Walking Tour of Coventry? There's an app for that

The Cleveland Historical app guides users through a history of the Heights area.

On Saturday, May 19, from 10 a.m. to noon, FutureHeights, along with the Cleveland Heights Historical Society and Cleveland State University’s Digital Humanities Department, will host An App-Enhanced Walking Tour of the Coventry Village Neighborhood. The tour will start at Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Arch by Coventry Village Library, and will occur rain or shine.

Mark Souther, associate professor of history at Cleveland State University and member of the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, will guide walkers through Coventry’s beginnings as a planned garden suburb in the late 1800s to the counterculture epicenter of the 1960s. The tour will include stops in the business district, as well as the surrounding neighborhood.

Volunteers from FutureHeights will assist participants who wish to download the Cleveland Historical mobile phone app, which was developed by Souther’s team at CSU, on their own mobile phones. The app can be downloaded prior to the tour at the App Store (for iPhone) or Android Market. You can also download a copy prior to the tour at http://clevelandhistorical.org.

“You don’t need to own a smart phone to enjoy Saturday’s tour,” said Souther. “We’ll be using the app to help enhance the tour with historic photos and audio clips of people telling the history of their neighborhood.” If you have a smart phone, bring it, and guides will show you how to download and navigate through the Cleveland Historical app.

May is National Preservation Month, and this year Cleveland Heights organizations are hosting a number of lectures and tours from May until July. Souther said via twitter, if you are in or near the Heights, “watch for 40 new [Cleveland Historical] sites this summer.”

Coventry Village is the first of four neighborhoods that will be featured in a Cleveland Historical mobile app tour. FutureHeights, together with Cleveland State University’s Center for Public History and Digital Humanities the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission and the Cleveland Heights Historical Society, is creating the tours to showcase the unique and well-preserved historic neighborhoods and cultural assets that make Cleveland Heights a desirable place to live and work. Through the Cleveland Historical app, visitors are encouraged to explore the Heights at their own pace by using their smart phones. The project is generously funded by the residents of Cuyahoga County through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, and with support from The City of Cleveland Heights, Cleveland Heights Mayor Ed Kelley, the Coventry Village SID, the Cedar Fairmount SID, Nighttown Restaurant, Council Member Dennis Wilcox and others.

The other neighborhoods selected for the project are Noble Road, Dugway Brook and Euclid Golf/Cedar Fairmount. Each tour consists of eight to ten historic sites that are linked to tell the story of the neighborhood. Community volunteers have worked with the project team to research each site and tell the neighborhood’s story through historic photographs, interviews and other documents.

To register for the May 19 tour, call 216-320-1423 or e-mail info@futureheights.org.

Saturday's tour is one of several free events planned in Cleveland Heights to celebrate National Historic Preservation Month. The activities are co-sponsored by the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, Cleveland Heights Historical Society, Heights Libraries, FutureHeights, Heights Bicycle Coalition and the Home Repair Resource Center. Click here for a full listing of events. For additional information, contact Kara Hamley O’Donnell at 216-291-4885 or kodonnell@clvhts.com.

Chris Hanson

Chris Hanson is a senior in the Urban Studies program at Cleveland State University and an intern at FutureHeights. He joined the Army National Guard in April 2012.

Read More on Heights History
Volume 5, Issue 6, Posted 9:00 AM, 05.15.2012