Cleveland History Blog
Monday, July 31, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Dusk & Shadow: The Mystery of Beverly Potts to airPress release:
Dusk & Shadow – The Mystery of Beverly Potts (2004, 53 min.) will air Thursday, August 24 2006 at 10 p.m. on PBS 45 & 49.
(Cleveland) Ten-year-old Beverly Potts left her parents’ Cleveland West Side home with her best friend Patsy a short time before sunset. It was an August evening in 1951, and Halloran Park was just a three-minute walk away, where neighborhood children were singing and dancing in an old fashioned Showagon performance for a thousand people or more. Her mother had been a dancer and her father was a stagehand in Cleveland’s theater district. They understood Beverly’s love of show business, and her wish to stay – even though it would soon be dark – for the end of the show. However, Patsy had to be back, and left her friend at the park.
That Friday night, Beverly Potts vanished without a trace and the case is unsolved to this day. Beverly’s imprint remains, her inscrutable eyes made indelible by time. With every clue that has emerged in the half-century since she disappeared, she has returned as young and vulnerable as ever in the hearts and minds of Clevelanders, some of who search for Beverly to this day.
Dusk & Shadow, torn from today’s headlines and told in the true crime manner, is not a story of murder and the macabre, but of opportunism, loss and irresolution. Drawing upon the recollections of Beverly’s family, as well as discoveries by police officers and other authorities, Beverly’s disappearance is as much a cautionary tale as it is a story of deep sadness and powerful mystery that continues to grip a city. The program features interviews with a surviving sister, Anita, who was 22 when Beverly disappeared on August 24, 1951. Others interviewed include retired Cleveland detectives Robert Wolf and John Fransen, eyewitness Fred Krause, author John Stark Bellamy II, Plain Dealer writers Brent Larkin and Dick Feagler, veteran Cleveland reporter Doris O’Donnell Beaufait, and author James Jessen Badal. The documentary is based in part on the companion book Twilight of Innocence – The Disappearance of Beverly Potts by Badal, released by The Kent State University Press. Dusk & Shadow is produced by Storytellers Media Group, Ltd, makers of Transcending Time – The Story of Potter and Mellen (2005), twice Emmy-nominated The Fourteenth Victim – Eliot Ness and the Torso Murders (2003), Double A (2002) and the upcoming documentaries Ripperology (2006), The Dolezal Affair (2007) and High Fresco (2007).
Mark Wade Stone, producer & editor; David A. Brodowski, director of photography; Marie Studniarz Rudolph, associate producer; Carl Michel, original music composer. Produced in partnership with the Cleveland Police Historical Society. Photos used in the program came from collections of the Potts Family, Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland Police Museum and the extensive press archive at Cleveland State University Special Collections.
Composer Carl Michel was awarded a 2004 Emmy for Music Composition, Dusk & Shadow, by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Cleveland Regional Chapter
This is considered to be an open case – if you or anyone you know might have information about Beverly’s whereabouts, contact the Cleveland Police Department homicide bureau at 216-623-5464.
Contact: Mark Wade Stone 216.228.1441 firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Postponing the inevitable?Due to a faulty review process, the pile of dismembered Hulett Ore Unloaders has been spared being sold for scrap just yet. But once that review is completed properly, the Port Authority will decide what to do with them. ("Huletts' fate in balance." Plain Dealer. Saturday, July 22, 2006. Page B-3.)
A Damsel in DistressThe missing statue of a Slovenian maiden, which once graced then-Mayor Voinovich's desk but had vanished in recent years, turned up in the basement of City Hall. There it was mired in mildew, mold and moisture, along with some paintings, rugs and other neglected items. Said Councilman Mike Polensek, "I think we need to get an archivist down there." (Michael K. McIntyre. "Slovenian maiden rescued from the abyss." Plain Dealer. Saturday, July 22, 2006. Page B-1). Sounds like a job for our old friend Martin Hauserman, City Archivist.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Are all old houses haunted?It sometimes seems that a necessary attribute of old/historic houses is that they be haunted ("Demolition may knock ghosts out of old house" WEWS News5).
