Sunday, December 13, 2009
This house, at 2250 East 49th Street in Cleveland, was the residence of William Howard Brett (1846-1918), head librarian of Cleveland Public Library from 1884-1918, and proponent of the concept of open shelving of books.
The concept of open shelving is especially important as, before this time, books in libraries were usually kept in closed stacks - patrons had to request the individual books that they wanted. Brett was a prominent educator in the field of library science. He was dean of the library school at Western Reserve University, and president of the American Library Association in 1896. This special issue of The Open Shelf, September-October, 1918, provides a detailed memorial of his life.
Note the floral detailing on the front porch trim. It is unclear which parts of the house were built before and after Brett lived here.
The house and adjacent lot are owned by 4HNB LLC, whose mailing addres is, 3277 Tullamore Rd, Cleveland Heights, OH 44118.
This house should not be allowed to fall into any worse condition than it is. Further, it deserves a historical marker to share the story of this prominent resident.