A few weeks ago, the EA team took a tour of the iconic decommissioned Coast Guard Station at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River. Sean McDermott, Chief Planning & Design Officer for the Cleveland Metroparks, shared his insights into what the plans are for this cool piece of property.
This 1940 Art Moderne beauty was designed by architect J. Milton Dyer (who also designed Cleveland City Hall and many other landmark buildings). The station is on the National Register of Historic Places. While the City of Cleveland owns the property, the Metroparks took over its management in 2009. As the station was vacant for many years and open to the elements due to dilapidation, the Metroparks had to immediately invest $500K to seal the building with a new roof and install historically accurate windows to prevent the building from collapsing on itself.
The Metroparks is realistic about this building only being accessible six to seven months out of the year due to icy pier conditions during winter months. So while we may dream of a waterfront restaurant or bar, not many entrepreneurs would be willing to invest the millions it will take to make the station workable and then only be able to use it for half of the year. Meanwhile, the Metroparks is open to hearing ideas from any organization that envisions a good use for this building… An educational outpost for one of the colleges? A water focused non-profit?
Have a cool idea? Call them!
A small marina with a dozen sailboats sits next to the Coast Guard Station. From here, The Foundry runs a sailing program for middle and high schoolers. This youth sailing program is offered to students regardless of ability to pay. They store their gear inside the Coast Guard Station.
Our staff took a scary spiral staircase to the roof. And, we were rewarded with amazing views, including the Cleveland sign painted on the roof to welcome incoming planes!
Sean shared a fact that we all found to be incredible. The Flats has had no master plan for years despite this district being an entertainment hub for Northeast Ohio with apartment buildings, concert venues, restaurants, and nightlife. He also shared an update on the $8M TIGER trails grant they received (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) and showed completed and to-be-done trails.
We then had our staff meeting surrounded by the beauty that is Cleveland.
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