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
A new approach to local history, part two: History 2.0 and the “Long Tail”Chris Anderson’s new book, The Long Tail, explores the nearly-forgotten commercial products that don’t receive the air play and shelf space of hit songs, books, films and other items overlooked by major retailers, who are constrained by space limitations and notions of rapid turnover of stock. The prevailing idea that “20% of your products account for 80% of your sales” has relegated the remaining 80% of commercial products to an oblivion that is now being mined by Web-based players, who have discovered its substantial economic potential. Free to virtually stock anything, vendors like iTunes and Amazon.com can make most anything available and are finding that sales in this neglected area can rival those of the traditional blockbusters. Anderson calls this overlooked 80% “the long tail”. In an earlier Wired Magazine article and now in his book of that name, he is uncovering this fascinating phenomenon that has application to many non-commercial organizations, too, such as local history repositories.
Beyond a superficial level, the study of local history has always been a bit labor-intensive and sometimes expensive. Most libraries, historical societies and individual historians have the more popular printed works on local history, such as the wonderful Encyclopedia of Cleveland History and a handful of books that are either recently published or readily available through used book outlets. But the heavy lifting of historical research, both intellectually and physically, has been the huge body of records, photographs, maps, books, manuscripts and other materials that are filed away in the back rooms of archives and historical societies.
“Serious” research in Cleveland history requires trips to the Western Reserve Historical Society, the Cuyahoga County Archives, the City of Cleveland City Council Archives and the many archival repositories of local academic and public libraries. Also, it often requires expenditures for research fees, photocopying and parking which, when combined with the limited hours of operation and staff available for assistance, means that there are not-insubstantial barriers to accessing historical documents. That the process of pursuing such information serves to damped the enthusiasm of the casual student of history and thereby acts as a means of limiting access and preserving the material has not been unwelcomed by under funded and undermanned repositories.
A downside of this is the loss of potential support from a wider segment of the community who can afford neither the time nor money to pursue research on-site at the relevant archival institution, particularly when they are often only open during normal business hours. Some patrons view such policies as deliberately secretive or elitist and are put off enough that they complain to friends and colleagues about those institutions.
If we view this body of rarely-trafficked historical documentation as the “long tail” of traditional history, then the new Web-based approach championed by the Cleveland Memory Project and a few others locally, offers increasing access to this huge, rarely-used body of esoteric material, provided it can be scanned and mounted.
This come home to me a couple of years ago when a lady in California wrote to say how happy she was with our Cleveland Union Terminal Construction Photography Collection on-line. She was researching information on her grandfather, who’d owned the Chamberlain-Haber Chemical Company in Cleveland. She “Googled” the company’s name and got two hits. One was her own family genealogy page and the other was Cleveland Memory’s CUT photo site, which included a picture of the storefront office of her grandfather’s firm! In the process of mounting this collection of over 5,000 images we created an index that included the names from business signs shown in the pictures of the buildings scheduled to be demolished for the Terminal Tower complex. This is where the lady found the photo, something that she couldn’t have done easily from California and would have taken a bit of doing in person. Keyword searching of voluminous pages of data can uncover much of value to somebody and even the low levels of traffic for any one item is offset by the sheer volume of material that is thereby opened up for remote access, 24/7.
All of this will continue to have serious implications for the way we’ve normally do business. Institutions with nineteenth-century business models, based on traditional modes of access at centralized archival repositories, are already finding a marked drop in walk-in traffic and associated user fees and will continue to be challenged to remain relevant in a networked environment. I think the future will still favor content providers and there will always be something of a demand for certain irreplaceable historical resources. But with many people finding most of what they want on-line, the level of support for these repositories may diminish to the point where those critical few unique resources may prove insufficient to sustain the institution housing them. At some point – probably better sooner than later – all archival institutions catering to a public user base will have to make their materials available on-line. Anything less would be irresponsible, as there’s no longer any question in which way lies the future.
