Fight to Save Downtown Building
Isn't Over Yet, Says Lawson Jones
I ran into Cuyahoga County commissioner Peter Lawson Jones this morning at breakfast, and took a moment to congratulate him for his principled stand on the preservation of the Breuer Building, which some see as an architectural landmark but which his commission counterparts are itching to demolish. The Plain Dealer this week did what it always does, editorializing against preservation and thus throwing its weight toward what establishment players want rather than average citizens. In doing so, it thus ignored the ongoing and impassioned calls of its architecture critic, Steve Litt, who's been campaigning to save the building. Last week, he had this to say. In February, he wrote this column.
Last September, in a column no longer online (but the energetic Norm Roulet mentions it here), Litt got the whole debate started by writing that "the three Cuyahoga County Commissioners soon could decide to pull down a 29-story downtown office tower by Marcel Breuer to make way for a new county administrative center. That would be tragic and wasteful for a city with a limited supply of historic buildings worth saving from any period. In this case, apathy over mid-20th-century Modernist architecture is playing a huge role. Debate over the Breuer tower has been absolutely anemic." Imagine that, a PD writer trying to spark more rather than less community debate! It helps explain why Litt isn't merely popular in many quarters, but increasingly becoming at least a minor folk hero to some.
Anyway, Lawson Jones said this morning that all does not look so gloomy as some would assume. "It's now before the City Planning Commission, and I'm hopeful, knock on wood, that they'll do the right thing." He added that it wouldn't hurt if people were to call the commission and make their voices heard. Okay, folks, you have your marching orders (okay, more like a suggestion). That number is 216-664-2210.