A look back at 9 previous downtown Cleveland lakefront proposals that didn’t move ahead – Plain Dealer May 30, 2022

Plain Dealer – May 30, 2022

A look back at 9 previous downtown Cleveland lakefront proposals that didn’t move ahead

Cleveland downtown lakefront plans
Most of the ideas outlined in a rendering from “Civic Vision 2000 and Beyond,” 1998, a project of Cleveland Tomorrow, didn’t come to pass. But the urge to better connect downtown Cleveland to Lake Erie still persists.Courtesy Greater Cleveland Partnership

CLEVELAND, Ohio — They were big, bold, and visionary. And they never made it from blueprint to reality.

Since the late 1980s, planners, developers, and civic organizations have come up with at least nine big plans for developing the downtown lakefront, including proposals about how to better connect downtown to Lake Erie. Yet downtown is still firmly separated from the water by the Ohio 2 Shoreway and rail lines used by Norfolk-Southern and the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority.

Here’s a list of the lakefront proposals, and what happened to them:

– The city’s 1988 Civic Vision 2000 Downtown Plan included Progressive Corp.’s proposal to build a lakefront skyscraper headquarters designed by architect Frank Gehry that would have risen next to an extension of the downtown Mall overlooking North Coast Harbor. Progressive dropped the idea and built its headquarters in suburban Mayfield.

(Related coverage: Could downtown Cleveland’s parks and public spaces be more fun and better programmed? A new survey seeks answers)

Downtown Cleveland lakefront ideas
A model portrays a design from 1987-88 by architect Frank Gehry for a skyscraper headquarters for Progressive Corp. that would have risen on the Cleveland lakefront next to an extension of the downtown Mall. Gehry Partners LLP

– A new downtown plan called “Civic Vision 2000 and Beyond’’ grew out of a closed-door process in 1997-98 led by executives of Cleveland Tomorrow, representing the city’s top corporate leaders. The plan included a concept for linking downtown more strongly to the lakefront. After a big rollout, it never gained momentum.

Downtown Cleveland lakefront ideas
The 1998 “Civic Vision 2000 and Beyond” project undertaken by Cleveland Tomorrow, a predecessor of the Greater Cleveland Partnership, included a proposal for a new convention center at the north end of the downtown Mall overlooking Lake Erie. It was the same spot identified for a regional passenger rail terminal in the 1903 Group Plan for downtown.Courtesy Greater Cleveland Partnership

– In 2001, Cleveland Tomorrow and the Growth Association, then the city’s chamber of commerce, followed up with a concept called “The Shoreway: Reclaiming Our Lakefront’’ that aimed at revamping the lakefront highway to foster development between downtown and the lakefront. The proposal was the first to take a serious look at the issue.

– In 2004, the city completed its Waterfront District Plan, the biggest lakefront vision in 50 years. It was led by then-city planning director Chris Ronayne, working under former mayor Jane Campbell. (Ronayne is now the Democratic candidate for Cuyahoga County executive.) The plan called for extending the Mall over the Shoreway in a manner that anticipated a proposal like the 2021 Haslam proposal.

City of Cleveland 2004 Waterfront District Plan
Cleveland’s 2004 Waterfront District Plan called for protecting the Lake Erie shoreline with new islands made of dredged sediment from the Cuyahoga River, plus new waterfront trails and parks, and additional north-south connections to neighborhoods.City of Cleveland, SmithGroup JJR

– A 2009 plan developed under then-mayor Frank Jackson, led by waterfront planner Stanton Eckstut, called for extensive redevelopment of lakefront land owned by the city and the Port of Cleveland, with new blocks oriented diagonally to deflect prevailing winds. A 2012 update included a spot for a pedestrian bridge from the Mall to North Coast Harbor.

Downtown Cleveland lakefront ideas
A Plain Dealer graphic from 2009 details a proposal by planner Stanton Eckstut to divide downtown lakefront into parcels oriented diagonally to deflect prevailing winds.Plain Dealer file

– The 2010 Cleveland Design Competition, conceived by local architects, challenged contestants to figure out how to use a multi-modal transportation hub as a connector between downtown and the lakefront. Entries by more than two-dozen teams came from around the world. The ideas were visionary but failed to motivate action.

Downtown Cleveland lakefront ideas
A park shaped like the contoured wings of a giant bird stretches over railroad tracks north of the downtown Mall in this 2010 proposal by Mario Caceres and Christian Canonico of Paris, France, one of the best designs in the Cleveland Design Competition that year.Mario Caceres and Christian Canonico

– In 2013, expanding on ideas from the Eckstut proposal in 2009, Cleveland developer Dick Pace and Texas-based developer Trammell Crow proposed widening the East Ninth Street bridge over the Shoreway with a parklike expansion and building a Mall extension slightly to the east of the one later proposed by the Haslams. The city didn’t approve of the idea, Pace said.

Downtown Cleveland lakefront ideas
A 2013 proposal by developer Dick Pace of Cleveland-based Cumberland Development and Texas-based Trammell Crow called for an off-axis extension of the downtown Mall and widening the East Ninth Street bridge as a park. Courtesy Dick Pace, Cumberland Development

– In 2014-2016, the non-profit Group Plan Commission proposed an eye-catching, $25 million pedestrian bridge designed by Boston architect Miguel Rosales, to connect the Mall to the Rock Hall. After the estimated construction cost rose, the city rejected the concept as impractical and too expensive.

