02-29-16

Ohio History Fund / New Life for Old Houses

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The Ohio History Fund supports innovative historic preservation projects across the state. Please consider donating to the Fund. It’s easy. Just look for “Ohio History Fund” on your Ohio tax return and designate a dollar amount. That’s it! Your tax-deductible donation goes to support history projects in local Ohio communities.

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The Ohio History Fund is a generous sponsor of the CUDC’s soon-to-be released publication, New Life for Old Homes. This guide contains ideas and advice for rehabbing vacant and abandoned housing that might otherwise be demolished. It includes recommendations and lessons-learned from Kent State University’s first design re/Build project—a beautiful reclaimed home at 1045 E. 67th Street in Cleveland’s St, Clair Superior neighborhood. The renovations to the design re/Build house were designed and implemented by undergraduate students from the KSU’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design, with the help of dozens of community volunteers. We’re currently completing the final punch list and the house is available for sale. Contact us at cudc[at]kent.edu if you’re interested in this very special property.

And look for the release of New Life for Old Homes later this spring.

12-22-15

The design/REbuild House nears completion at the end of 2015

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With major support from the George Gund Foundation and numerous other partners, the CUDC at Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design have nearly completed our first design/REbuild house. The design/REbuild initiative aims to recapture the value of vacant Cleveland houses that would otherwise be demolished.

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Our first design/REbuild house is at 1045 E. 67 Street in the St. Clair Superior neighborhood. Thanks to the efforts of KSU students and many community volunteers, we’re now completing the final punch list for a Certificate of Occupancy. The St. Clair Superior Development Corporation, which owns the house, is now negotiating with a buyer. The proceeds from the sale of this first house will be used to rehab another house in the neighborhood. We’re house hunting now!

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In the spring of 2016, the CUDC will release New Life for Old Homes, a guide book that captures rehab lessons from the design/REbuild house and other recent low cost/high impact housing rehab projects in the city. Thanks to the generous support of the Ohio History Fund, the publication will be available free of charge through the CUDC website.

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12-17-15

Historic Preservation in Legacy Cities

Brush Park_Emilie_Evans(photo credit: Emilie Evans)

In 2014, Cleveland State hosted a conference that looked at historic preservation issues for legacy cities. The term “legacy cities” refers to places like Cleveland, which are experiencing a level of population loss and vacancy that puts historic buildings and neighborhoods at risk. The conference laid the groundwork for a growing network of preservation agencies and allied organizations, including the Preservation Rightsizing Network (PRN), the American Assembly at Columbia University, and the Cleveland Restoration Society, and many others.

The 2014 conference included a day-long work session to discuss some of the unique preservation challenges faced by legacy cities. Preservation leaders from around the country participated in this event. Key ideas and  outcomes of the workshop were captured in an action agenda intended to guide collaborative preservation efforts in Legacy Cities. PRN engaged the CUDC to produce a concise and visually compelling summary of this work. The Action Agenda for Historic Preservation in Legacy Cities was released at a public event, held at Rutgers University in Newark in early December.

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As part of the release event, CUDC director Terry Schwarz facilitated a workshop to discuss national priorities for historic preservation in legacy cities from the Action Agenda and discuss the goals and framework of a multi-city pilot project for 2016 and beyond. The results of this workshop will support preservation efforts in Cleveland and other cities that represent the range of challenges and opportunities in legacy cities.

A follow up conference will be held in Detroit in June of 2016. Please contact PRN for additional information.

Vacant Not Blighted 1 - Credit Emilie Evans_bw(photo credit: Emilie Evans)

10-08-15

Havana: the future never happened by itself…

 

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On October 7th, the CUDC hosted a lecture by the influential Cuban architect and urban planner, Miguel Coyula. Professor Coyula is on the faculty at the University of Havana. In his lecture at the CUDC, he talked about Havana–past, present, and future. He organized his remarks around a central idea:

The future never happened by itself. It was created.

As many have observed, Havana is a city that feels fixed in time. Yet everything is on the verge of change. Buildings, infrastructure, and public spaces throughout the city are crumbling due to the decades-long embargo, widespread poverty, and a complex political system that allocates resources inefficiently. As foreign capital flows into Cuba at an accelerating rate, local entrepreneurs and outside investors are beginning to transform the city. The long term cultural effects and the physical form of the city in the future are as yet unknown. And Havana’s future is yet to be created.

