Thursday, October 22, 2009

A Central Park for Cleveland (in 1935)

On the last day of 1935, The Cleveland Press reported that City of Cleveland parks director Hugo Varga had proposed that we build our own version of New York's Central Park on under-utilized land on the near east side. The acreage he had in mind was bounded by Chester and Euclid avenues, between East 21st and East 40th streets. Today that "under-utilized" land is the site of Cleveland State University! The report went on to discuss wider plans then afoot to develop today's MidTown area with housing projects and smaller parks, but this "Central Park" was to be the centerpiece.

Today we're back to examining ways to turn the depopulation of Cleveland into a new, green, urban agriculture project that in some ways is reminiscent of this Central Park plan in returning portions of the urban landscape to more natural uses.

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At 9:10 AM, Blogger Christopher Busta-Peck said...

I'd like to see more of the land around the Dunham Tavern open up - perhaps they could expand their grounds a bit - it would be interesting to see that sort of landscape in the middle of the city.

At 10:20 PM, Blogger Bill Barrow said...

Actually, the empty land west of Dunham Tavern is being developed into a new state psychiatric hospital. The tavern is at 6709 Euclid Avenue, whereas the hospital will be covering a few blocks up to East 61st Street. Hardly "opening it up" or making parkland out of it and this move has distressed Tom Bier, who termed it a betrayal of businesses trying to make a go of the new Euclid Corridor development, who won't appreciate the city suddenly injecting a psychiatric hospital in the middle of their plans. If this, Bier reasons, what next?

At 4:15 AM, Blogger John Ettorre said...

Very interesting nugget, Bill. Thanks for posting it.


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