Friday May 19th

BRAVERMAN-BRANTLEY APARTMENTS (1937)
2378 Euclid Heights Boulevard
Architect: Sigmund Braverman

Cleveland has few Art Deco apartment towers, but this is a good one. The extended balconies and vertical lines give it a sculptured appearance. The architect lived in the building for many years. It was named “the best apartment building in Cleveland” in 1937.

SHAKER SQUARE CINEMAS (formerly Colony Theater) (1937)
13116 Shaker Square
Architect: John Eberson

John Eberson is a better known for his “atmospheric” theaters, but this is an example of his work in the Art Modern style. It features grand flowing lines and a seemingly unsupported balcony. In 1991, the building was divided into five theaters.

SHAKER SQUARE (1929)
Architects: Small & Rowley

This Georgian-style shopping district was built by the Van Sweringen brothers for the village of Shaker Heights, and among the first planned shopping centers in the US. Philip Small & Charles Rowley worked together from 1921-1928, and designed many of the Georgian- and Tudor-style homes in Shaker Heights, including a home for the Van Sweringen brothers.

SHAKER HEIGHTS

Shaker Heights and nearby Cleveland Heights have few rivals in United States, carefully planned communities developed by the Van Sweringen Brothers, beginning in 1924. Enormous homes were laid out on a grand scheme of boulevards and curvilinear side streets, linked by Rapid Transit to Downtown Cleveland. Public buildings and schools were preplanned on spacious sites with monumental settings. Commerce was rigorously confined to a few selected areas. The “Shaker Standards” were legendary. Homes had to be designed by an architect—no house plans from a book––and only of certain styles. The Van Sweringens favored romantic revival styles like Tudor and Georgian. Bungalows were banned because they were not considered elegant–– too informal––and of course modern styles were not even considered. The community was enormously successful, and attracted some of the wealthiest people in Cleveland. Even into the 1960s, Shaker Heights was only second to Beverly Hills in per capita income. It also inspired numerous other suburban communities in the US, including Coral Gables, Florida.

THE WESTLAKE (1925)
19000 Lake Avenue
Architect: J. Howard MacDowell

This 8-story Spanish Colonial Revival style luxury hotel opened the same year as the Cleveland Municipal Airport. Its proximity to the airport made it the leading hotel of the West Side during the aviation boom of the 1920s and 30s. As headquarters for the National Air Races, Charles Lindbergh, Amelia Earhart, Richard Byrd, and other aviation celebrities stayed there.

The building also represents among the first buildings in Cleveland with significant publicity regarding the renovation of a historic building. In the early 1980s, the 400 hotel rooms were converted to 98 luxury condominiums, attracting famous sports celebrities like Cleveland Brown quarterback Bernie Kosar as residents. But for the first time there was considerable press about the carefully restored Art Deco lobby, in the historically correct—and carefully researched—colors of coral and green. Locals were initially in shock when research also revealed that the original exterior color of The Westlake was coral, and not the white it had been painted for many years.

COWAN POTTERY MUSEUM at the Rocky River Public Library
1600 Hampton Road, Rocky River.

One of the nation’s leading potteries during the 1920s, and Greater Cleveland’s only major pottery. During it’s a brief existence (1912-1931) the Cowan Pottery Studio produced outstanding and technically extraordinary pieces, which brought international recognition to American art pottery. At its height, the studio was producing 175,000 pieces a year–ranging from stock pieces to Limited Editions–and sold at prestigious department stores around the country. R. Guy Cowan founded the studio in 1912 in nearby Lakewood, but it was closed while Cowan served in the First World War. In 1920, he moved the facility west to Rocky River, Ohio. By the late 1920s, many well-known artists were affiliated with the studio, including Waylande Gregory, Viktor Schreckengost, Thelma Frazier Winter, Elsa Vick Shaw, Margaret Postgate, Alexander Blazys, and others. Through these artists and their works, the studio showed itself to be ahead of its time with modern ceramic sculptures and wide array of Art Deco pieces it created for its avant-garde clientele. Museum Curator Lauren Hansgen will offer a brief introduction to the collection, shown in display cases surrounding the reading room, and then delegates can view the pieces in detail on their own.

ANNUNCIATION GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH (1919)
2187 West 14th Street
Architect: unknown

The Tremont neighborhood is famous for its historic ethnic churches, and the domes of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church are viewed daily by thousands of drivers on Interstate 90. Annunciation was the first Greek Orthodox Church in Cleveland. Father John Zografos became the church’s pastor in 1924. During his four-year tenure, he painted all 85 icons that still adorn the church’s interior. And every Memorial Day weekend, the church hosts an enormously popular Greek Heritage Festival, attended by thousands of Clevelanders— most of whom are not of Greek descent.

78th STREET STUDIOS
1300 West 78th Street

The building dates to 1905, as the home of the Baker Electric Motor Vehicle Company, who specialized in vehicles for the commercial market. Visitors can find the original hardwood floors, metal track doors, and freight elevators where the vehicles were taken down to the loading docks for distribution until 1914. Years later, into the 1980s, the building was home to American Greetings Creative Studios, before they moved to the suburbs.

On the third Friday of every month, Northeast Ohio’s largest art and design complex opens to the public from 5-9 pm with over 50 art galleries, artist studios, and performance spaces.

Although the bus will drop you off at the main entrance on the north side of the building—the bus can’t stop on West 78th Street and block traffic–start your visit at Tregoning & Company—the Gallery entrance is on the side of the building at 1300 W. 78th St. We will have a reception there, and view the opening exhibit by artist Matt Dibble. Bill Tregoning, the Gallery owner, has an incredible knowledge regarding both European and American art, so don’t hesitate to ask him questions. After the reception, return to the main entrance to explore four floors of studios and galleries. We suggest you begin on the lower level, to see the ArtNeo Gallery. ArtNeo is the non-profit group that promotes artists in Northeast Ohio. See the special exhibit: Pop & Circumstance: Works by Andy Dreamingwolf. And ArtNeo Curator Christopher Richards is going to try to display a few pieces related to The Kokoon Club that he pulled from storage.

On the day of the event, we will have a schedule of the shuttle bus from 78th Street Studios, along Detroit Avenue in the Gordon Square Arts District, and Downtown hotels.

GORDON SQUARE ARTS DISTRICT
Around Detroit Avenue, from West 70th to West 54th Streets

This area has had a resurgence in the last decade, anchored by the restoration of the Capitol Theater at West 65th Street and Detroit Avenue. There are also two community theaters: Cleveland Public Theater and the Near West Theater. We encourage you to dine or have a drink in the area following your visit to the 78th Street Studios.