This is the second blog post on local history and the web (first one). I want to keep exploring the virtual revolution in information represented by the web and will discuss other aspects in future blogs. Please post any comments you may have below.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Cleveland Memory at the County Fair Aug. 7-13The Cleveland Memory Project, at the Cleveland State University Library, is partnering with the Cuyahoga County Fair to present a special "Creating New Memories" exhibit at the Fair, from Monday, August 7th through Sunday, August 13th. That's only weeks away and we're busy creating over a hundred photographic exhibit items about a wide variety of Cleveland icons, such as Mr. Jingaling, the Sterling Lindner Christmas Tree, Euclid Beach Park, Sam Sheppard, the Terminal Tower, the Indians, and a host of other familiar subjects, based on images available in the Cleveland Memory Project on-line. Come join us for a good time at the Fair and share your memories of growing up in the greater Cleveland region.
African American Archives at Western ReserveThe African American Archives at the Western Reserve Historical Society Library were profiled in a Mosaic piece in the Plain Dealer. (Christopher Johnston. "Treasures of the Past: Historical Society maintains impressive African American collection." PD. Tuesday, July 18, 2006. Page 1 of "Mosaic" special advertising section.)
Akron's Stephen Paschen goes to KentStephen H. Paschen, former Senior Archives Associate at the University of Akron's Archival Services, started work yesterday at his new position in Special Collections and Archives, at Kent State University. Best wishes to Steve in his new job!
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Streetcars on the lakefrontNotice posted on ClevelandRails list
This weekend marks the opening of the new Lake Shore Electric Railway display at Dock 32 on the Cleveland Waterfront (behind Cleveland Browns Stadium and the Great Lakes Science Center). It is being done in conjunction with the Tall Ships Festival. 23 of the 32 streetcars, rapid transit cars and interurbans plus 2 cabooses are located there with many accessible to the public. The display is open from 11 am to 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
The remaining 9 wooden and steel interurbans are stored on RTA and are not currently viewable by the general public.
For more information on the Lake Shore Electric Railway, visit the web site at www.lsery.org.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Digital Library Consortium takes it to the bankThe Greater Cleveland History Digital Library Consortium met at the Federal Reserve Bank in downtown Cleveland this afternoon, to hear Angela O'Neal share the latest news from Columbus and to tour the Fed's new Money Museum and Learning Center.
Angela is the Digital Products Manager for the Ohio Historical Society, where she runs the Ohio Memory project, is the Vice-President of the Society of Ohio Archivists and is associated with the Ohio Digitizers Interest Group, so she touched on all these areas of her professional interest during her talk. I was particularly happy to hear that the Ohio Historic Markers Program has made it to the web and discovered that people are encouraged to submit photographs of markers in their community to this site. She also reports that proposals are being accepted for papers or sessions at the MAC/SOA Spring Meeting, in May of 2007.
The tour of the Money Museum was a lot of fun. It is designed to explain the nature of money to all age groups, but we had particular fun using a series of rubbing stations to create our own bills. The Federal Reserve Bank Building itself is truly impressive -- it was specifically designed to awe, so people would feel assured that their money was in the hands of banking gods -- and we so grateful to Lynn C. Sniderman and the bank staff generally for making all of this possible!
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Controversial Steelyard Commons moves forwardHowever you feel about the huge Steelyard Commons retail center, going up on the old LTV West Mill site -- needed addition to the city's tax base or big-box blight that wastes potential -- the project is proceeding ahead, the Plain Dealer reports. In addition to the economic potential of the project, it is reusing an old mill building as a history center, installing a utility bridge, adding a crane and hot-metal railcar and bringing in the Cuyahoga Scenic Railway and the Towpath Trail, as elements of a tribute to the site's industrial heritage. (Christopher Montgomery. "Steelyard Commons takes form." PD. Wednesday, July 12, 2006. Page C-1)
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
CityProwl tours our architectural gemsArchitect Jennifer Coleman has created "CityProwl," a program funded by the Civic Innovation Lab that provides recorded guided tours of the city's historic architecture, which may be downloaded from the Internet as digital audio files for your iPod. (Emily Hamlin. "Walk through city's history." Plain Dealer. Wednesday, July 5, 2006. Page C-1. sidebar) CityProwl's website is at www.CityProwl.com.