 

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Professor Coyula is both optimistic and concerned about the future of Havana. He sees opportunities to learn from other cities; that every city can show you something, good or bad. But despite the outside pressures and international influences that will inevitably be part of Havana’s regeneration, his advice to architects and planners in Cuba is to:

Think Cuban. Be Cuban. Don’t imitate.

In the US, we’re on the outside looking in. But that too is about to change. Havana poses many complex questions…about architecture, real estate development, historic preservation, and infrastructure networks. We have a remarkable opportunity to both support reconstruction efforts in Havana with new technologies and design expertise, and simultaneously learn from the resourcefulness and tenacity of the many Cubans who’ve held their city together under difficult circumstances for the past six decades.

Havana remains a vibrant place, though the scale of disinvestment feels overwhelming at times. But there’s good reason for optimism and the US and Cuba gradually rediscover each other.

The Kent State’s College of Architecture and Environmental Design and the CUDC are exploring opportunities to engage our students, faculty, and research staff in Cuban design issues. In March of 2015, CAED Dean Doug Steidl and CUDC Director Terry Schwarz traveled to Havana with Jorge Delgado and James Thompson of the Joaquin Weiss Institute. The purpose of this trip was to observe the physical environment of the city and provide initial reactions about how future development might evolve. We also used the trip to explore ideas for future academic programs. Our findings are summarized in a report: CUBA_observations.

The CUDC is grateful to Kent State University President Lester Lefton who provided support for Miguel Coyula’s visit to Cleveland, and also to KSU Professor Anne Morrison who organized the event. Anne is organizing a study trip to Cuba from December 31, 2015 – January 8, 2016. If you’d like to see Cuba for yourself, contact Anne at amorriso[at]kent.edu for more information.

04-20-15

Spring Lecture Series | Terry Schwarz

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CUDC LUNCH TALK

Terry Schwarz

Friday, April 24th 12-1pm

CUDC Conference Room, 1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200

Event is free and all are welcome!

Click here to RSVP.

Cuba–hasta siempre

Havana, Cuba is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, despite decades of disinvestment in its historic architecture and civic infrastructure. As diplomatic relations begin to improve between the US and Cuba and the long-standing trade embargo is lifted, foreign investment will pour into Havana. The rapid influx of new money and ideas may help to stabilize Havana, but will also inevitably disrupt and transform the city in unpredictable ways.

Last month, Doug Steidl, Dean of the College of Architecture and Environmental Design at Kent State, and Terry Schwarz, Director of KSU’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative, traveled to Cuba at the invitation of Hiram College and the Joaquín Weiss Institute. At Friday’s lunch talk, Terry will discuss some emerging opportunities for design and urban regeneration in Havana.

To RSVP, please click here. (RSVPs encouraged, but not required.)

For more information, please contact us at cudc@kent.edu or (216) 357-3434.

03-09-15

CUDC receives grant through the Ohio History Connection

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The CUDC is pleased to announce that it has received a grant from the Ohio History Connection to produce a user-friendly, how-to guide for the rehabilitation of historic and traditional housing stock in areas of Cleveland and northeast Ohio that have experienced disinvestment and decline. The guide will describe and advocate for low-cost and high-quality solutions that are based on the Secretary of Interior’s Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties. The guide will promote historic preservation by helping property owners rehabilitate a neighborhood’s historic fabric to encourage community investment and preservation.

The Ohio History Connection awarded 13 organizations History Fund grants. The History Fund is a competitive matching grants program that is one of four “tax check-off” funds found on Ohio’s income tax forms and funded entirely through Ohio taxpayers’ voluntary contributions.

The Ohio History Connection’s History Fund had $130,000 to grant–$20,000 more than last year–and awarded 13 grants to organizations throughout Ohio. The History Fund received 33 applications requesting a total of $388,000 in grant-funding, underscoring the importance of the need for this grant program for history and preservation-related projects throughout Ohio.

10-21-14

Volunteer Day | October 25, 2014

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It’s time to get our Design [re] Build House ready for the winter! We’re not yet finished with the house interior, but this Saturday, October 25th we’ll be hosting an all-day volunteer party.

