May events celebrate Historic Preservation Month
“The City of Cleveland Heights recognizes and promotes our aesthetically diverse neighborhoods,” said Kara Hamley O’Donnell, historic preservation planner for the city. It is one of the reasons why the city has participated in National Preservation Month for more than 20 years.
“We are particularly proud of the fact that Cleveland Heights is home to 11 historic districts listed in the National Register of Historic Places,” she said. “That puts us sixth in the state, behind only Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo and Dayton.”
Four events, presented by the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, the Cleveland Heights Historical Society and Heights Libraries, mark National Preservation Month 2013 in the city.
During the month of May, Cleveland Heights joins communities throughout the United States to “See! Save! and Celebrate!” the significant places that have contributed to the American experience through presentations and walking tours. All of the events are free, but space is limited and pre-registration is required.
Author Lecture, 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 1, at the Lee Road Library
Author Alan Dutka will discuss "Historic Nightlife" and chronicle the history of East Fourth Street and Short Vincent Avenue, two tiny downtown Cleveland streets that are long on character and excitement. Today, East Fourth Street is the center of a chic residential and entertainment district commanding national attention—The New York Times has published articles about its amazing renaissance.
Short Vincent, once filled with elegant restaurants and seedy bars, also acquired a nationwide reputation, along with ample notoriety. Dutka's books will be available for purchase. Register for this event at www.heightslibrary.org or call 216-932-3600.
Walking Tour of Cedar Fairmount, 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, May 18, at Cedar Fairmount
Roy Larick and Bill Barrow, who call themselves the Bluestone Heights Deep History Team, will offer a walking tour of Cedar Fairmount. The neighborhood holds a delightful mix of natural and cultural landscapes, and is home to two different types of rock layers, former quarries in surprising places, and many stone homes built from them. Explore how the Heights was first opened to settlement and suburban development. Find the underlying nature of Turkey Ridge and Blue Rock Brook, and learn about their transformation by developers. The tour begins from the upper parking lot, behind the Heights Medical Building, 2446–2482 Fairmount Blvd. at Cedar Road, and will take place rain or shine. To register, call the Cleveland Heights Planning Department at 216-291-4878.
Walking Tour of Lee Road, 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 29, at the Lee Road Library
Local historians Mark Souther, Mazie Adams and Kara Hamley O’Donnell will give a crash course on the Cleveland Historical mobile phone app (bring your smart phone or tablet, if you have one), followed by a short presentation on the history of Lee Road. Then, take a walking tour down Lee Road to learn about its architecture and older businesses, and end with an optional beer and whiskey tasting at Parnell's Pub (for a small fee). Registration begins May 15 at www.heightslibrary.org or 216-932-3600.
Cain Park 75th Anniversary Celebration, 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 5, at the Lee Road Library
This event kicks off a summer-long celebration of a Cleveland Heights treasure. Emily Smith, a master’s degree candidate from Ursuline College, will share her wealth of knowledge of this WPA-built park. Learn about Cain Park’s 75-year history through historic images, playbills and other items archived by the city. Smith will describe the physical changes made to the park, as well as its transformation from a summer stock theatre to the Cain Park of today. Registration begins May 22 at www.heightslibrary.org or 216-932-3600.
Deanna Bremer Fisher
Deanna Bremer Fisher is executive director of FutureHeights and publisher of the Heights Observer.