Cleveland Heights's 2012 Preservation Month events

May is National Preservation Month and this year’s theme is “Discovering America’s Hidden Gems.” Here in Cleveland Heights, one month isn’t enough to celebrate all of the city’s hidden gems, so this year we’re stretching it a bit—starting in early May and continuing into July.

Preservation Month 2012 will feature seven free events co-sponsored by the Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission, Cleveland Heights Historical Society, Heights Libraries, FutureHeights, Heights Bicycle Coalition and Home Repair Resource Center. Space is limited and preregistration is required for all events. See specific event for registration details. For additional information, contact Kara Hamley O’Donnell at 216-291-4885 or

Saturday, May 12, 10 a.m.–noon. Biking Tour of Historic Districts on the National Register of Historic Places. Meet at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2747 Fairmount Blvd. (Rain date: May 26.) To register, call the Cleveland Heights Planning Department, 216-291-4878.

Speakers: Christopher Roy, Cleveland Heights Historical Society, and Kara Hamley O’Donnell, city planner, City of Cleveland Heights. Biking Tour Leader: Mary Dunbar, member of the CH City Council and Heights Bicycle Coalition.

The Heights Bicycle Coalition and the Cleveland Heights Historical Society are joining forces for a free lecture and bicycle tour of historic districts in the southern part of Cleveland Heights

Monday, May 14, 7 p.m. The Art of Reading: Cleveland's WPA-Era Ceramics. Lee Road Library. To register, two weeks prior to the event visit, or call 216-932-3600.

Speaker: Dr. Mark Bassett, scholar in residence, Cleveland Institute of Art. 

During the 1930s, Cleveland artists created handmade figurines for librarians and teachers to use in teaching reading, history, and culture through visualization. Historian Mark Bassett will discuss the innovative ceramics designed then, including those made for Cleveland Heights public schools, many of which are now on view at the Lee Road Library.

Saturday, May 19, 10 a.m.–12 noon. An “App-Enhanced” Walking Tour of the Coventry Neighborhood. Start at Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Arch by the Coventry Village Library. (Rain or shine). To register, call 216-320-1423 or e-mail

Leader: Dr. J. Mark Souther, associate professor of history, Cleveland State University, and member of Cleveland Heights Landmark Commission.

Using the Cleveland Mobile History app, guides will share the history of the Coventry neighborhood. Learn how to use the app to explore the history of other Cleveland Heights neighborhoods on your own. Bring your smart phone for a demonstration on how to download and navigate through Cleveland Mobile History. The Coventry tour was created with support from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.

Thursday, May 24, 7 p.m. Cleveland Heights House History Workshop. Lee Road Library. To register, two weeks prior to the event visit, or call 216-932-3600.

Speaker: Kara Hamley O'Donnell, city planner, City of Cleveland Heights.

Using local research tools and online sites, this workshop will teach participants how to research their home’s history, including when it was built and by whom, past owners and historic photos. Learn how to use Plain Dealer indexes to find out what may have happened at a property—home sales, lost pets, society events and more. Participants who preregister and provide a mailing address will receive advance information to start a search on a property. Others can receive the information at a later date.

Thursday, June 7, 7 p.m. Maintenance and Energy Efficiency. Lee Road Library. To register, two weeks prior to the event visit, or call 216-932-3600.

Speaker: Mary Ogle, Cleveland Restoration Society program assistant.

All houses need continual maintenance to stay at their best. Take a top-to-bottom look at the typical maintenance issues of an older home. Learn how to spot problems before they become worse and how to make an older home more energy efficient without breaking the bank. Get information about the Heritage Home Program, which provides preservation-based technical assistance, and low-interest loans for rehabilitation projects.

Thursday, June 21, 7 p.m. American Home Interiors: 1850–1950. Lee Road Library. To register, two weeks prior to the event visit, or call 216-932-3600.

Speaker: Michael Fleenor, Cleveland Restoration Society director of preservation services.

Explore the ever-evolving American home interior over a 100-year period, beginning in the 1850s. Major emphasis on stylistic trends from Classical Revival, Victorian Aesthetic Period, Arts & Crafts, Colonial Revival and Mid-Century Modern will be showcased. If you own an old house, come and find inspiration for the appropriate period treatments and furnishings.

Thursday, July 12, 7 p.m. Your Roof: Bottom/Up, Top/Down Sustainability. Lee Road Library. To register, two weeks prior to the event visit, or call 216-932-3600.

Speaker: Chuck Miller, Principal, Doty & Miller Architects.

When major roof repair or asphalt shingle replacement is being planned, it's a perfect time to consider what else can be done to improve a home’s energy performance. The most effective results occur when the entire building shell undergoes a Deep Energy Retrofit (aggressive energy-improving upgrades), but this is beyond the budget of most homeowners. This presentation will identify effective options for attic and roof improvements. Are vented or unvented roofs better?  Should insulation be added at the attic floor or at the roof line? These questions and more will be discussed and illustrated for varying roof conditions found in older homes.

Kara Hamley O'Donnell

Kara Hamley O'Donnell is the city planner for the City of Cleveland Heights.

Read More on Heights History
Volume 5, Issue 5, Posted 1:03 PM, 05.01.2012