Architectural historian points out errors in article on Lorain Avenue History

To the Editor:

(Plain Press, October 2019)           I am writing to point out numerous errors in the “A Look at Lorain Avenue while traveling down memory lane” article, written by Kevin Coleman, identified in the Plain Press as a Cleveland State University journalism student.

In this article, the writer claims that the “statues” on the Hope Memorial Bridge are made of limestone quarried in Berea.  This is utterly absurd.  There were no limestone quarries in Berea, or anywhere within hundreds of miles of Berea.  Most importantly, those “statues” are constructed of sandstone (there were MANY sandstone quarries in Berea).


There are several errors in the paragraphs pertaining to the Cleveland Christian Home for Children.  (1) According to a 1901 newspaper article, it was founded in 1901, not 1900.  (2) It was located on Broadway near Barkwill (which is near East 55th), not Broadway and Aetna (which is near East 71st).  (3) Its founder’s name was Rudolph Timme, not Henry Timme (his middle-initial was H., so perhaps that was his middle-name).  (4) According to a Cleveland newspaper article published in 1904, Reverend Timme sold the orphanage to the Cleveland Disciple Union in 1902 and it was they, not him, who were in control when it relocated to Lorain Avenue.  (5) Elsewhere in this article, the writer claims that there was a renovation “in the early 1920s” of the home they acquired in 1906.  He also writes about the construction of a new building in 1924 (the one still in use today).  According to a 1924 newspaper article, the opening of this new home was immediately followed by the demolition of the older home that he claims they had just renovated.  No one renovates when they know they’re going to destroy shortly thereafter what they would have just renovated. At most, perhaps there were a few minor repairs to address some issues of safety. The construction of the present building in 1924 is correct.

Further in this article, the writer claims that the City of Cleveland’s Storefront Renovation Program began in 2015.  Many Plain Press readers will immediately know that this can’t be correct.  I am sure the program has been mentioned countless times in the pages of the Plain Press, well before 2015.  I have an acquaintance that is one the principals of that department and, when I spoke with him about this, he guaranteed me that the program was begun in the 1970s.  He was hired to be a staff person in that program in the late-1970s.  Consequently, the writer’s claim that this program is responsible for “over 70 projects to date throughout Cleveland” is an under-statement on an unfathomable scale.  They most likely are involved in that many projects in just one year.

Craig Bobby

Architectural Historian

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