The new I-90 bridge rushes forwardSteven Litt is keeping a close eye on ODOT's efforts to build a new bridge across the Cuyahoga and Litt doesn't like the speed at which they are pushing things forward. (Steven Litt. "Rushing to design a new bridge for I-90." Plain Dealer. Wednesday, July 5, 2006. Page E-1)
Art & Art Deco tours of ClevelandConference schedule for a group meeting in Cleveland. They will conduct a number of interesting tours and are willing to include others who may wish to pay the per diem rate for any of these tours:
20TH CENTURY SOCIETY of the CAROLINA MOUNTAINS WEB SITE: www.tcscm.org
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th
Arrive at the host hotel, Hyatt Regency Cleveland at the Arcade.
Our host hotel was one of the first 10 buildings to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a grand Victorian Arcade, built in 1890. There is really nothing else like it in the country. Five levels of brass, marble, and ironwork are covered by a 300 foot glass roof. A few years ago it underwent a thoughtful conversion to a hotel. The upper three levels (former offices) were renovated as hotel rooms, while the lower two levels remain as shops. (www.cleveland.hyatt.com)
11:00--12:30pm Buffet lunch at the Hyatt Regency Cleveland
1:00--2:30pm Private tour of Severance Hall
Home of the Cleveland Orchestra, Severance Hall (1931) is one of the most beautiful concert halls in the country. The Neoclassical exterior--to blend with the nearby Cleveland Museum of Art--envelopes an eclectic interior of Neoclassical, Art Deco, and Egyptian styles. Exquisite design prevails throughout, with exceptional craftsmanship in marble, brass, terrazzo, and etched glass. (www.clevelandorchestra.com. Click the link to "Severance Hall.")
3:00--3:45pm Cleveland's Greyhound Bus Station
This Streamline Moderne building was a flagship terminal for Greyhound Bus Lines--and the largest in the country--when it was constructed in 1948. It was renovated in the late 1990's and is on the National Register.
(check out: www.propertiesmag.com. Click the link to "archives" and find the May, 2000 issue.)
5:00--8:00pm Private tour of Tower City Center
Rockefeller Center is usually credited as the country's first mixed use urban complex but planning for Cleveland's Union Terminal Group--"a city within a city" precedes Rockefeller Center by nearly 20 years. And at 6.5 million square feet, it remains one of the largest mixed use complexes in the country. It was constructed by O.P. and M.J. Van Sweringen, two brothers that created a railroad and real estate empire worth 3 billion dollars! At the center is Cleveland's main rail station, Cleveland Union Terminal. Towering above the entire complex is the 708 ft Terminal Tower, which held the distinction of being the tallest building in the world outside of Manhattan from 1929 to 1964. Also included in the complex is a hotel, department store, 3 other office buildings, and the city's main post office.
In the early 1990's the former train station was renovated into a shopping mall, with many of the original architectural features preserved. It was renamed Tower City Center.
Forest City Enterprises, the owner of Tower City Center, has kindly agreed to a private tour for our group. Highlights include the Terminal Tower Observation Deck, which has been closed to the public since 9-11-2001. We'll also see some nice Art Deco details in the Higbee's Department Store (sadly now closed) and the Higbee's dining room, The Silver Grille. The Silver Grille is virtually unchanged from when it opened in 1931, including much of the original furniture. We'll see The English Oak Room, the premiere dining facility for the Union Terminal, a wonderful contrast of traditional dark oak paneled walls and a ornate, polychrome, Art Deco ceiling. The old post office (1934) has been renovated as the MK-Ferguson Building, but the original post office lobby is intact. Finally, we'll have a rare look into the Van Sweringen Brother's private apartment in the Terminal Tower, comprising 3 floors and now known as the Greenbrier Suite.