Downtown Cleveland lakefront ideas
A proposal made by the Group Plan Commission and Boston architect Miguel Rosales in 2014-2016 called for creating a graceful pedestrian bridge connecting the downtown Cleveland Mall to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

– A 2019 concept developed by the nonprofit Green Ribbon Coalition proposed extending the Mall as a wide “land bridge’’ oriented northeast toward North Coast Harbor. The concept stirred public interest, but the city stayed mum on it until Jackson said in 2021 that he liked the Haslam proposal, which he described as a “land bridge.”

Downtown Cleveland lakefront ideas.
The Green Ribbon Coalition in 2019 proposed creating a 5.3-acre, $100 million “land bridge” that would have decked over the lakefront railroad bridges and Shoreway, bridging the gap between the downtown Mall and lakefront attractions including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Great Lakes Science Center and FirstEnergy Stadium. Green Ribbon Coalition

See the Cuyahoga River, Clean Water Act Video that won a St. Ignatius senior 2nd prize in C-SPAN competition

by Peter Krouse
The 1972 Clean Water Act was created to stop river fires, but can it help today? In 1969 the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio burst into flames after being filled with toxic oil and waste for decades. Since, the EPA has led a charge to try to change that. Follow me as I dive into the Nixon-era law that changed how we view water quality and try to answer the ultimate question, did it work? And if it did, what can we learn from it for the problems we face today like climate change?

Cuyahoga County Plastic Bag Ban January 2020

      
Thank you Governor DeWine for supporting home rule and protecting Lake Erie.

Please tell your Ohio State Senator to let local areas determine their own laws, especially on plastics which can harm our lakes and rivers

This from the Sierra Club of Ohio:
EVERYONE make calls to Governor DeWine’s office applauding his position against the container law preemption bills and for local government freedom to develop solutions to plastic pollution. (Pats on the back are always nice, and hopefully it will encourage him to hold strong on his position and veto any bills that may make it to his desk)  (614) 644-4357

To find your Ohio State Senator (or Rep.), click here

Here are tools we can use to educate about the Cuyahoga County Single-Use Plastic Bag ban

 

“Plastics and Ohio” forum August 29, 2019 Rocky River Library

“Plastics and Ohio” forum
Plastic pollution, is it the next burning river?
What can residents do?

August 29, 2019 at 7pm

the flyer is here
the summary is here
the video is here

Moderator: Jocelyn Travis, Sierra Club Ohio

w/panelists:
•Cheryl Johncox, Sierra Club Ohio,

•Sunny Simon, District 11 Cuyahoga County Council,

•Sarah Damron, Surfrider Foundation,

•Sarah Mathews, Rumpke Waste,

•Cristie Snyder, Cuyahoga County Solid Waste District

Rocky River Public Library, 1600 Hampton Rd. Rocky River OH 44116

Cosponsored by LWV Greater Cleveland, the Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, the Bay Green Team, Rocky River Green Team and Rocky River Public Library

Re-visiting Mayor Stokes’ Cuyahoga River Pollution Tour, 50 Years Later WCPN 6/18/19

Re-visiting Mayor Stokes’ Cuyahoga River Pollution Tour, 50 Years Later
WCPN 6/18/19 by Elizabeth Miller
On June 23, 1969, a day after the fire on the Cuyahoga River, Mayor Carl Stokes took reporters on a four-stop pollution tour. It would turn out to be the last fire on the river. We retraced the tour 50 years later.
by Elizabeth Miller 90.3 WCPN ideastream
The link is here
 
https://www.ideastream.org/news/re-visiting-mayor-stokes-cuyahoga-river-pollution-tour-50-years-later

A Cuyahoga River timeline, from Moses Cleaveland to Blazing Paddles By Emily Bamforth, cleveland.com June 19, 2019

CLEVELAND, Ohio – The history of the Cuyahoga River is much more than a fire.
The 100 miles of curves has always mixed city and nature, recreation and industry.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the fire that caught the nation’s attention, learn more about what shaped the Cuyahoga River and how the river shapes us.
By Emily Bamforth, cleveland.com June 19, 2019
 

“Plastics and Lake Erie” a forum on Tues Dec 4, 2018


Tuesday December 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm
“Plastics and Lake Erie”
The flyer is here
The video is here

Rocky River Library, 1600 Hampton Rd, Rocky River 44116
Moderated by Elizabeth Miller, Environmental Reporter, Ideastream
Panelists:
Jill Bartolotta, Extension Educator, Ohio Sea Grant College Program
Crystal M.C. Davis, Policy Director, Alliance for the Great Lakes
Erin D. Huber, Executive Director and Founder, Drink Local Drink Tap


Elizabeth Miller

Co-sponsored by the Sierra Club, Case Western Reserve University Siegal Lifelong Learning Program, League of Women Voters-Greater Cleveland, Cleveland.com, Ideastream, Rocky River High School Environmental Club and Bay Village Green Team
Corporate sponsor: First Interstate Properties, Ltd.