Urban Exploration

Kent architecture alum, Ted Ferringer M.Arch ’08, MUD ’08, took these photos while exploring the urban outskirts of Cleveland.  His descriptions of place are coupled with the photography.



This photo is from the roof of the old Howard Johnson’s hotel at the north end of E. 55th Street, just off of I90. This photo was taken during the Labor Day weekend airshow, which some friends and I spent the afternoon watching from the roof. That roof probably has the best view in the city.

The building is currently being demo-ed, but the work has paused as the building’s owner has sued the city, who was demo-ing it through eminent domain.

A common collaborator of mine and good friend, Ryan DeBiase, embellished the day’s events in a blog post, here. It’s a work of creative non-fiction; some events are true, some are complete lies.  Granted, he still re-caped the day’s events better then I ever could.

Its pretty ironic that the demo of the building started, then stopped, and now looks like it was bombed. It seems somehow appropriate, however, that the lies of that day eventually became a sort of fact.


6611 Euclid Ave. (1) and (2)


These photos were taken during another urban exploration with my common companion for such things, Mr. DeBiase. This building intrigued us the second we saw it after moving to Cleveland. It’s located along the Euclid Corridor, and its basic story is that it used to be light industrial/warehouse space (I believe it housed a garment factory for a number of years) before eventually being abandoned.

When the Euclid Corridor project started, the front bay of the building  on the Euclid Ave. side was cut off to accommodate the wider street. For quite a while the building sat unsecured, with the entire front of the building sitting open–creating an amazing real-life building section.


Again, there seems to something inherently poetic about having to cut into the former soul of the city (a former manufacturing building)–creating a monumental scar–for progress to take place.

The RTA, which owns the building, has since covered the front of the building with giant metal panels, creating a new billboard/super graphic along the corridor, promising better times ahead. Like all things Cleveland, the potential is amazing, if perhaps forever unrealized.

I also happened to do a real estate case study for this property in a real estate class at CSU’s Levin College. This property would make an amazing technology/health care incubator site, as the shell of the building is in amazing shape, in an amazing location. It could make an incredible mixed use, TOD development.

Photos from this day’s real were just used in an article about this idea.

(Ted Ferringer lives in Ohio City and works for a local architecture firm.)

* If you have photography of Cleveland (especially about topics of urban development) that you would like to see on this blog, feel free to leave a comment with your email address, and we’ll get back to you.

by marianne eppig

4 Comments on “Urban Exploration”

  • Architecture Blogs


    [...] Kent architecture alum, Ted Ferringer M.Arch ’08, MUD ’08, took these photos while exploring the urban outskirts of Cleveland. His descriptions of place are coupled with the photography. 2817718691_2fb0d76b82_o. Admiring … [...]…

    06-08-09 » 12:05 pm »

  • Jess

    I would love to go out exploring with you guys sometime….. Just moved to Cleveland a few months ago – looks like there are tons of places to check out…. let me know! —Jess

    06-15-09 » 1:45 pm »

  • Marianne Eppig

    Hey Jess,
    That’s great! We’ll definitely keep you posted about when there are Pop Up City events (which all occur in underutilized urban spaces) and other urban adventures. The next Pop Up City event is the BRIDGE PROJECT—taking place September 25 and 26, 2009, at the Streetcar Level of the Detroit Superior Bridge (click here for more info).

    Also, check out the workshops for Reimagining a More Sustainable Cleveland, which open up our vacant lot reutilization projects to the public (post).

    And if you are ever in the mood to go exploring on your own or with friends, I recommend biking through the city. You see a lot more from your bike than you would from an automobile. One of my favorite bike trips is taking the Euclid Ave. bike lane downtown through the city, then over the Detroit Superior Bridge. You can bike down Detroit Rd. all the way until Lincoln Park, which is part of the Cleveland Metroparks and is a beautiful oasis of green in the city.

    I hope this gives you some ideas!

    06-15-09 » 10:24 pm »

  • Britton

    Nice way to frame the view of the city…

    08-03-09 » 9:53 pm »

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