Archive for the ‘Arch & the Urban Landscape’ Category

Frank Lloyd Wright found clients in Ohio later than he did in Illinois, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and other states.

But he did leave his mark on the Buckeye state, and on Northeast Ohio in particular – even if it was late in his career.

On Saturday April 9, the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, a Chicago-based organization devoted to facilitating the preservation of structures designed by Wright, will conduct a tour of five Wright houses in the area… (go to article)


Say the word “campus,” and the word “utopia” is not far off.


For those fortunate enough to get a bachelor’s or graduate degree, a college or university campus is about as close as it’s possible to get to an ideal environment sequestered from the chaos of cities and the sprawl of suburbs.

Today, however, colleges and universities are breaching their ivied walls to adopt and transform entire neighborhoods on their fringes. They’re also racing with one another to build spectacular buildings and outdoor spaces aimed at attracting the best and brightest… (go to article)


Powerful leaders from John D. Rockefeller to Daniel H. Burnham have left indelible marks on the streets, buildings, parks and public spaces of Cleveland.

Dan Gilbert, majority owner of the Cavaliers and developer of the newCleveland casino at the Higbee Building on Public Square, is next in line… (go to article)


Margaret Carney, the university architect at Case Western Reserve University since 2003, has been tapped by Temple University in Philadelphia to help manage a 10-year, $1.2 billion expansion in North Philadelphia.


The Temple project dwarfs anything at CWRU, which has not had the financial wherewithal in recent years to build large projects. Carney will leave her Cleveland job at the end of March… (go to article)


University Hospitals’ Ahuja Medical Center is a can’t-miss landmark, arguably the brightest building along Richmond and Harvard roads in Beachwood.

The 53-acre, $298 million facility officially opens Tuesday, ushering in the latest in health-care methods and technology. It’s the first new hospital to be built in Cuyahoga County from the ground up in the past 30 years… (go to article)


A community meeting set for tonight from 5 to 9 p.m. at Windows on the River in the Nautica Powerhouse is intended to kick off a city planning revolution in the Flats.

Apparently the effort won’t involve Flats Oxbow, the community development corporation that has long represented the area.

The Cleveland and Gund foundations have funded a six-month, $20,000 planning effort spearheaded by Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman and major developers and property owners with interests in or next to the Flats… (go to article)


CLEVELAND, Ohio — Traffic engineers have called the shots for decades on the planning of public space in downtown Cleveland.


Mayor Frank Jackson’s Group Plan Commission wants parity for pedestrians — if not the upper hand in certain spots.

A series of recommendations from the commission, set for discussion at a meeting this morning at Public Auditorium, assert the importance of visitors, workers and residents on foot in a downtown that has catered for decades to automobiles and buses… (go to article)


CLEVELAND, Ohio — To many Clevelanders, the Higbee Building on Public Square symbolizes everything that once was glorious about downtown.

Built in 1931, the 11-story Beaux Arts-style building, now partially occupied with offices, originally housed the vast and much beloved Higbee’s department store… (go to article)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The exteriors of the historic Higbee building downtown, a beloved fixture on Public Square since 1931, won’t be drastically altered byputting a casino in the basement and on the first three floors of the building.

Renderings made public today by Rock Ventures LLC, which has partnered with Caesars Horseshoe to open the facility by “early 2012” show that the company plans to treat the building with a light hand… (go to article)


CLEVELAND, Ohio — The re-skinning of the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building in downtown Cleveland will be a skyline-sized loss and gain.

Under a $121 million federal project funded under President Barack Obama’sstimulus program, the 32-story Celebrezze building, finished in 1967, will get an entirely new glass skin, which will be installed 2.5 feet outside the existing glass and stainless steel facade… (go to article)


A skeptic might say it would be impossible in cold, snowy Cleveland to build a house that can stay warm without a furnace. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History plans to demolish such doubts this summer, when it builds the city’s first passive house designed to use high-tech windows and insulation plus the power of the sun to stay cozy in the worst weather Northeast Ohio can throw at it… (go to article)

Downtown Cleveland doesn’t have a suburban big box store. But evolving designs for the city’s new medical mart and convention center show that Seattle-based LMN Architectsare dealing with how to introduce something similar in the historic context of the city’s neoclassical Group Plan District.