(Cleveland Union Terminal celebrated it's 75th anniversary last year: www.clevelandunionterminal.org. Another great web site is: www.clevelandmemory.org. Click "find images" and try: "Terminal Tower", "Higbee", and to see some exquisite Art Deco design: "Higbee elevator doors."
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th
9:00--10:45am (optional "Non-Deco" walking tour: Great Bank Lobbies)
Given its industrial heritage, Cleveland has always had a strong banking industry, which continues even today. There is no city in the country with so many spectacular bank lobbies in such close proximity to each other. We'll explore 5 bank lobbies--all within a few blocks of each other. The Society for Savings Building (1889) is a Romanesque Burnham & Root gem with lovely Arts & Crafts stenciling. The National City Bank and the Union Trust Bank (completed 1922, now Huntington Bank) are Neoclassical, with soaring columns and coffered ceilings. The Union Trust Bank has the largest bank lobby in the world. The Cleveland Trust lobby (1909) has a gorgeous stained glass rotunda. Of the twelve Federal Reserve Banks, Cleveland is the most beautiful, described as "walking into a bar of gold." Its lobby features stunning marble and forged iron work.
(Check www.clevelandmemory.org. Click "find images" and search "Union Trust Bank" and "Federal Reserve Bank." For some nice pictures of the Society for Savings Building, go to www.emporis.com and search "Society for Savings" in "Cleveland.")
11:00--12:30pm Private tour of Playhouse Square Center
The largest theater restoration project in the world, this is the second largest theater district in the country--only Lincoln Center in NYC is larger. The shows at these 5 historic theaters attract over one million visitors a year. Although none of the theaters are Art Deco in style, some of the details are, and there is a colorful Art Deco mural in the lobby of the State Theater that has been recently restored. Our private tour will likely include the Ohio, Allen, State, and Palace Theaters. There will be an (optional) opportunity to attend a live performance at Playhouse Square on Saturday night, September 16th.
1:00--2:15pm Lunch at Sokolowski's University Inn
A Cleveland classic, the Sokolowski family has been serving delicious Polish food since 1923. Not a fancy place--it's served cafeteria style--so grab a tray and enjoy!
2:30--3:00pm St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral
Since it is close to Sokolowski's, we'll take a detour to see St. Theodosius, the finest example of Russian Orthodox architecture in the country. Movie buffs may recall the stunning interior featured in the wedding scenes of the movie "The Deer Hunter."
3:30--5:00pm Tour of Cowan Pottery Museum
The "Cleveland School" is well represented here, a museum of American Art Pottery that was made in the Cleveland area from 1912-1931. It is located in west suburban Rocky River, housed in their public library. Viktor Schreckengost's Art Deco icon "The Jazz Bowl" was produced by Cowan Pottery. Mr. Schreckengost turned 100 years old this year, and is still living in the Cleveland area. Besides being an accomplished artist, he is also a well known industrial designer. Everyone has used or enjoyed something designed or created by Viktor Schreckengost!
(www.cowanpottery.org and www.viktorschreckengost.org.)
6:30--10:00pm (optional) Dinner and Boat Cruise along the Cuyahoga River and
Lake Erie on the Nautica Queen.
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th
8:30--9:30am (optional "Non-Deco" walking tour: Cleveland Group Plan of 1903)
This represents the largest civic center plan outside of Washington D.C. Strongly influenced by the "City Beautiful" movement that followed Chicago's World Fair of 1893, it should come as no surprise that Daniel Burnham was involved in the planning. A Federal Courthouse, Public Library, Country Courthouse, City Hall, Public Auditorium, and School Administration building are all of uniform height and Beaux Arts style.