Curious about the project? Interested in ideas about bringing Cleveland’s vacant housing stock back to life? Swing by 1045 E 67th St. between 9 am-5 pm , check it out, and lend a hand.

Tasks will include landscaping, construction waste cleanup, some concrete work, and boarding up windows. We’ll provide some refreshments, but if you are planning on coming all day, please bring a packed lunch.

If you’re interested please RSVP to Kristen Zeiber at: kzeiber[at]kent.edu or 216-357-3437 by Thursday, October 23rd, so we can plan team sizes in advance. Thanks for all your help!

If you can’t make it to our volunteer day, but would still like to help. The St. Clair Superior Development Corporation (SCSDC) has been chosen to compete in the Enterprise Nurture an Idea Award challenge for the Design [re] Build project. You can donate here.

06-02-14

Announcing URBAN INFILL Vol. 7: Preservation Instigations

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Kent State University’s Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative (CUDC) invites designers, writers, artists, and thinkers to submit abstracts for Volume 7 of our annual publication, Urban InfillUrban Infill examines themes in contemporary urban design, architecture, and planning. Past volumes have addressed shrinking cities, temporary urbanism, urban hydrology, and storytelling, urban diagrams, and cold-climate design. Past issues can be viewed here. Volume 7, tentatively titled Preservation Instigations, is devoted to historic preservation in a context of uncertainty and loss. For more information, themes and guiding questions please download the Call for Submissions. Please submit an abstract or description of 200 words or less, along with no more than five thumbnail images – total file size under 5MBs. Send abstracts and/or images to cudc[at]kent.edu no later than 9 JUNE 2014 

05-30-14

CUDC’s Jeff Kruth to Present at CSU’s Historic Preservation Conference | June 5, 2014

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Cleveland State University and the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs are convening an interdisciplinary meeting to discuss the role of historic preservation in revitalizing America’s Legacy Cities. This is the first event to bring together key stakeholders and decision-makers from cities where entrenched population loss and economic decline present difficult challenges for the future of the urban built environment. 

CUDC Urban Designer, Jeff Kruth will be presenting Thursday, June 5th, from 1:30-3:00 PM at the sessions titled: Industrial Heritage, Activism & Social Values in U.S. and International Legacy Cities.

Jeff’s presentation examines the role and legacy of public housing and urban agriculture as ways to preserve long-standing neighborhoods who may have valuable, though scattered resources in legacy cities, as well as catalyze growth . Recent pilot projects and policies pertaining to vacant land have created an alternative vision and relationship to the landscape in legacy cities with large swaths of vacancies. However, there has yet to be a corollary redefinition as it pertains to the unique challenges facing public housing development and neighborhood stability in general. Framed broadly, this presentation seeks to fit into a larger context that asks questions about strategies for declining social infrastructure in legacy cities.

The session will be moderated by the CUDC’s Director, Terry Schwarz, and will also feature Kate Daly (New York City Landmarks Commission), Anne B. Raines (Maryland Historical Trust), and Daniel Campo (Morgan State University).

For more information about the Historic Preservation in America’s Legacy Cities Conference and registration information please visit here.

04-08-14

Terry Schwarz on Panel Discussion for HUD Quarterly Meeting

CUDC Director, Terry Schwarz, will be part of a panel discussion at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, DC, Thursdays, April 10th.

This quarterly meeting will examine Vacant and Abandoned Properties: Turning Liabilities Into Assets. Building on the current issue of Evidence Matters this update will consider vacancy from various perspectives and examine the work that communities are doing to limit or reverse its negative effects. The panel will discuss land banks that assemble parcels of land and maintain vacant properties until the land can be returned to productive use. In addition short-term uses such as stores, parks, and art projects that bring vibrancy to otherwise blighted spaces will be discussed.

If you are in the DC area and would like to attend please register here. The event will also be webcast live, more information available here.

Thursday, April 10, 2014
2:00 – 4:00 PM
Brooke-Mondale Auditorium
HUD Headquarters

Evidence Matters Winter 2013Photo credits from left to right: Cuyahoga County Land Reuitilization; McAllen Public Library; GTECH Strategies

03-04-14

Steve Rugare | Lunch Lecture | March 7, 2014

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Assistant Professor, Steve Rugare, will be this Friday’s Lunch Lecturer. His topic will be the “Great Lakes Exposition: Architectural and Planning Questions”.

