Saturday, October 31, 2009

Introduction

In my work as a Youth Services Librarian at the Hough Branch of Cleveland Public Library, I've come to realize that local history in Cleveland simply does not get the attention that it deserves. It isn't taught in the schools. It doesn't get much attention elsewhere.

Langston Hughes residence

Take the house that Langston Hughes lived in at 2266 East 86th Street. It sat unrecognized for decades. Over the summer, when I was preparing programming for a daycamp, I started looking for important individuals who had lived in the area. It's easier to teach history when you can show important things that happened in the neighborhoods where the kids live, on the streets that they walk every day. Langston Hughes was one of the first names on everyone's lips, but no one really knew exactly where he had lived. Thanks to the research and resources of the Literature department at the Main Library, I was able to discover this house, one of only two surviving places in Cleveland where Hughes had lived. It had been foreclosed upon, and faced the threats that every boarded up property faces - vandalism and eventual demolition.

Thanks to the article in the Plain Dealer, the community became aware of the house and took action. The property was, as of October 20, transferred to Fairfax Renaissance Development Corp., who has stated the intention of rehabbing the property.

Through this venue, we will bring many other important places to your attention.

7 comments:

  1. Hi Christopher- I'm glad I found your blog! One of my favorite things about Cleveland is the rich history. Especially all of the houses and architecture.

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