships endured.

The day started out passing through the small town of Somerset, home of the Civil War general Phillip Sheridan. His statue graces the middle of the traffic circle in the center of town.





Just south of Somerset we passed by a large collection of ‘Ghost Bikes’. These bikes are normally placed where a bicyclist was killed in accidents. I am not sure if this person is paying tribute, or makes the bikes.





Southeastern Ohio is made up of small towns that all have seen better days. They were mostly coal towns or clay/brick towns. Murray City has restored their small train depot and even has a small engine and caboose.



While inside they have the items used to run the depot. Apparently nobody has used the calculator in a long time as it was covered in cobwebs.





Nearby Glouster has restored their depot as well.




Glouster also has a number of public art installations including a large, nicely done mural showing the history of the town.




They also have a number of reproductions of famous pieces of art on the side of the building in the center of town.





Nearby Nelsonville is a center for tourism for the area, as they have a very popular scenic railroad. In addition the town square has been restored, including this great building – the Stuart Opera House.

Nelsonville has a music festival that brings ‘nationally known’ artists, as well as many regional artists. The Stuart also hosts many concerts.




This stylish house on the edge of the town square is made of some locally made bricks, with the interesting coloring.




Nelsonville was a brick town, as noted by this great building and the brick street.




One of the manufacturers was the Star Brick company, with their distinctive stars embossed in each brick.





With the natural beauty of the hills and valleys, it has become a tourist mecca with nearby Hocking Hills being the center.

As with many parts of the country they have converted old railways to trails. This trail goes through the King Hollow Tunnel. This tunnel is unique in that is was (and still is) wood frame, as opposed to stone or concrete. It was recently restored and stabilized but still done with wood.





Nearby Lake Hope State Park has a historic Iron Furnace.





The highlight of this area is the famed Moonville Tunnel. The guide at the visitor center told us to take a road until we reached the stream and walk across the bridge. Clearly this is not the bridge to cross.




We eventually found the correct one, and headed for the tunnel. The Moonville Tunnel is infamous for being haunted, with numerous different stories about ghosts.





All we found were graffiti from previous ghosts (or tacky people).





It has rained a lot recently and the side of the trail through the tunnel had a light layer of water which coupled with the stunning amount of graffiti gave it an interesting look.

Part 2 of this day is highlighted in a second post.






Columbus – April 2019 – The Dog Show Returns

The annual dog show returned, so it is time once again for ‘what are the dogs really thinking’.

Starting with – “does my tongue look big to you.”





“I think they have been cloning me”





“Why am I here”





“What did I do now?”





“No – I want to go this way”





“I can stand like this all day”





“Lady get my treat out of your mouth – why do they all do that”





“Whadda ya lookin’ at?”





“I like her hair – it looks like mine”





“Keep up lady”





“You really gave me this look?”





“I am cooler than all of you”





Cleveland – March 2019 – Statuary Faces Are Watching You

Have you ever walked around a city and get a feeling someone was watching you. They are, and I am not referring to the thousands of security cameras – it is the faces on the sculptures and statues all over the older buildings of the city.

Our friends in the 14th Street/8th Avenue subway station in Manhattan apparently have cousins at the Cleveland Library!





The classic Post Office and Library buildings have numerous sculptures all over them.





The Society Bank Building have some of the more intense looks.





Sculptures along the Mall.





The Guardian Building lion.





Another Euclid Avenue building.





Finally this guy is watching over the Colonial Arcade.






Cleveland – March 2019 – Historic Downtown Buildings

Since we were in downtown Cleveland for the Historic Hotel tours, we took the opportunity to check out some other great old buildings.

Most of the buildings are on the National Historic Registry, but interestingly not all.

The Leader Building is a 106 year old, 15 floor structure along Superior Avenue. The name comes from it’s original owner – the Cleveland Leader newspaper. Designed in a Beaux Arts style, it is currently undergoing renovations.








The Main Library was completed in 1925, situated between Superior Avenue and the Mall. Both the Library and the Federal Building next door are on the National Historic Registry.







The Federal Building and Post Office Building was part of the 1903 Group Plan, which built the Mall and a number of the buildings surrounding it. Since it was the first building completed under the plan, it served as the model for others.

The Beaux Arts styling contrasts nicely against some of the newer buildings.







The Society for Savings Building on Public Square was completed in 1889. For 10 years it was the tallest building in Cleveland, eventually being surpassed by the Guardian Bank Building (visited during the Historic Hotel Tour).

The Gothic, Romanesque and Renaissance styles give this structure a lot of character, resulting in it’s inclusion in the National Historic Registry.









The Old Stone Church was added to Public Square in 1855, the oldest significant structure in downtown Cleveland.





The 15 floor building at 75 Public Square was designed by Hubbell & Benes. In use for more than 100 years, there are plans in place to convert the building to apartments.





The Terminal Tower and the Union Station complex. When built in the late 1920s, the Terminal Tower was the tallest building outside of New York when completed. It it part of the massive complex built by the Van Sweringen brothers, who also built rapid transit lines to the suburb of Shaker Heights (which they also built).





The May Company building has been on the southeast corner of Public Square since 1915, designed by the famed Chicago architect Daniel Burnham. As you can see it too is undergoing restoration.





The City Club Building is located on Euclid Avenue. Completed in 1903 as the Citizens Savings and Trust Bank, it became home to the City Club of Cleveland in the 1980s.





Our next stop for lunch was at the Cleveland Trust Rotunda. A recent post featured this building, but it is worth a second look. It has been restored into a Heinen’s Grocery Store.










While it may seem strange to end up at the bus station, in Cleveland it is worth it. The Greyhound Station on Chester Avenue is an Art Deco Masterpiece.