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Jamilla Naji art at 78th St Studios - Photo Bob Perkoski
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22 design Articles | Page: | Show All

fairview hospital makes some room with $83m expansion in west park

Fairview Hospital's emergency services have gotten some much-needed room to breathe thanks to the opening of an $83-million emergency department and intensive care unit. 

The two-story, 155,000-square-foot expansion in Cleveland's West Park neighborhood debuted during a June 6 ribbon-cutting ceremony, with hospital officials expecting the emergency department to admit its first patients today (June 13). The new ICU is scheduled to open June 20.

The addition was constructed in front of the 504-bed hospital to offer improved access to emergency and critical care services, says Fairview president Jan Murphy. The expansion includes a 55-bed emergency department with a separate 16-room pediatric emergency space, two Level II trauma rooms, and an expanded ICU with 38 private patient rooms.

The undertaking dramatically enlarges the cramped quarters that sometimes had sick patients waiting in the hallway at the previous facility, Murphy notes. The Cleveland Clinic-affiliated hospital, which treats a significant number of patients from Lorain County, now has separate X-ray, CAT scan, lab and EKG facilities to help the emergency department speed diagnosis and treatment.

"The overall flow is conducive to faster, more efficient access," says Murphy.

The hospital president expects the new facility to handle up to 100,000 patients a year, a leap from the 76,000 visits the emergency department tallied in 2012. More room for patients and staff along with brighter lighting will lend to a more positive healing environment, she believes.

"We're thrilled to be doing this in a beautiful space," Murphy says.

 
SOURCE: Jan Murphy
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

greening of cleveland's building sector gets help from grant

A nonprofit seeking to create environmentally sound, high-performance building districts in Cleveland recently got a hand with its city-greening mission.

The Cleveland 2030 District, a group that would like downtown edifices to consume less energy and water and produce less greenhouse gases, received a $175,000 grant from The Kresge Foundation, funding that will go in part to the salary of the organization's first executive director as well as additional staff support.

The new executive director is Jon Reidy, who has been with the group of architects and engineers since 2011. The bulk of the grant will allow the group to intensify efforts put forth by the national Architecture 2030 project, which aims to reduce climate-changing emissions from the global building sector.

"We're creating a demand downtown for energy efficient projects in the interest of business development," says Reidy, a 15-year veteran of the architecture industry.

The Cleveland group is an offshoot of Mayor Frank Jackson’s Sustainability 2019 project, an effort to transform the city’s economy by "building a green city on a blue lake."

Cleveland 2030 works with owners, managers and developers within the downtown district to expand the number of buildings participating in the project. Five property owners controlling approximately 3.5 million square feet of Cleveland's brick and mortar are signed up so far.

Reidy hopes more area building owners share the project's vision of a future Cleveland where energy efficiency and a cleaner environment are the norm.

"Sustainability can be the foundation for rebuilding our economy," he says.

 
SOURCE: Jon Reidy
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

spaeth retirement has heights arts searching for new executive director

Heights Arts ' executive director Peggy Spaeth is retiring, but that doesn't mean the nonprofit community arts organization will be taking it easy along with her.

The group currently is searching for a replacement for Spaeth, who helped found Heights Arts in 2000 and has led the organization ever since. Since late January, the group has received 40 responses from those hoping to carry on the "creative renaissance" that Spaeth launched over a decade ago, says Heights Arts' board president Sharon Grossman.

"We're just starting the process," says Grossman. "We would like to hire someone by late spring."

Spaeth will stay on board during the hiring period and help train the new executive director after the appointment takes place. The outgoing director said the decision to leave was made out of a desire to pursue other interests.

"We don't want to lose her, but this is an all-encompassing job," Grossman says.

It was also a job that Spaeth did well, adds the board president. As director, she brought public art projects to city streets and chamber music concerts to local living rooms. In 2011, Spaeth oversaw expansion of the Heights Arts Gallery on Lee Road, growing its floorspace and successfully stretching the organization's reach into the community.

"Peggy has great drive and an ability to see the big picture," says Grossman.

Spaeth established important relationships with local artists, also reaching out to public figures -- among them Cleveland Heights Mayor Ed Kelley and Cleveland Cinemas owner Jonathan Forman -- capable of supporting these artists.

Heights' Arts next leader will have challenges ahead, but the transition doesn't have to be rough.

