Friday, October 31, 2008

Hospital on the Hill

My friend PZ, who always has her radar on alert for thrift stores and rummage sales, came across this abandoned hospital while looking for a sale at the center for aging that fronts the campus. A little digging revealed that this was a U. S. Marines hospital built to replace an 85-bed facility that had become inadequate in the years since it was established near Cleveland's lakefront in 1837. In 1919, through an act of Congress, nine acres of land overlooking the city from the east were secured for the hospital. The neo-Georgian buildings were designed by architect James Wetmore, and the hospital officially opened in 1930, with a staff of 15 doctors, 42 nurses and 72 attendants.

By 1953, the hospital was serving a diminishing number of patients, and Congress voted to close it. Through 1983, it functioned as a psychiatric hospital. After standing empty for four years, the hospital was redeveloped as a collaborative facility with a focus on aging. The buildings behind the main structure, however, remained empty and deteriorating. There seems to be some renovation of the largest structures, though what the ultimate purpose will be is not clear. Fencing, hard hat signs and construction dumpsters attest to the sort of work being done.

The central of the quad was given over originally to tennis courts. Now it's a grassy expanse with parking for employees at the aging center and a half-court for lunchtime hoops.

The campus stands on the site of the estate of Cleveland beer tycoon Otto Leisy. The brick mansion, with its winding driveway from Fairhill Road, came down in the late 1920s, but the two-story wood frame stables remain, and are kept in admirable condition. It appears that they're still in use, as rental units for the community, though what's actually behind those doors is anyone's guess.

The original main hospital building, with facade-destroying connector to modern addition. Other additions to the rear of the building were criticized for failing to harmonize with Wetmore's plan.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

4 PM Twilight

Sandusky, Ohio, December 2007. Zeiss Contaflex, probably Ilford Delta 400.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

East 55th Street Grocery

A brief shot in the film "American Splendor" shows Paul Giamatti as Harvey Pekar walking past a grocery store on East 55th St. in Cleveland. The side of the grocery was painted with these images. On a recent drive past the long-closed store, I saw that the wall had been painted over. I took these photos in 2005.

Canon EOS Rebel, Fuji Reala ISO 100.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Demolition Moon

Replaced by yet another Cleveland Clinic parking garage. Didn't notice the moon to the right of the crane until I printed the image.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dark Season

Fugitive days.

UPDATE: This classic sign is now gone. Noticed its absence on 12-30-08.