Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lost: Hathaway Brown School and Laurel School

Image courtesy of the Cleveland Memory Project

Yesterday, the Cleveland Clinic demolished one of the last vestiges of the once great Euclid Avenue, an impressive dark sandstone building at 1945 East 97th Street, designed by architects Hubbell and Benes for Hathaway Brown School in 1905. The school used this building as its home until 1927, when it moved to Shaker Heights. Some of the firm's other notable commissions include the West Side Market, the YMCA, and the Ohio Bell Building.

Laurel School

The Clinic will soon, probably today or tomorrow, demolish another building in the complex, the home of Laurel School from 1909-1928.

Hathaway Brown School Site

This is all that remained yesterday of the Hathaway Brown building. It is shameful that the Cleveland Clinic was unable to find an adaptive reuse for this historic structure. They've done an excellent job of repurposing the 1901 Henry P. White house, at 8937 Euclid Avenue. Surely they could have found a use for this structure of similar character.

It has become clear that the Cleveland Clinic has little regard for the history of the area that has supported it and helped it grow. The last major building the Clinic demolished, the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, is now surface parking. While the need for parking is clear, I, for one, would be in favor of zoning variances allowing larger parking garages if it would guarantee the Clinic would save some of these buildings.

Take another look at the Cleveland Play House. Is there any doubt that the Cleveland Clinic will demolish the structure as soon as they take ownership of it?

I encourage you to contact the president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, Delos Cosgrove, M.D., to let him know your feelings on this subject. He can be reached by phone at 216-444-2300 or by mail at:

Delos Cosgrove
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code H18
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195


  1. I see in November that someone nominated them for landmark status. I assume they were unsuccessful?

    Wouldn't the plan for demolition have to have been brought up at a planning meeting at some point?

    Are you still thinking of forming a protest for Laurel or is it too late?

  2. The problem is that in order to become a Cleveland Landmark, the owner has to consent. I should have been more on the ball and made the obvious conclusion when I saw it in the agenda.

    I don't see anything happening with Laurel School right now. My energies are going into preparing for the next fight.

  3. I really cannot comment through the tears. A beautiful part of my soul has been ripped out.
    Laura Abbott Bollenbacher