It’s a tough job, and architects from LMN, who are scheduled to share the latest iteration of its plans this morning and tomorrow, respectively, with the city’s Design Review Committee and City Planning Commission, haven’t yet reached a completely convincing conclusion. The medical mart, in renderings at least, still has a blocky, clunky quality… (go to article)


It could take some time to appreciate just how big a year 2010 was in art and architecture in Cleveland. About three years, to be precise. That’s when seeds planted over the past 12 months will bear fruit. Or should.

By 2013, or slightly sooner, the city will have a new Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, a completely expanded and renovated Cleveland Museum of Art, a downtown casino, a medical mart and a new convention center. Without actions taken in 2010, none of these things would be happening.

Here’s a look at how they happened.

— Steven Litt, Plain Dealer Art and Architecture Critic… (go to article)


A pair of Seattle design firms proposed some radical ideas today for the future of downtown, including bulldozing two parking garages north of City Hall and the Cuyahoga County Courthouse to create a green park facing north to Lake Erie.

The designers also made more pragmatic, near-term suggestions, such as including water features, sport courts, an amphitheater and an ice-skating rink… (go to article)


Case Western Reserve University is scheduled to interview four finalists today in its process to select an architect for its proposed $50 millionTinkham Veale University Center — a potential new landmark in University Circle.


Stephen Campbell, the university’s vice president for campus planning and facilities management, declined to identify the finalists, but said Thursday that “there are high design firms as part of the group we’re considering, in part because of the aspirational aesthetic needs for the facility established by [CWRU President] Barbara [Snyder] and others.” (go to article)


CLEVELAND, Ohio — Local architects have definitely noticed that all the big development projects planned for downtown Cleveland, including the medical mart, convention center and casino, are being led out-of-town designers.


Instead of whining about it, local practitioners are making constructive suggestions.

Eager to have their say on the future of the city’s core, roughly 60 local architects, landscape architects and planners convened Tuesday at the Louis Stokes Wing of the Cleveland Public Library for an all-day brainstorming session on the future of downtown… (go to article)


I’m not sure how to document this, but it’s clear from comments on this blog that many Clevelanders have “plan fatigue.” The phenomenon could be defined as a complete lack of confidence that any of the seemingly endless discussions about the future of Cleveland will result in anything concrete.

It may also have to do with the occasionally sleep-inducing effect caused by the lengthy presentations made by design consultants at public meetings before the public is invited to sound off. Voila: The city’s Group Plan Commission has a new, high-tech answer… (go to article)


Gordon Square, the emerging art district in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood on Cleveland’s West Side, has won big time kudos from theNational Endowment for the Arts and the National League of Cities.


It has also pulled down $2.7 million in recent federal, state and local grants, which will be used to build or renovate community theaters that are central to its vision of using the arts to revive a city neighborhood. “Lots of good stuff is happening,” said Joy Roller, the district’s executive director. “To me, it’s an acknowledgement that what we’re doing is not only successful, but is a novel approach, a unique approach on how to revitalize an urban core.” (go to article)


The images and music in the computer-animated video are seductive. It’s twilight in Cleveland. The skyline is aglow, and the Cuyahoga River glitters with reflections. As techno music throbs in the background, the viewpoint swoops from high above the city to the intersection of Huron Road and Ontario Street, where a gleaming new riverfront casino is lighting up the summer night.

Produced for the casino company to explore early design concepts for the proposed $600 million gaming facility, the video demonstrates the power of computer technology to create highly realistic images of architectural plans… (go to article)

Historic preservation has long had a somewhat tweedy image as the pursuit of local history buffs who refuse to let go of the past. Mike Jackson wants to change all that. As deputy state historic preservation officer for the State of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, Jackson has made it his mission to show that preservation isn’t just about saving the past, it’s about making a greener planet.

Jackson, an architect who is also an adjunct professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, is bringing his message to Cleveland Tuesday as the keynote speaker at the 37th Community Luncheon of the Cleveland Restoration Society. “The basic point is that preservation is inherently green and needs to be greener,” Jackson said by phone earlier this week… (go to article)