"That person will have a chance to put their own stamp on the organization," says Grossman.  "Change can be good."

 
SOURCE: Sharon Grossman
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

county residents have a vote in how cac will award $300k in arts funding

Northeast Ohio has a vibrant arts and culture ecosystem, so why not let its patrons be directly involved in growing that environment?

This was a question asked by nonprofit Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) when putting to a public vote which large-scale arts or culture projects will receive funding through the organization's new Creative Culture Grants program.

Starting February 1, voters will be able to pick two winning arts projects from a list of six finalists chosen by an independent panel of arts and culture experts. The project finalists, among them a multi-media ballet led by Dancing Wheels, a multi-faceted light installation from LAND studio, and a community-wide arts collaboration between Cleveland's East and West sides, were chosen based on their creativity and prospective ability to impact thousands of Cuyahoga County residents.

"We wanted something that would be a stretch for these groups; something they may not have tried otherwise," says CAC executive director Karen Gahl-Mills.

The winning projects will get up to $150,000 each through the nonprofit's grants program. County residents can vote in two ways: Online up until 11:59 p.m. EST on February 20 or by mail until 4:30 p.m. EST February 15. Paper ballots will be available for download or by calling 216-515-8303. CAC will announce the winning projects on February 25. The chosen projects will take place between March 2013 and August 2014.

Gahl-Mills views the vote as the public's opportunity to have a real say as to where community dollars are going.

"Any of the six projects can be terrific for the region," she says. "We want the community to help make that decision."

 
SOURCE: Karen Gahl-Mills 
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

foundation looks to transform masonic space into technologically advanced media center

The imposing brick structure of the Cleveland Masonic and Performance Arts Center (CMPAC) has stood in Midtown Cleveland for a century. A local charity seeking to purchase the building sees a unique opportunity to harness CMPAC's historic legacy and create something new and distinctive. 

The Mason Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization structured "to promote the arts and academic excellence in Northeast Ohio," is working to buy the facility, which it would refurbish into a technologically advanced media center while also improving the performance space.

"We want to elevate the entire community," says foundation founder Gregory Mason, pointing to CMPAC's Midtown location as virtually equidistant to downtown and University Circle.

The foundation is now involved in engineering and architecture surveys on the site. The building's current owner is the Cleveland chapter of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, and Mason believes his organization will be ready to purchase the facility before the end of the year.

The centerpiece of the new venture is the "Towne Hall," a 24/7 data center and public space participants can use to access civic and library resources. Other plans include renovating CMPAC's "acoustically perfect" performance space, while the building would also host creative arts classes. Current tenants like the American Red Cross would remain and could even benefit from Mason Foundation backing, says the organization founder.

"We want to help nonprofits reach some of the resources they can't access now," Mason says.

Restoration will cost $30 million, a figure Mason hopes to accrue through grants, donors and private investors. The cost is worth it to unite civic, academic and arts resources in one place, Mason believes.
 
 
SOURCE: Gregory Mason
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

art of ornament event to benefit local habitat for humanity

A little imagination this holiday season could go a long way to building a home for a needy Cleveland family.

The Cleveland chapter of American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) is collecting homemade Christmas ornaments from local creatives during its Art of Ornament event on December 14. The decorations will be auctioned off at 78th Street Studios, with proceeds going to Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity, a Christian-based organization that constructs homes throughout Northeast Ohio. The only rule is that ornaments can be hung for display and use.

"It's an opportunity for the design community to get together and give back using their natural creative tendencies," says Maggie Durguner, president of AIGA's Cleveland chapter.

All community members can make an ornament for the free, public event whether or not they are employed by the local creative sector. Last year, AIGA collected $2,000 through the auctioning of 80 ornaments. Designs ranged from an intricate depiction of 18th-century women to a tyrannosaurus rex covered in glitter. 

"Some of the designs were incredible," Durguner says.

Ornaments usually sell from $15 to $100. A new element this year has AIGA's corporate sponsors matching the highest bid.  Every dollar counts, particularly when it "hits home" for Cleveland's underserved, says Durguner.

 
SOURCE: Maggie Durguner
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

abeo turns reclaimed materials into distinctive workstations

Daniel Cuffaro has been working in design for 20 years. He knows how an inspiring, eclectic workspace can act as fuel for creative minds, promoting interaction among those who essentially use their imagination for a living.

