It's Design + Build Month at Freshwater! Find out what's on our radar.

As part of our editorial calendar for FreshWater, we select a different theme to highlight each month in line with our 15 focus areas (which range from social change to technology). For March, we're turning our lens on Design + Build—find out what's on the FreshWater team's radar right now.

Bob Perkoski, Managing Photographer: I chose the above photo because every time I go to see an exhibit at MOCA Cleveland I’m always drawn to the stairs (known as the "Donna and Stewart Kohl Monumental Staircase and Atrium"). Even though there’s an elevator, you just have to use the stairs—or at least experience them from the upper floor balcony. They are so unique.

I love the angles and the way the light hits the stairs coming in from the large windows that span the four floors of the front of the building.

Of course, the building itself is a work of art and just adds to the whole experience of visiting there. This photo was taken during the Do Ho Suh exhibit in September of 2015.


Tammy Wise, Publisher: It is hard to be in Cleveland and not view the visible work of Robert P. Madison, Ohio’s first African-American architect. Madison collaborated with other architects, including the legendary I.M. Pei, on some of Cleveland’s most recognizable landmarks such as Rock Hall of Fame and Museum, Browns Stadium (FirstEnergy today) and The Q. The Euclid Avenue Healthline bus stations are Madison’s most recent architectural gems in Cleveland.

Hitting retail and online bookstores late March or early April is Designing Victories, a memoir co-written with Carlo Wolff. Featuring over 30 illustrations and 80 photos, the 288-page book and tracks Madison from his native Cleveland and several points further south in his extraordinary journey. I encourage readers to purchase Designing Victories and read the story of how this Clevelander refused to listen to those who told him that a black architect would starve.


Jen Jones Donatelli, Managing Editor: Many of FreshWater’s greatest hits have been stories for our Design + Build section—in fact, half of our top 10 stories from 2018 fit into this category (including pieces on The Lumen, The Van Aken District, and more). Over the weekend, I visited the new Music Settlement in Ohio City, and it was a thrill to see it fully up and running after having the chance to tour and write about the building while it was under construction last year. Sleek, modern, and inviting, the new Music Settlement is the perfect yin to its sister location in University Circle’s traditional yang.

Another recent article that enabled me to rock a hard hat was our coverage of the new Harbor Verandas near the Rock Hall. It's incredibly exciting to see Cleveland doing more development by the lakefront—especially with Euclid's groundbreaking recreation trail, scheduled for completion this fall. (Just a few streets from my house...can't wait to ride my bike next to Lake Erie every morning!)


Karin Connelly Rice, Senior News Editor: One of my favorite parts about writing for FreshWater’s Breaking Ground section is exploring Cleveland’s rich building history. Everything old is new again in this town—from the new Mueller Lofts going into the former Mueller Electric building in AsiaTown, to GBX’s conversion of the former Keetch Knitting Mills, or even the cleanup of the historic Scofield Mansion.

But then of equal fascination are the new properties joining the skyline, like
One University Circle, along with the new Centers for Dialysis Care building next door, or the transformation of Van Aken Shopping Center into the long-awaited Van Aken District. Each project brings Cleveland’s unique history to mind, along with excitement about what’s coming next.

Which Design + Build projects do you think deserve the spotlight? Share them in the comments (and be sure to check out our recent stories here)!
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