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How Glenville can reconnect to the natural world at its doorstep

Design & words: Stephen Manka

Rebuild Charles H. Lake Elementary as a ‘green’ school (aka "GreenVille" Elementary)

The existing school on the site is quite sad. Most windows are obscured, the small windows on the front doors look into a darkness that even paper snowflakes crafted by small hands can't lighten. Walls seem to be buckling and empty asphalt parking lots cover over play fields.

Our recommendation is to remove and relocate this school. Away from the growl of Shoreway traffic, away from the barbed-wired parking lots of adjacent industry. Relocate it along the garden edge of East Boulevard, across from the Rockefeller Greenhouse. Here it can act as a proud front door to the community. An intersecting greenway invites one into the heart of the neighborhood. The school is a community center, adorned by public art and gardens.


Click images to enlarge

In nearby developments for senior housing gentle eyes can enjoy the Kinder-garden, perhaps take an even more active role.

The school will be an example of "Green Architecture"

  • Natural light everywhere
  • Replenishing gardens
  • Gateway to the community
  • Gracefully holds the edge of the grand Rockefeller Park
  • Off-the-grid solar arrays, thermal wells, bio-swales, local materials
  • Adorned with public art

Counter Culture Garden

Along the northern edge of the community a tattered mess of marginal industry, underused rail, and a freeway like an open wound create the worst of environments. Here is a great opportunity.

As a counterpoint to the Rockefeller Park Cultural Gardens, we suggest creating a linear garden that runs this northern edge of the Glenville neighborhood (where East Boulevard swerves north from the Rockefeller Greenhouse and winds its way toward East 105th). Future plans could show this garden continuing toward Forest Hills Park to the east, further completing a green network. Installations could theme the garden and act to heal, memorialize, and optimistically envision. This new park could collect those memories and celebrate people and ideals that may have evolved from a counter-cultural perspective.

Click here to read and view an idea bank for different counter cultural gardens

Pocket parks in the neighborhood

Collect empty lots and create various gardens and parks where residents relax and invent uses: Garden plots, basketball courts, and open lawns.

The Shoreway Boulevard

This new boulevard traffic configuration would beautify the streetscape from traffic sewer to garden parkway. Four lanes become three each way (maintaining a consistent flow but with a calming effect). The neighborhood concrete break between Bratenahl and Glenville would be far less drastic. A green buffer on the Glenville side would further enhance this new garden parkway. The introduction of an interchange at E. 105th plays an important role (to be discussed below). Additionally, removal of the ridiculous interchange at MLK opens up great opportunities for public park space.

Lakefront transit line: The real Blue Line

This new RTA train would be the extension of the Waterfront line, racing from Northcoast Harbor downtown along the existing underused freight rail tracks. Three stops are shown for the Glenville exhibition. The first would serve the ball fields and Gordon Park (and new lakefront housing). The second would serve the Rockefeller Greenhouse, Dike 14 Nature Preserve, the new "Green-ville” School and the adjacent community. The final station would be the located at the new interchange of East 105th.

click to enlarge

-East Boulevard TOD
Proximity to transit marks a great opportunity for dense development where residents can take advantage of the assets of this location - cultural resources such as the Lakefront parks, Dike14, and the bold new Counter Cultural gardens.

-East 105th St. TOD
This station offers great opportunity for a transit-oriented development that would reshape perceptions of Glenville. A green gateway marks the transition between the already bucolic Bratenahl. Pockets of restaurants and other amenities will come if you build it.

Glenville Center at E105th and St.Clair

This tattered landscape is what happens when auto-oriented developers
graft a limb from the suburbs. Old photos show a humane landscape alive with streetcars and strolling shoppers. A radical reconfiguration is necessary, while still accommodating the automobile and fast food urges. Here, buildings don’t shrink from the street, instead they band together to shape beautiful public shapes. Parking lots of the necessary scale can be tucked back and buffered. The introduction of housing and other mixed uses generate street life similar to W. 25th St in Ohio City.

The new Garden Shoreway interchange would help feed life and enhance access. The MLK parkway commuter who otherwise bypasses E.105th now has the option to traverse the street, pick up flowers, beer, a snack before hopping on the Shoreway Boulevard or back to Dike 14 for an afternoon of bird watching.


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Also in this issue's Ecoing...

Take a tour of our proposed Counter Cultural Gardens.
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What can Cleveland learn from Germany's example of reusing its industrial relics?
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