From Wikipedia: “The lower Cuyahoga River has been subjected to numerous changes. Originally, the Cuyahoga River met Lake Erie approximately 4,000 feet (1.2 km) west of its current mouth, forming a shallow marsh. The current mouth is man-made, and it lies just west of present-day downtown Cleveland, which allows shipping traffic to flow freely between the river and the lake. Additionally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers periodically dredges the navigation channel of the otherwise shallow river to a depth of 27 feet (8.2 m), along the river’s lower 5 miles (8.0 km), from its mouth up to the Mittal Steel Cleveland Works steel mills, to accommodate Great Lakes freighter traffic which serves the bulk (asphalt, gravel, petroleum, salt, steel, and other) industries located along the lower Cuyahoga River banks in Cleveland’s Flats district. The Corps of Engineers has also straightened river banksand widened turning basins in the Federal Navigation Channel on the lower Cuyahoga River to facilitate maritime operations”.
Today’s photo is of the Fountain of Eternal Life during the winter time. During the winter months the fountain is turned off but it still looks pretty cool.
From Wikipedia –
“The Fountain of Eternal Life, also known as the War Memorial Fountain and Peace Arising from the Flames of War, is a statue and fountain in Cleveland, Ohio designed by Cleveland Institute of Art graduate Marshall Fredericks and dedicated on May 30, 1964. The sculpture, which serves as the city’s major memorial to its citizens that served in World War II, is situated on Memorial Plaza, which is part of the Cleveland Mall.
The fountain was initiated and promoted by the Cleveland Press, which raised $250,000 in donations from private citizens and various organizations for the project. The centerpiece is a 35-foot (10.7 m) bronze figure representing man escaping from the flames of war and reaching skyward for eternal peace. The bronze sphere from which the figure rises represents the earth. Four granite carvings, representing the geographic civilizations of the world, are placed around the sphere. On the surface of the polished granite rim surrounding the fountain are bronze plates bearing the names of 4,177 Greater Clevelanders who perished in WWII and in the Korean War. Following a complete restoration during the construction of an underlying parking garage in connection with the neighboring Key Tower, the memorial was rededicated on Veterans Day in 1991″.
Today’s Quote – “Every man dies. Not every man really lives”. – William Wallace
Today’s photo is of a winter scene near Peninsula, Ohio in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Here is some info from the National Park Foundation’s website: “Though a short distance from the urban environments of Cleveland and Akron, Cuyahoga Valley National Park seems worlds away. The winding Cuyahoga—the “crooked river” as named by American Indians—gives way to deep forests, rolling hills, and open farmlands. The park is a refuge for flora and fauna, gives a sense of times past, and provides recreation and solitude for Ohio’s residents and visitors. The park has a rich cultural legacy as well. Remains of the Ohio & Erie Canal, which traveled through the valley in the 19th and early 20th centuries, offer a glimpse into the past”.
Today’s Quote: “Every other artist begins with a blank canvas, a piece of paper the photographer begins with the finished product”. – Edward Steichen
The history of the Cleveland Metroparks from clemetparks website:
“The oldest park district in Ohio, the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District was born in 1917, the initiative of a young, self-taught engineer who had conceived the idea of an outer chain of parks with connecting boulevards some 12 years earlier. William Stinchcomb’s genius was to anticipate the future need for open space at a time when Cuyahoga County outside of Cleveland was still largely rural. From a few scattered donations of land in the Rocky River Valley, the Park District grew to embrace some of the most scenic areas of Greater Cleveland.
Stinchcomb first suggested his idea in 1905 and repeated his plea in 1909. Cleveland, which was then the nation’s sixth largest city, finally formed a park board in 1912 following an act by the Ohio Senate. In April 1912, West Side brewer Leonard Schlather offered to donate approximately three acres of bottom land in the Rocky River Valley.
But, there was a problem. Although the park board had the power to receive gifts of land and property, it had no money of its own and no authority to raise money by bonds or taxation. The park board remained basically dormant for several years.
