Committing Cultural Suicide

Submitted by lmcshane on Thu, 09/17/2009 - 21:05.

Interior of St. Procop Church Cleveland OH

Any one who knows me, knows that I am not a big fan of Dennis Kucinich.  I consider him a narcissistic demagogue. His attempt to upstage President Obama on healthcare, just because Obama is president, and he is not...makes me very, very mad, but I will overlook all of my distrust for this little man, because today he asked the City of Cleveland to use eminent domain to protect our local cultural history found in the soon to be mothballed and slated for demolition Catholic churches.

For this effort, I will fall on my knees and crawl across hot coals to worship Dennis Kucinich.  If he succeeds in turning around a Diocese that is determined to destroy our historical record, our neighborhoods, our communities, our spirit--then I will be the first to proclaim Dennis Kucinich, a minor GOD.

Here is a link to photos provided of St. Procop by Oengus earlier this year.

I hope your churches are saved


Regardless of who get the credit, I sincerely hope your churches are saved.  As, I cannot even begin to imagine what a psychic scar it would leave on the various communities in the area that will have to witness and endure such unmerited, wanton distruction.


No where but Cleveland ...

Such unique, beautiful and historic churches would not be in danger in most European cities -- or even many cities in the U.S. My feelings about Dennis Kucinich have always been ambivalent but I truly hope he or someone, anyone, can save our churches. They are our cultural history, and we don't have enough cultural history preserved here. 

Nice work, Dennis!

I've always liked Dennis and what he has stood for.  You have to meet the man to really appreciate his noble demeanor and helpful nature, which I finally had the opportunity to do at our recent 2019 Sustainability Summit.  Kudos!

did it ever occur to you

 did it ever occur to you that maybe Kucinich isbeing aggressive and progressive with the health care issue because Obama is NOT.

your juvenile projections say more about you than he, laura jeez. how immature.

i know what a demagogue is Laura - tie it to kucinich?

to say he is outraged and doing something about the healthcare fiasco because he is mad that Obama won the presidency and not him is ridiculous and reflects your manner of thinking more than it does his.



  • Main Entry: 1dem·a·gogue
  • Variant(s): also dem·a·gog \ˈde-mə-ˌgäg\
  • Function: noun
  • Etymology: Greek dēmagōgos, from dēmos people (perhaps akin to Greek daiesthai to divide) + agōgos leading, from agein to lead — more at tide, agent
  • Date: 1648

1 : a leader who makes use of popular prejudices and false claims and promises in order to gain power
2 : a leader championing the cause of the common people in ancient times

dem·a·gogu·ery \-ˌgä-g(ə-)rē\ noun

dem·a·gogy \-ˌgä-gē, -ˌgä-jē, -ˌgō-jē\ noun

definition 2?

 definition 2?

jeezuz you're a piece of work.

Tradition not religion

  I am not a fan of religion, but I am a fan of tradition.  These ecclesiastic buildings are a testament to a society striving to achieve a higher purpose.  The City of Cleveland and the Diocese need to recognize that our cultural history is revealed in these buildings.  If we desecrate them and demolish them.  We are killing ourselves.

Amen, Lmcshane

I am of the same opinion.   Your discussion of the leader(s) needed is also right on point. best jeffb

We need leaders

  We need leaders who can make change.  In a short amount of time, Obama has made change.  We need a lot of change.  I don't crucify someone, because the change hasn't happened overnight. 

Kucinich preaches miracles.  We want miracles.  I wish there was a leader who could fall some where in between--able to achieve real change and prosperity for EVERYONE.

But, I don't want to debate the relative merits of two politicians. I just want some touchstone in this region to show us where we have been, so we know where we are headed. 

It is hard to have any hope without the promise of seeing that people are capable of coming together to create great things.  These magnificent churches show us that with hope--great things are possible.

We can not kill this hope.  I need a leader(s) to emerge in NEO to make old new again and help us to save our cultural heritage in Northeast Ohio.

Is this church a landmark




Is this church in front of the landmark commission? Who is the incumbent on council and who is supposed to be inline for that position?

What church(s) remained to serve that ward?

What is not debatable is that being a landmark as it was constructed in 1872, it has to be in front of the commission and it is not is it.  

That building,  the church can get some money out of, its contents are valuable and they are selling them off.


The corporate catholic church; as if they need the money! The flipin pope wears prada shoes for christs sake.  

They need to get landmark status, then tell them back the truck out of here. The city can install a security system and the police can keep an eye on it. Move the CDC into it, make it a museum. CDC’s are always looking for ways to make money, give them a hall and a school and move the council persons office into it.