Such was the idea behind Cuffaro's founding of Abeo Design, a Lakewood-based company that builds aesthetically distinctive office/studio workstations with a sustainable bent. Unlike your typical office furniture, the spindly "Hive" workstations are designed with both functionality and adaptability in mind, Cuffaro says.

Each station is comprised of a work surface and storage shelf embedded with LED lighting. The entire unit is on wheels, making a studio or office easy to reconfigure as projects or teams change, notes Cuffaro. This is not something you could readily do with a set of hard-to-move cubicles.

"Our product is a dynamic and customizable alternative,” he says.

The workstations also fulfill a practical need. They are made of wood and other building materials reclaimed from abandoned Cleveland houses deconstructed during the foreclosure crisis. Cuffaro, head of the industrial design program at The Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA), first got the idea for Abeo in 2009 when he was developing the layout for the school's design studio. At the time, there was a growing market for raw materials harvested from foreclosed homes, so why not build CIA's studio furniture with those resources?

"I had a desire to turn a bad situation into something salvageable," Cuffaro says.

His first customer also happens to be his current employer. CIA recently purchased a handful of the $6,000-and-up workstations from Abeo, which works with Northeast Ohio companies A Piece of Cleveland and Benchmark Craftsmen to make the product a reality.

A portion of Abeo's profits will support CIA programs. Meanwhile, Cuffaro will continue to live by the company's name. In Latin, Abeo ( pronounced "a-bay-o") means "change" or "transformation." Turning trash into something of value is good for both the company and a sustainable Cleveland, he says.

 
SOURCE: Daniel Cuffaro
WRITER: Douglas J. Guth

pnc fairfax connection opens doors of new $5m community resource center

At the corner of E. 83rd and Carnegie Avenue, a dilapidated building has been transformed into a contemporary, glass-walled resource center. Inside these walls, youth will be mentored, adults will receive financial education and job skill assistance, and seniors will record their history within the community.

This is no ordinary redevelopment project. The PNC Fairfax Connection was designed with maximum community input to address the needs and aspirations of the Fairfax neighborhood, which lies just south of the Cleveland Clinic campus.

“We celebrate the opening of the PNC Fairfax Connection as a demonstration of what it truly means to work together to create a new relationship and a new bond between a bank and its community,” said Cleveland native James Rohr, Chairman and CEO of PNC Bank, in a press release. “PNC closely collaborated with the Fairfax community at every step to ensure the center's design and programs meet the interests and needs of this proud and historic community.”

The $5 million center, which was sustainably built and will likely receive LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), is a 6,400-square-foot space that is flexibly designed to meet the needs of the community. Two full-time coordinators, Susan Blasko and Brandon Lipford, will staff it.

Upcoming programs include SPARK, a web-based literacy initiative provided in cooperation with the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Cleveland; Senior Compass programs that help seniors with help and wellness and technology skills; and Financial Connections, which are weekly financial wellness workshops.

The PNC Fairfax Connection is open daily from Tuesday through Saturday, and programs are offered in the day as well as the evening.


Source: PNC Bank
Writer: Lee Chilcote

temporary art display at shaker's horseshoe lake dazzles nighttime hikers

Horseshoe Lake in Shaker Heights is a great place to take a walk and enjoy the bucolic, well-preserved Shaker Lakes. Now this setting has been made even more beautiful by the addition of glowing lanterns that dangle from trees like glimmering fireflies.

As part of the Shaker Heights Centennial celebration, artist Barry Underwood has created a new public art installation in Horseshoe Lake Park. The light display illuminates the wooded path along South Park Drive between Park Drive and Attleboro. It opened Labor Day weekend and continues until September 17th.

"Barry was commissioned to create the projects to call attention to the unique setting and natural beauty of the lakes, but to do it in a more forward looking way," says Megan Jones of LAND Studio, a nonprofit organization that partnered with the City of Shaker Heights on the project.

In a news release, the City of Shaker Heights described the lighting installation, which includes very contemporary, brightly colored elements, as "otherworldly."

The ephemeral display, which is drawing camera-wielding visitors, is best viewed from the South Park trail. Underwood is a local artist and faculty member at the Cleveland Institute of Art (CIA). He is currently working on projects for the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland (MOCA) and the Cleveland Clinic.