State law changed in 1915, allowing the Cuyahoga County Commissioners to appropriate money to the park board and in 1916 the first funds were received. Stinchcomb, who had been elected Cuyahoga County engineer, stayed involved in the project as a consulting engineer and developed the “Proposed Cuyahoga County Park and Boulevard System.” The plan showed a continuous parkway encircling Cuyahoga County, threading its way through the Rocky River, Big Creek, Chippewa Creek, Tinkers Creek, Chagrin River and Euclid Creek valleys, and connecting, in two places, with the existing city of Cleveland park system.
In March 1917, the Ohio General Assembly passed a bill providing for “the conservation of natural resources by the creation, development and improvement of park districts.” On June 30, 1917, the Board of Trustees of Euclid Township petitioned the Probate Judge of Cuyahoga County for the creation of the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District. In July, a new park board was appointed and then met for the first time on July 30, 1917. Stinchcomb stayed on as a consultant without compensation.
From its inception through the 1920s, the Cleveland Metropolitan Park Board concentrated its efforts on assembling parkland. The Park District materially took shape during its first decade. In 1920, the Park District held title to just 109 acres of land in Rocky River and Big Creek; by 1930, it had acquired at a cost of $3.9 million, 9,000 acres in nine large, unconnected reservations: Rocky River, Huntington, Big Creek, Hinckley, Brecksville, Bedford, South Chagrin, North Chagrin and Euclid Creek.
The next step, connecting the reservations, would be tackled in years to come.”
For more info: http://www.clemetparks.com/index.asp
Today’s Quote: “All art is but imitation of nature”. -Lucius Annaeus Seneca
Here is some info from the Cleveland Cultural Gardens website: “Dedicated in 1935, the Czech Garden was designed by landscape architects B. Ashburton Tripp and Maurice Cornell. At the center of a circular lawn, flanked by an Eagle Pylon and a Lion Pylon, is a sculptured frieze depicting the history of the migration of Czechs to the United States. Atop the frieze and facing the lawn are busts of Bedrich Smetana, a composer, Dr. Miroslav Tyrs, an educator and organizer of Sokol gymnastic societies, Jan E. Purkyne, a physiologist, and Bozena Nemcova, a novelist. The garden also contains busts celebrating Frantisek Palacky, a historian and statesman, Anton Dvorak, the composer of the well-known “New World Symphony,” the Reverend Jendrich Simon Baar, a priest and novelist, Karl Havlicek, a journalist imprisoned because of his political views, and Thomas Masaryk, the first president of Czechoslovakia. Most of these statues, as well as the frieze, were the work of Frank L. Jirouch, a Cleveland-born sculptor of Czech descent who sculpted many of the busts in the garden.
On April 1, 1939, the President of Czechoslovakia planted two linden trees from Bohemia in the garden. In 1949, the Czech delegation added the Tyrs, Nemcova, and Purkyne bust, and in June 1962, Masaryk’s statue was added. At the dedication ceremony, United States Senator Frank Lausche lauded the choice of Masaryk, giving the dedication political resonance in the broader context of the raging Cold War. Lausche stated, that The love of liberty lives strong in the hearts of the Czechoslovakian people in America. … Our government will not make any pact for the degradation of Czechoslovak liberty.”
For more information on the Czech Garden: http://culturalgardens.org/gardenDetail.aspx?gardenID=7
Today’s quote is one of my favorites and comes from the garden itself: This Garden is dedicated, to our beloved Czech parents who by their teachings and by precept and example have established for us a high ideal of American citizenship.
The picturesque village of Chagrin falls has grown around a natural waterfall on the Chagrin River. The town is known for its restaurants, historic architecture, shopping, and its arts community. For more information on Chagrin Falls:
Today’s Quote: “A picture is a poem without words”. – Horace
Today’s Photo is of a barn in Ohio’s Amish Country, the world’s largest concentration of Amish. There are several Amish communities within an hour or so drive of Downtown Cleveland. These areas are known for their shopping, food and furniture. For more information on how to visit: http://www.experience-ohio-amish-country.com/middlefield-ohio.html
“Of liberty I would say that, in the whole plenitude of its extent, it is unobstructed action according to our will. But rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law,’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual.” – Thomas Jefferson quote
Today’s Photo: The Old Stone Church
The Old Stone Church on Public Square is one of my favorite buildings to photograph. The staff at the church was kind enough to take me on a tour of the building and I was able to learn a lot about one of Cleveland’s coolest landmarks. (see http://brentdurken.com/inside-the-tower) Here is some more information about the Church from their website:
“The Old Stone Church, long a downtown Cleveland landmark, has a congregation dating back to 1820. Officially known as The First Presbyterian Society, it was founded at a time when Cleveland was just a village of a few hundred people. As Cleveland has grown in size and importance, The Old Stone Church has kept pace, becoming a symbol of spiritual leadership, community involvement and stability in the heart of the city.
