This week's Cleveland suburban newspaper (The Sun Post) had an article with which I wholeheartedly agreed with. The writer's premise --"What goes up shouldn't have to come down" made me realize that this young writer-- Joanne Draus Klein is capable of providing deep insights concerning "problems" which will probably precipitate a debate between those of us who say - "whoa" and those who say "implode."
For one thing she regrets that her beloved Euclid Park Elementary School was demolished in 2007. She opines: "If a place like Euclid Park --once rich with the spirit of children and equally rich in structural appointments could be razed and relegated to mere memory, any place could. And too many are."
She questions construction experts in their all too hastily arrived at views that poor cost-benefit ratios necessitate bringing some buildings down. I rather believe that their rationale is that there is more money in tearing down and rebuilding than there is in repairing and saving. What a waste of money and history. Of course, the builders have no complaints --free enterprise at its worst --er-- best.
My beloved Harrison School came down a couple years ago in Lakewood, Ohio as well. I implored the Lakewood School Board and the Historical Society to consider the historical significance of this second oldest school in Lakewood. It had been the school for the immigrant children of largely the Slovak and other Eastern Europeans who had settled this little 8-street tract in eastern Lakewood with the help of their employer -National Carbon.
At this time I'm sure the Board was well aware of the workings to designate "Birdtown" (5 streets are named after birds) as an historical site, but chose
instead to ignore this and tore down the venerable and beautiful old school,
as well as at least 8 immigrant homes to put up a spanking new school. In
my opinion, it is so out of place in the historical district which it has become.
If I could change the hands of time - the old school and the 8 houses would
be back there where they belong.
They claimed that a new school was necessary to improve academic achievement. Well guess what-- it wasn't and it didn't. The report card on the new Harrison was poor. It just goes to prove that it is not buildings and equipment which will boost academic achievment, but the willingness of pupils, parents, and teachers to work in harmony. We Harrison alumni didn't do too badly from a school which then had 8 grades and almost zilch in today's technology.
Having been a teacher for 20 years, I was lucky because in the 50's and 60's the children were docile and the parents cooperative. I could not teach in today's climate where, more than likely, the teachers have pupils who don't want to learn, are incredibly spoiled, and have parents who don't care, or who question the teacher's credentials when problems arise. My respect and admiration to all of you who are teachers today.
I also agree with Draus Klein's dislike seeing the way too many incidences
on TV of "staggering images of imploding, cascading buildings." Is this not only destructive of history but wasteful of building materials as well? (Yes, some of the rubble is salvaged but not enough for this penny pincher.) I love old things and I'm not speaking of antiques, of which I have none, unless my mother's old curtain stretcher counts for something. Joke.
My concerns I believe are in harmony with my respect for the environment. The simple home my parents bought in the 30's was built in 1905. I have made improvements over time which were necessary for maintenance, but I never even once considered the offer by the bank to sell my house to them for parking space. I laugh when people tell me they are looking for houses with "character." Mine has next to none, but I hope the people who dwell in it do.