9:45--11:30am Lake View Cemetery
Founded in 1869, this cemetery and arboretum is modeled after the grand Victorian garden cemeteries of Europe. Lake View is the final resting place for many prominent Clevelanders, including President Garfield, John D. Rockefeller, and Elliot Ness. This may be a first among Art Deco tours: Art Deco mausoleums and monuments. We'll also save time to see the lovely Wade Chapel, with an interior designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany.
1:30--4:45pm Art Deco Fashion & The Great Lakes Exposition of 1937 at
The Western Reserve Historical Society (WRHS)
The costume curator at the WRHS has kindly offered a presentation on Art Deco Fashion. The Halle Costume Collection at the WRHS is among the finest (the Halle family owned a very prestigious Cleveland department store for many years.) We'll also have a presentation on Cleveland's Great Lakes Exposition of 1937, a regional fair that featured modern, streamlined design. There will also be some free time to explore other areas of the museum, including its excellent vintage car collection.
8:30--10:00pm (optional) Jazz Club outing
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th
9:30--10:30am Downtown Art Deco Walking Tour
We'll see the Art Deco War Memorial Fountain and Cleveland's tallest Art Deco building, the Ohio Bell Huron Building (1927.) It was the inspiration for the "Daily Planet" building by the creators of the Superman comic, Clevelanders Jerome Siegel and Joseph Shuster.
(See: www.emporis.com. Search "Ohio Bell Huron" and "Cleveland.")
10:45--11:15am "Guardians Of Transportation" pylons on the Lorain-Carnegie
Bridge (now Hope Memorial Bridge.)
The most impressive Art Deco sculptures in Cleveland are the 43 foot "Guardians of Transportation" pylons that flank either end of the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge (1932.) (These were the inspiration of the "Art & Art Deco Cleveland 2006" tour logo.) There is a pair of pylons on each end of the bridge, with a "Guardian" on each side of the pylon for a total of eight figures. Each is holding a different mode of transportation: stagecoach, passenger car, truck, etc. The sculptor was Henry Hering.
(Some of the "Guardians" are featured on our web site: www.tcscm.org. Some excellent images are at: www.bluffton.edu. Click "search" and type in "Lorain Carnegie" in the Google search box.)
11:30--12:45pm The West Side Market
Visitors to Cleveland usually list The West Side Market as their favorite spot. This landmark building is on the National Register and the largest indoor/outdoor market in the country. Cleveland's strong ethnic heritage is reflected in the 100 indoor and 85 outdoor food stalls, many still operated by the same families as when the market opened in 1912. On a busy day over 20 different languages are spoken here! While you probably can't take raw meat or homemade sausage back to your hotel room, you can enjoy lunch here among the many prepared foods, baked goods, and produce.
1:00--7:00pm Sparx in the City Gallery Hop
Ohio's largest art gallery walk takes place today and tomorrow in several Cleveland neighborhoods. For the price of a trolley ticket, participants can "hop on" and "hop off" the trolley anywhere along the route to see about 100 different studios and galleries that will be open this weekend.
5:00--6:30pm (optional) Dinner at a fancy restaurant
If you would like to end your Gallery Hop early and join us for dinner, you are welcome to do so. Or, you could enjoy dinner on your own in the neighborhood you're exploring.
7:00--10:00pm (optional) Theater outing at Playhouse Square Center: "A Funny
Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"
It's opening night for this classic production, presented by the Great Lakes Theater Festival (GLTF.) GLTF, originally known as the Great Lakes Shakespeare Festival, has been delighting audiences since 1962.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th
9:30--10:15am (optional "Non-Deco" walking tour: The Warehouse District)
An excellent collection of Victorian commercial buildings are just north and west of the Terminal Tower. This was the original center of downtown Cleveland. Adaptive reuse abounds here--many buildings have been converted to loft style apartments, condos, and offices.
We'll also have a Cleveland trivia contest featuring fabulous prizes! This will conclude the Art & Art Deco Cleveland 2006 program.
1:00--5:00pm Sparx in the City Galley Hop continues....