The State of Hessler – 6

Hessler achieves ‘honor of endangerment’ in Ohio while Landmarks Commission mostly ignore invitation to visit

-Hessler nominated a ‘most endangered historic site’ by Preserve Ohio

-Landmarks Commission allows architect and architecture historian to testify, though no ‘Power Point’ unlike what the developers received


-One member of the Landmarks Commission may yet accept Hessler neighbors invitation to Landmarks Commission members to visit Hessler

By Lee Batdorff

“We’ll be visiting the Hessler neighborhood to make recommendations,” said Thomas Palmer of Galion Ohio, executive director of Preservation Ohio. Known as preserveohio.com online, this is the group’s 39th annual, ‘Ohio’s Most Endangered Historic Site,’ nomination.

For 2021 the Ohio-wide organization will officially issue declarations for 11 sites nominated, Hessler being one,“either, Friday, (May 28) or Monday, (May 31),” said Mr. Palmer. Preservation Ohio came to this nomination after examining the application submitted by Hessler neighbors and judged it compared to many other applications. Apparently the Hessler application provided sufficient evidence of endangerment to achieve this dubious honor.

Preservation Ohio logo

Landmarks Commission concedes to having experts represent Hessler—though no image presentation like the developers have received

The Hessler Coalition secured a place at the May 27th online meeting for architect and Hessler rental property owner Mark Fremont, (who made a presentation at the May 6th Euclid Corridor design review meeting on May 6th that apparently helped sway a no vote on this proposal, find here)—and architectural historian Jessica Wobig, (see here for her position about how to treat a historic district).

Mr. Fremont’s position against the proposed micro-suite building differs from that of the Hessler Coalition. While the Hessler group wants no development in the backyard of 1975 Ford Drive, he said,”I’m pro-development,” and has done some small developments himself. His visual presentation shows the site with two potential two-family homes like the ones on both sides of the site. Some of these images can be seen here.

Unfortunately, unlike what the developers of this proposal received, the presentation of visual information typical of any architectural and planning presentation was disallowed for the people contesting this proposal, according to Hessler leader Charles Hoven.

Invitation to Landmarks Commission to visit Hessler is mostly ignored

The Hessler Coalition invited members of the Landmarks Commission to visit what most people familiar with the situation say, “is a special Cleveland street,” and only one member, Michelle Anderson said she’d try to visit. Why is there such a tepid response?

At the May 6th Euclid Corridor Design Review Committee where the proposal received a no vote chairman of the committee Jerry Rothenberg visited Hessler
and decided the scale of the proposed development was too large for the site.

Hessler micro-unit proposal developer’s previous project where grass was replaced with gravel

Photo at left is taken head of the row houses at 11319-11327 Hessler Rd. in 2000 when the street was empty just before vendors arrived for the Hessler Street Fair. Photo at right is taken from the side of the gravel covered front yards that developer Russell Berusch had installed in 2018. Presumably this gravel is saving Mr. Berusch the cost of having the yards mowed.
Photo, (taken in 2000 by Eric Ambos), at left shows head on, the row houses at 11319-11327 Hessler Rd. when the street was empty just before vendors arrived to set up for the Hessler Street Fair. Photo at right is taken, (by Lee Batdorff), shows from the side of the gravel covered front yards that developer Russell Berusch had installed in 2018. Presumably this gravel is saving Mr. Berusch the cost of having the yards mowed.
Mr. Berusch’s partner developer Rick Maron and project architect Daniel Sirk have repeatedly offered up the side yard of 1975 Ford Drive for various iterations of being a “gateway to (a future) Hessler Street Fair”. Would this scenario mean that the side yard’s lovely bushes and grass be replaced with rounded gravel as have the yards in front of the 11319-11327 Hessler Road row houses—and further save the developers the cost of having the lawns mowed and the bushes trimmed?

Hessler petition garners at least 700 digital signatures

The Hessler Coalition has instituted an online petition requesting that the Cleveland Landmarks Commission give the Hessler neighborhood a fair hearing on May 27 with over 700 signatures on it by early Wednesday morning.

The Cleveland Landmarks  Commission will meet at  9 a.m. May 27, 2021. The proposed new construction on Hessler Rd. is first on the agenda. The meeting will be  simulcast streamed. Find link to streaming of the meeting here.

Clarification: The original version of this story did not state the source of the statement that the Landmarks Commission will not allow visual material at their meeting. Hessler leader Charles Hoven provided this information.

To help the Hessler neighbors make their case against this development and sign the petition click on the link here.

For ongoing discussion of the proposal click on this link here.

For more about the history and construction of wood block Hessler Court click on this link here.

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