Source: LAND Studio
Writer: Lee Chilcote

morgan conservatory preserves, shares lost art of papermaking

Tucked away on a hard-to-find, one-way street in a neighborhood full of worker cottages and hulking industrial buildings is a nonprofit arts organization dedicated to preserving the art of papermaking.

Wending your way to the Morgan Conservatory, sandwiched between a factory and aluminum-sided Colonials on East 47th Street off of Commerce Avenue, is like traveling into a forgotten world. It's the perfect warm-up to a venue that celebrates paper in an increasingly paperless society.

The gallery and educational center offers classes in the basic process of pulling handmade paper, more complex processes such as pulp painting, the art of sculptural 3D papermaking, Korean and other Asian papermaking techniques, and historic bookbinding techniques such as creating double-book structures.

The mission of the nonprofit Morgan Conservatory is to provide instruction in the art of handmade papermaking, book arts, letterpress arts and silk screening. Despite the increasing popularity if the iPad and other paperless devices, classes are often full. The conservatory also seeks to become a hub and resource center that will keep artists in Cleveland and offer workshops to students of all ages.

"The best part for me is seeing young people get involved," says Tom Balbo, Executive Director of the Morgan Conservatory. "This kind of facility is rare in any part of the country, and there are only a handful of similar facilities. Cleveland offers the affordability to do this; none of the others are nearly this large."

The Morgan Conservatory incorporates many sustainability efforts. Workers capture rainwater on site and uses it to water the garden. Additionally, the venue recycles a wide array of materials, converting many of the items into paper.

Currently, the gallery features work by artists Qian Li and Don Lisy which will be on display through August 26th. The conservatory is located at 1754 E. 47th Street.


Source: The Morgan Conservatory
Writer: Lee Chilcote

cleveland foundation president touts civic innovation at annual meeting

Before a packed house at Severance Hall, Cleveland Foundation President Ronn Richard touted the city's accomplishments in becoming a hub of innovation and taking bold steps to address big problems at the foundation's annual meeting this Tuesday.

Waxing poetic on the gilded stage for a moment, Richard harkened back to the foundation's early days in the 1910's as a time of tremendous innovation in Cleveland. "I still wonder if the past might be prologue," he mused, noting that the foundation's centennial is just two years away. "Can we envision the spirit of a second renaissance in Cleveland?"

Richard also posed a challenge to civic leaders to remain focused on true economic development and social change within the city. "Physical development, as wonderful as it is, must be coupled with investment in people and placemaking," he said, noting that the building spree of the 1990s was too focused on bricks and mortar projects. "We need to invest in connecting communities."

Among the foundation's projects, Richard touted the Cleveland schools plan that recently passed the state legislature, ongoing investments in high quality urban education, economic development programs such as the HealthTech Corridor and the Evergreen Cooperatives, and programs to connect new audiences to the arts.

Richard also told the audience that later this year the Cleveland Foundation will unveil a new microlending program for entrepreneurs seeking loans under $50,000 to help spur job creation and assist the creation of startups.


Source: Ronn Richard
Writer: Lee Chilcote

local preservation blogger leads walking tour of east cleveland

Christopher Busta-Peck first became interested in teaching others about Cleveland's architectural history when he developed summer history programs for kids as part of his job as a children's librarian.

Too fascinated to put the material down, he soon found himself enmeshed in creating a local history and preservation blog, Cleveland Area History, that has been called the voice of history and historic preservation in Northeast Ohio.

Part of what motivates Busta-Peck is the simple notion that our area's history often lies "hidden in plain sight" between modern buildings, tucked amid neighborhoods or covered up by garish additions. He also believes historic buildings are among the competitive advantages our city should trumpet.

"We have historic buildings that set us apart from other parts of the country," he says. "It's a monetary asset we need to think of when compared to other cities."

Through working to elevate the discussion about urban history, Busta-Peck hopes to make saving Cleveland's forgotten fabric a bigger part of our civic discourse.

On Saturday, June 9th, Busta-Peck will lead a walking tour of East Cleveland in collaboration with SPACES. Among the sites on the tour are a stone tannery he touts as one of the most significant early industrial sites in Cleveland and a large, once beautiful mansion that now lies hidden behind a gas station.


