The Electric Roller DiscoTech event is a wonderful example of the creative potential in Cleveland, which the Pop Up City initiative works to reveal. The 2008/2009 Cleveland Executive Fellows partnered with Pop Up City and St. Clair Superior Development Corporation to host a temporary use event on the 3rd floor of the underused Leff Electric building.

Leff Electric has been around since 1921 and currently occupies a small portion of its namesake building on E. 40th Street in Cleveland. Much of the building is currently vacant, but has wonderful views of Downtown and Lake Erie, rooms cavernous enough for roller skating, as well as more intimate spaces for lounging.

In April 2009, the Fellows went on an International Best Practices Trip to Germany, focusing on the re-use of vacant industrial spaces. The Fellows visited two cities: Duisburg, an industrial and manufacturing hub in the Ruhr region (a European Capital of Culture); and Stuttgart, the automotive center for the country. While in the Ruhr region, the Fellows visited Duisburg Nord Landschaft Park, and the Red Dot Museum, which are both on Germany's Route of Industrial Heritage.

In the past, the Cleveland Executive Fellows' capstone event has been a conference to discuss the International Best Practices Trip. Recognizing the importance of the experiential nature of the trip and the great number of people in Cleveland already working on creatively using industrial, vacant or otherwise non-traditional spaces (such as Pop Up City and All Go Signs), the 2008/2009 Fellows realized that a conference wouldn't work.

Instead of just talking about industrial re-use, the Fellows reached out to Pop Up City, St. Clair Superior Development Corporation and others to partner with and create an experience that can be shared with the community to really walk the walk. Or roll the roll, as the case may be.


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