Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Henry C. Holt residence parking lot design contest

Henry C. Holt residence, designed by Charles Schweinfurth
1954 photograph courtesy of Cleveland Public Library.

The Ukrainian Museum-Archive wants to demolish the house at 1208 Kenilworth Avenue in Tremont in order to provide 21 parking spaces. Rather than just complain about the proposed demolition of one of five surviving houses in Cleveland designed by architect Charles Schweinfurth, we should come up with a better solution. The Henry C. Holt residence, at 1208 Kenilworth Avenue, was designed by Schweinfurth in 1883. Of the 30 houses he designed in Cleveland, only six remain. Schweinfurth was one of the most significant architects in Cleveland in the 1880s and 1890s. He designed many of the great Euclid Avenue mansions. Among his notable commissions are the Union Club, the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, the beautiful bridges over Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, Trinity Cathedral, the Samuel Mather residence, and his own house.

To that end, we're holding a design contest. We want you to come up with a better plan for the site, one that retains the Henry C. Holt residence.

This is the proposed site plan, as prepared by Kulchytsky Architects for the Ukrainian Museum-Archive. It provides 21 parking spaces, including two handicapped accessible ones. The property will be bounded by a wrought iron fence. A plan of the site as it is now provides a clear picture of the exact location of the buildings.

Come up with the best plan for 1208 and 1202 Kenilworth Avenue (parcels 00412029 and 00412028, respectively) and you'll win two great books for your architecture / design collection. They are Shaker Heights: the Van Sweringen Influence by Claudia R. Boatwright (Shaker Heights Landmark Commission, 1983) and Shaker Heights Fences by Patricia J. Forgac (City of Shaker Heights, 1984).

Contest Details

Entries must be recieved by midnight tomorrow. They should be emailed to ClevelandAreaHistory@gmail.com. The "best" plan is entirely subjective and will be determined by the editors of Cleveland Area History. The best entry will shared here, as many any that seem interesting or noteworthy. Further, designs may be presented, if possible, at the Landmarks Commission meeting on Thursday, March 11.

All entries must include 21 parking spaces, including two handicapped accessible ones. Entries must retain the Holt house as well as the house at 1202 and the building behind it (the archives and museum, respectively). The historic photo of the house is available at higher resolution - it may be used in your plans.

1 comment:

  1. Letter to the Ukrainian Museum-Archives and the Cleveland Landmarks Commission (10 Mar 10):

    I am distressed to understand that the Ukrainian Museum-Archives desires to demolish the Henry C. Holt residence, at 1208 Kenilworth Avenue. The demolition would diminish the Tremont neighborhood and Cleveland in two ways:

    1) destroy part of Tremont’s historical fabric.
    Lincoln Park and surrounds built up during one of Cleveland’s peak growth periods, 1880-1900. Lincoln Park is unique in representing this period on a large scale. The surrounding structures (churches and houses) were built large and dense to match the scale of the park. The Holt residence is an important component in this Victorian urban park landscape. The neighborhood would be significantly diminished without the prominence of this house.

    2) demolish one of the few remaining houses of noted Cleveland architect, Charles Schweinfurth.
    Just at the time that Lincoln Park was consolidating, Schweinfurth was practicing as one of our more significant architects. His notable surviving commissions include the Union Club, the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, the MLK Blvd bridges, Trinity Cathedral, the Samuel Mather residence. While this is a wonderful standing legacy, Mr. Schweinfurth’s houses have not fared well. The Holt residence is one of only 5 remaining houses of the 30 Schweinfurth designed in Cleveland.

    Yes, the museum-archives has a need for parking. Yet, it is counterproductive for a preservation-based institution to demolish an historical landscape component for the use of temporary, short term visitor needs. Cleveland, like other American cities, is just beginning to rethink the role of cars in urban areas. I ask the Ukrainian Museum-Archives to reconsider demolition for the sake of surface parking. Perhaps the parking needs for the whole of Lincoln Park can be considered in collective issue.

    Roy Larick, Euclid Landmark Commission ex officio