It’s a monument and currently meticulously cared for, it does not need work walk away from it and it will.

Slap the church with a stay, no action on that landmark and then give it up, donate it to the city or we will drag your already tarnished image up and down the street. We could ask if any children got over handled at that location….anyone anybody.

What if I begin to call off names and the names that are recorded within the church records.

The church did audits, not based so much on cash flowing into the basket and outflows though expenses, they did valuation of the artifacts, they chose churches to close based on the value of what they had to sell. How much are the stain glass window worth? How about the marble statues? So they give the church up and the relative costs of operating them, that less what they get from weddings and the Sunday collections. But the gain on the sale of the antiquities thats what they are after…shame on them.

Leaders who can make

Leaders who can make change?  We need some leaders with some  Everybody wants to make nice and before you know it, some big wig  made it out the back door with the cash and left the poor people looking all over the place for the pennies they just had. 

I for one am outraged that these beautiful old churches are even being considered for being demolished.  These are landmarks and so much a part of history.  Right now in Tremont, I am trying to figure out a way to get the churches to start ringing their bells again.  I remember years ago on Sunday mornings you could hear church bells everywhere and they sounded so melodious. 

Even if the churches were no longer going to be used for houses of worship they could be used for other positive things - museums, sanctuaries, historical galleries, so many good things instead of being torn down. 

We have no leadership that wants to hold on to tradition and as long as some big conglomorate comes through and hands out a few dollars every body starts drooling at the mouth.  Isn't there some kind of preservation society that these churches could fall into? 



Along with leadership there needs to be funding.  Where is the money coming from?  Who will pay for upkeep, insurance, utilities, staffing?  There aen't enough dollars to go around.  kd

yes there are...

they're just going to things like aquariums.

It seem like when they want

It seem like when they want funding for everything else they find it.  It's all about who wants it and for what.  Who's in who's pocket and who's gettin' the kick backs.  That's why everything is kept so hush hush until it's too late to do anything about it.  It's called goverment corruption - and believe me there is more of it going around that people want to see.

I tired of of people in leadership position trying to sell me a black cow and calling it a white one.  I'm not buying.

They are not going to tear

They are not going to tear it down...not yet

When that day comes it will be after years of neglect.

It has space and could hold those that have funding and access to funding. Put them all under one roof. Get creative it could be used as a project to make it energy efficient.  Cheez you know firemen..some of them work in HVAC, can you beg can you flirt!  

If it had occupants then they could split the costs equally instead of paying rent in other locations. The rent is nothing more than a shared operational cost, then seek funding to reduce the costs. By reducing them through alternatives and creativity.   

If it had a school it could get access to vouchers, if it had a head start….it’s a big complex and up to now maintained.

The church could be rented for civil ceremonies, the hall could hold fund raising events.

You really need to have a big central center for all the functions and run as a nonprofit, hell you could house the property manager in the rectory, tax deferred income pay them $10,800.00 a year. Somebody real smart, that can fill the spaces and then split up the costs. What is the council person paying for a neighborhood office. Hell move the art house into it. There are many funded groups that could split the bills.

The gas bill is the big cost, it could get converted to electric heating and then CPP could offer free electricity, city hall does not have an electric bill does it!

Just get it and then work with it, it not a liability that’s a huge asset. Look across the street and around it, that’s the best part of the area. They need to make that road two way traffic it's not a connector for the highway ramps. Some bookworm decided that 44th and 41st should feed the freeways. Undo that and then set up a center that combines functions under one roof. When there is not a fire the firemen can come mover and work on it, the police should have access to a room for breaks. Get everyone involved, there is your everyone working together or is that just a feel good catch phrase? 

Rick ...Brian? Answers to Questions Please

One REALNEO member with a stained glass business said that she had the option to bid on the removal of the stained glass windows and choose against it. 

We know that Joe Cimperman could have landmarked St. Andrews and did not.  I am going on the assumption that Joe Santiago did not landmark St. Procop.

I asked before--and got crickets. 

1.)What is the status of the interior/exterior landmark legislation in Cleveland City Council?

2.) Just to save us time--can someone (Brian?) list the churches that do have landmark designation in the City of Cleveland?

3.) Is the City of Cleveland working with the Diocese to lease out existing churches to other denominations?  Trinity UCC on Pearl is leased out to Spanish congregation (praise the Lord).

BTW--for everyone who is hooked on the Ward 14 soap opera...the candidates will hold a debate at the Brooklyn Branch of Cleveland Public be announced soon.

