Monday, July 19, 2010
I've been meaning to write about the Brainard residence for some time. It's a small house, built circa 1830-1850, located at 4107 Denison Avenue, in Cleveland, Ohio. I just haven't had the time to research it among the many other projects that I've been working on.
I just learned that the house is going to be demolished soon. It is one of very few surviving houses of this age and style left in the city. It was similar, in some ways to the Leonard Case residence and the H. Mould residence, both documented by the Historic American Buildings Survey and both now lost.
Many of the architectural details have been hidden by time and remodeling. The sidelights and transom surrounding the front door retain some obvious detail. It is similar in style to the front door of the Isaac Warren residence.
It does retain a few interior details, like the closet door and trim seen here.
It's a small house. While it does require some major work, it's on a scale that's small enough that it could have been fixed. It's not like one of the mansions in Wade Park or East Cleveland that could easily become epic, insurmountable challenges.
Why hasn't it been saved? Because no one has stepped forward to say that they're willing to accept this challenge. People don't want to live next to falling down houses. They make a considerable amount of noise about it. It should come to no one's surprise that they are the people whose voices are heard, not the outsiders ranting about the historical importance of this or that structure.
This house falls in Ward 15, which is served on the Cleveland City Council by Matt Zone. If this bothers you, I suggest contacting him to share your feelings on the matter.
I'm not saying that we have to be the people to claim interest in these properties and rehabilitate them. If we aren't going to do that, however, we have to find people who will.
In addition to all the buildings I've written about here, there are plenty of interesting structures that I just haven't been able to learn much about. In future posts, I'll be highlighting them, so that at least they have some public recognition, before they become threatened.