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Architecture, Detroit Shoreway, Letter to the Editor, Ohio City

Architectural historian, Craig Bobby, points out inaccuracies in articles on Cheerio building and W.25th Lofts project

To the editor:

(Plain Press, February 2017)        I am writing to you to inform you of some inaccuracies found in articles in the January 2017 issue of the Plain Press.  All of these are articles pertaining to local historic buildings.

In the article about the commercial building on Detroit at the corner of West 74th, which is referred to as the Cheerio Building in the article, it is stated that it was built “prior to the year 1874”.  In actuality, it was built in 1909. Its original owner was Alfred Arthur and the architectural firm responsible for its design was White & Shupe. These facts were reported in a Cleveland newspaper at the time its construction began. The author of this article apparently did not have a proper understanding of the historic maps he consulted. Depicted at this general location on the two maps he cited (dated 1881 and 1874) was the private residence of someone named Ramsey, considerably set back from the street.  Additionally, his statement that the structure was called “Marshall And Ramsey’s Allt” is extremely misguided. “Allt” is an abbreviation for “Allotment” and it merely refers to the formal subdivision of land in that vicinity of which this specific property was part. The names of all of the allotments are given on these maps.

In the article regarding the buildings involved in the recent West 25th Street Lofts project, the author claims that the historic former address of the former Odd Fellows Building was 1526 Pearl.  In actuality, it was 315-321 Pearl. The historic former address of the former Baehr Brewery Building was 327-329 Pearl. The author also claimed that one of the buildings facing Church Avenue “was first constructed by Jacob Baehr”. In actuality, nearly all of the buildings that are part of this project which face Church Avenue were built for the Riester & Thesmacher Company, after they acquired these properties at different times during the 20th century. The Phoenix Ice Company did some building at the West 28th Street end of the property.

Also, there are inaccurate statements within the caption under the historic photograph of the Odd Fellows Building that accompanies the West 25th Street Lofts article. Firstly, as already explained, “1526 Pearl” is an address that never existed, and, besides that, this would be a reference to the Baehr Brewery Building, since the Odd Fellows Building’s address on West 25th is 1504-1512. Secondly, who is cited as having “found” the photograph is correct, but it was not found in the Cleveland Leader. The photograph was taken in 1951, as the cars visible in the photograph should suggest; the Cleveland Leader went out of business in 1917. In actuality, this photograph was taken for a later newspaper called the Cleveland News. Thirdly, the statement that this photograph was “courtesy of the Cleveland Press Collection at the Cleveland State University Library” is also incorrect. They recently confirmed that they do not have this or any other Cleveland News photo. The photograph is at the main branch of the Cleveland Public Library. Most of these errors are actually included on a document belonging to the Cleveland Landmarks Commission, which is likely the original source.  This document should never have been circulated. The primary staff person involved with that commission recently stated that he assumed the image was a Press image, so that is most likely the original source for that error. Overall, though, the caption credits two different newspapers for the same one image, which never makes sense.

Another statement in the West 25th Street Lofts article says that the project is “across the street from St. Paul’s Episcopal Church”.  The street that is being referred to is Church Avenue, but the church being referred to is St. John’s Episcopal Church.  It has always been known by only this name.

Lastly, the statements that the Cleveland & Sandusky Brewing Company acquired the Baehr Brewery in 1901, and that the former entity “stayed open less than ten years”, are both incorrect.  The Cleveland & Sandusky Brewing Company acquired the Baehr Brewery in 1898, as several County Recorder records document, plus the former entity lasted all the way to sometime in the 1960s.

Craig Bobby

 

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About plainpress

Plain Press 2012 W. 25th Street, Suite #500 Cleveland, OH 44113 Email: plainpress@gmail.com Email Advertising: plainpressads@yahoo.com Phone: (216) 621-3060 Managing Editor: Chuck Hoven Editor: Deborah Rose Sadlon Advertising Representative: Tom Sheehan

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