The Great Lakes Exposition of 1936-37 was one of the outstanding planning and design success stories in Cleveland’s history. It’s also one of the least-studied the expositions held in American cities during the New Deal era. In this progress report on his research, Steve Rugare will examine the fairs significance in the history of Cleveland’s lakefront and frame key questions about its relationship to other expositions and the development of modern architecture in the US. To conclude, he will look briefly at what would be required to stage a successful exposition in Cleveland today.

This event is free and open to the public.

Lunch Lecture
March 7, 2014
12-1 PM
1309 Euclid Ave., Suite 200
Cleveland, OH 44115

More images of The Great Lakes Exposition after the jump. Read more…

01-29-14

Historic Preservation in America’s Legacy Cities | Proposal Submission due 2/1

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Historic Preservation in America’s Legacy Cities is an Interdisciplinary Convening hosted by The Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and The Cleveland Restoration Society. It will take place at the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University from Thursday, June 5 through Saturday, June 7, 2014. There will be a mix of speaker sessions, roundtable discussions and local tours.

The purpose is to discuss the role of historic preservation in revitalizing America’s legacy cities, where long‐term population loss and economic decline present significant challenges for the future of the urban built environment. These cities have significant cultural heritage and a large stock of historic buildings, yet vacancy and abandonment are very pressing realities and, at times, demolition may be the best course of action.

This convening will not only answer the difficult questions that legacy cities face, but will be an opportunity to collaborate, share ideas, and devise solutions.

Proposals are invited on any topic that addresses the role of historic preservation in America’s Legacy cities. Deadline for submission is February 1, 2014. For more information and potential topics please see the Call for Presentations.

01-27-14

James Thompson Lunch Lecture | Jan 31

Garfield Scholars group led by James Thompson (lower right) in front of a fountain at the Plaza de San Francisco in Old Havana, Cuba. Photo credit: Hiram College

Join us January 31st at the CUDC for a Friday Lunch Lecture by James Thompson entitled, Designing the Future: Politics, Architecture, and the Cuban Aesthetic Question.

James Thompson is Associate Professor in Political Science at Hiram College. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts from Saint Mary’s College of California, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. Thompson specializes in International Relations and Political Theory.

The event is free and open to the public. RSVPs appreciated at: cudc@kent.edu

Friday, January 31st
12:15PM – 1:15PM
Kent State CUDC
1309 Euclid Avenue, Suite 200
(Playhouse Square, Downtown Cleveland)

01-06-14

Terry Schwarz to Speak at Shaker Historical Society

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The CUDC’s Director, Terry Schwarz, will be the featured guest speaker at the Shaker Historical Society’s 67th Annual Meeting of the Members. The free event will be held from 4-5:30 PM, January 19, 2014 at the Shaker Historical Society, located at 16740 S. Park Blvd. The meeting will include light refreshments, a review of the year 2013 and election of officers and trustees.

Terry will discuss “Historic Preservation and Urban Regeneration.”  Her remarks will focus on the changing role of historic preservation in Cleveland, and other cities in similar circumstances. A city is a working artifact, constantly subjected to the forces of change, loss, and reinvention. The artifacts of the past require diligent stewardship in order to understand and inform the paths of human progress. But when hundreds (or thousands) of buildings are erased in an effort to cope with effects of population decline and disinvestment, how do we decide what to protect? And how can we derive meaning from that which remains? Perhaps we can find new ways to commemorate past glories and anticipate future uncertainties that are embodied in the present moment.

In 2014, the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative will explore historic preservation issues as a co-sponsor of a conference in June at Cleveland State, entitled “Historic Preservation in America’s Legacy Cities.” Historic Preservation will also be the topic of the CUDC’s annual publication, Urban Infill, scheduled for release in October.

Make reservations before January 17th by calling 216-921-1201 or sending an email to sclements @ shakershistory.org. The meeting is open to the public.

Event Information
Sunday, January 19, 2014 4-5:30 PM
Shaker Historical Society
16740 South Park Blvd
Shaker Heights, Ohio 44120