The sixteen Christian men and women who met on September 19, 1820, to sign the charter formally establishing the First Presbyterian Church were members of a Bible class which had met for a year under the direction of Elisha Taylor. Among them was Rebecca Carter who with her husband, Lorenzo, had been the first permanent white settlers in Cleveland. A variety of sites, including a one-room schoolhouse and the log courthouse, served as meeting places for the fledgling church. Finally, in 1827, The First Presbyterian Society was incorporated, with the primary purpose of building a permanent home for the congregation.
The first church building was dedicated on February 26, 1834, on the northwest corner of Public Square, the historical center of downtown Cleveland. The building, of Tuscan-style architecture, was built of gray sandstone. It was the first stone church in Cleveland and was known as “The Stone Church.” Later, as the sandstone darkened, the name became The Old Stone Church.
Dedicating the Church was the Rev. John Keep, the last of six home missionaries recruited by the Connecticut Missionary Service for “frontier service” to Congregational and Presbyterian groups. The year following the dedication, the first Pastor, Samuel Aiken, was called. He served more than 25 years, establishing a precedent for exceptionally long pastoral tenure throughout the history of The Old Stone Church.
In 1853, reflecting the rapid growth of Cleveland, the congregation was outgrowing the sanctuary which had been erected just 20 years earlier. A new church, built on the site of the original structure, was dedicated on August 12, 1855. The massive foundation and walls were constructed of sandstone, lined with brick, at a cost of $60,000.
Nineteen months later, on March 7, 1857, a disastrous fire hit The Old Stone Church and spread from the roof to the 250-ft. steeple, which swayed and crashed across Ontario Street. Amasa Stone led the successful struggle to rebuild on the original property, and the renovated church was dedicated on January 17, 1858. Later, galleries and another graceful spire were completed.
During the following twenty-five years many social service organizations were formed by Old Stone members, directed toward moral and social problems. These included the YMCA, the YWCA, Children’s Aid Society, Western Seamen’s Society, Lakeside Hospital, The Goodrich Society, and the first Cleveland medical school.
A Service of Thanksgiving was held at the end of the Civil War, and a new Peace Bell raised in the belfry. As Abraham Lincoln’s funeral cortege stopped at Public Square, people were called to his memorial service at the church by the tolling of the massive bell (now installed in front of the church, facing Public Square).
Old Stone is the only remaining building to have been in existence during the lighting of Public Square with Charles Brush’s arc light in 1879.
The building was struck by another severe fire on January 5, 1884. John Foote, Samuel E. Williamson and Col. John Hay convinced the congregation that the historic site was worth preserving. Work began immediately, with architect Charles Schweinfurth employed to guide the restoration. Mr. Schweinfurth was new to Cleveland and Old Stone’s renovation was the first of many important commercial architectural contributions he was to make to the city.
While Old Stone’s walls required few repairs, the interior needed to be completely reconstructed. The steeple was declared unsafe and removed. The restored church, dedicated on October 19, 1884, is essentially the church you see today. A recent capital campaign resulted in cleaning and repairing the church, re-landscaping, and restoring the steeple. The Sanctuary was also renovated”.
Today’s Quote: What we are is God’s gift to us. What we become is our gift to God. ~Eleanor Powell
Today’s Photo: Cleveland Skyline from the Viaduct
Today’s Cleveland photo was taken from the old Superior Rd. Viaduct near the Stonebridge Waterfront Apartments. I really love the way the city looks from this vantage point.
Today’s Quote: It’s really kind of hard to be a suburb of nothing. If you don’t have a downtown, you really don’t have anything. It’s hard to build a community around parking lots and subdivisions – Ed McMahon