Source: Christopher Busta-Peck
Writer: Lee Chilcote

trails and greenways conference aims to set goals for regional trail system

When the Cleveland Clinic decided to expand its offices at the Independence Technology Center, it cited the nearby presence of the planned Hemlock Trail as one of the reasons behind its investment.

To Dave Linchek of the West Creek Preservation Committee, who has worked for years to make the Hemlock Trail a reality, that's further evidence that Northeast Ohio's trails and greenways not only add to our quality of life, but also enhance our bottom line.

Linchek and other trail advocates created the Greater Cleveland Trails and Greenways Conference in 2010 to bring together leaders for networking, discussion and collaboration. The second biennial conference on Wednesday, June 6th, has elevated the regional discussion to the next level, says Linchek.

"There are a multitude of individual trail plans out there, but we want to spell out our goals as a region," says Linchek. While many cities agree trails are important, they may lack the funding, know how and political will to build them, he says.

Some of the most exciting developments in Northeast Ohio include the proposed Lake Link Trail from the Towpath to Whiskey Island; the section of the Towpath from Steelyard Commons to the Flats that is being developed; the city of Cleveland's renewed focus on bicycle and pedestrian planning; and the Metroparks' newfound openness to creating mountain bike trails.


Source: Dave Linchek
Writer: Lee Chilcote

weapons of mass creation fest helps make cleveland a creative powerhouse

Weapons of Mass Creation Fest, an annual gathering of Cleveland creative types now in its third year, is returning like a blockbuster summer sequel to the Gordon Square Arts District from June 8 through 10. Organizers expect over 1,000 attendees to register, adding to the weekend excitement already taking place in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood.

The conference, which will feature 20 speakers, 20 designers, and 30 bands on two different stages near W. 54th and Detroit, coincides with Gordon Square Arts District Day, a neighborhood-wide celebration on Saturday, June 9.

"One of my goals was to make Cleveland a destination, to make it a creative powerhouse," says Jeff Finley of Go Media, creator of WMC Fest. "When people think of creative places in the U.S., I want them to think of Cleveland."

WMC Fest is helping to achieve that goal by fostering connections among Cleveland's creative community and bringing in speakers and attendees from outside the region. "Some of the speakers from last year are coming back, and that speaks volumes about the attraction we're building here," Finley says.

This year's WMC Fest will incorporate Saigon Plaza as a kind of headquarters for the event, allowing for even more music and a more compact event experience. Finley hopes to expose attendees to the Gordon Square Arts District, which he says is a prime example of a neighborhood that nurtures creativity.

Tickets to the WMC Fest cost only $60, thanks to company sponsorships and fundraising by Go Media, making it one of the most affordable events in town.


Source: Jeff Finley
Writer: Lee Chilcote

respect the bike showcases ohio's rich history of two-wheeled inventiveness

Travis Peebles, who co-owns Blazing Saddle Cycle, displays a Roadmaster bicycle that was made about 80 years ago by the Cleveland Welding Company, located at W. 117th and Berea Road. The rusted, 40-pound bike is not for sale, yet it adorns the shop as a proud reminder of cycling's rich local history.

It is perhaps a little known fact that both Cleveland and Ohio have a rich history in the annals of bike history (those crazy Wright brothers started it all with a Dayton bike shop, after all). Our region's tradition of making bicycles is intertwined with our manufacturing history. That deep tradition will be on display this Friday, April 27th at the Greenhouse Tavern during "Respect the Bike: Ohio Built with Ohio Pride," an exhibition of historic and contemporary Ohio bike builders.

"Cleveland and Ohio were huge springboards for cycling," says Peebles. "From the 1890s through the 1900s, there were tons of bikes that were made in Cleveland."

Respect the Bike will feature a wide range of bicycles from pre-1900 bikes made in Northeast Ohio to contemporary bikes built by local, entrepreneurial frame builders such as Rust Belt Welding, Carmen Gambino and Dan Polito.

Peebles, who admits to being "borderline obsessed" with hunting for old bicycles and makes a living restoring '70s and '80s era steel bikes, partnered with the Greenhouse Tavern because of its commitment to local foods and cycling.

Respect the Bike is also billed as a kick-off to Cleveland Bike Month, which takes place in May. Attendees are encouraged to ride their bikes to the event and participate in the monthly Critical Mass ride at Public Square beforehand.


Source: Travis Peebles
Writer: Lee Chilcote
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