(Not totally unrelated--I walked by the old Aragon Ballroom today and have to wonder how that space could be repurposed?  I know I would PAY to see the space and I imagine that others would, too.)


Dennis and Brian




I see this as a real good opportunity for Dennis and Brian both.

It is a building and it does have costs, it is a church but it is also a school. For those that are not familiar with that complex it was at one time a high school and the church and both are very significant architecturally.

Does the dioceses have to retain right to it? That could be problematic with church and state and funding.

It should be not-for-profit and the city has advantages as an owner, consideration of the real costs against potential funding to cover those.

The actual church could be rented out, but the school building is the structure that could be leased to cover the operating costs of the complex. Which could range from $5,000.00 monthly to $20,000.00 monthly depending on the activity going on there. Those are real costs. They can be all addressed and all of them creatively offset with revenue streams and also creative methods to reduce them inherently.

That’s what a property manager does and a good one does it really well.

The total costs get split up, divided by sq foot used. Ten leases would pay $2,000.00 a month if they all occupied equal space. That based on a high operating cost of $20,000.00 monthly.

The church knows the operating costs of the complex monthly, has that been asked of them? What are its actual operating costs? Those costs can be broken out and addressed and reduced, for instance if the cost of heating the building is high then a grant could be written to fund an alternative method or retrofitting to reduce that amount. Then the total cost of operating falls, and so would the lease price. Cooperatively all work together to reduce the costs.

The occupants if all not-for-profits use there own funding to pay their share of the total costs, which would be their lease costs.

One person living on site earning one dollar below the individual income poverty line, thats $10,799.00 annually. That one person is the property manager and manages the total budget of the complex. Maintaining the complex and leasing the spaces to cover the costs.

Having occupants that have funding and are public servants or services is best.

I have the credentials to run that and I am squeaking clean, I have no skeletons in my closet.

Behind it is a city park,

Behind it is a city park, Trent Park, if the city owns it then the parcel is huge. It is surrounded by well maintained property, you cannot go south on that street. I have taken people onto that street and they say; I never even new this was here! They say what church is that...this city kills me why are all these storefront empty? I'm like cripes make it a two way street and set a traffic camera on it. Use that to pay the bills! If the city owns it they can do what they need to.

Get the church, get the store fronts its a real bohemian area, literally and the majority of architecture is sound for blocks around it, and it has great access to highway, a hip and a skip to 90 and 71, but the one-ways mess that all up. Many of the homes are clad in aluminum siding from the 70's and are really in good shape under that.

Clark is and has been loosing buildings and that is bad, the city is peppered with small industries and abandoned industrial buildings, we need industry to be clustered and in some cases transplanted into industrial parks. Then they can be kept track of in all aspect to ensure they are profitable and responsible. Industry should be near the highway and with access the rail.

You pick a spot and then work out of it, into a big comprehensive model. Commercial, Industrial and then residential is all a commodity and it should be comprehensively monitored and even regulated to ensure it meets the needs of the public in propensity. That being there is always something in your price range....the prices have to meet on average the average incomes.

If you ask about controls then the value of commerce particularly in retail then it can be done with licensing and to insure that it is not too competitive. That’s a matter of not over allowing or under allowing. A matter of two separated competitors compared to six sharing the market. To prevent failures and then abandonment, then getting wholesalers to come in that only sell to small vendors that are licensed. You could end up with shoe stores again on the city streets if the city really looked at how can we use social idealisms and in practice.

Wonderful ideas.  Now we

Wonderful ideas.  Now we just need someone with your kind of knowledge and interest in investing in the area to bring some of these ideas to fruition. 

Thank you for taking your time to share your ideas with all of us.




If I had the rights to that church I could rent it and its hall, I could fill it with weddings and caterers serving the receptions. We all know that charter schools are funded, that school could have classes and teacher. It could be lots of things. What’s interesting is that the city is the law and if laws get in the way change the laws…. I would bet that they have a kitchen in the school.

There is a florist with green house next door to it!

How many students graduate with teaching degrees from CSU take the state board test and pass and then do not ever get a chance to teach!

How much does the state offer per student for a charter school is it $5,000.00? Is it $7,000.00?

Fifty students at $7,000.00 per year is $350,000.00 a year. If each of five teachers had ten students and each teacher agreed to work for $10,799.00 a year and with onsite living space. Think about it.

I can find five board certified teachers to share the rectory with, room and board and then children to teach for each of them.

That’s five classrooms each, and fifty very lucky children that more than likely would go very far.

You asked me to address how communalism could be implemented within a local community …should I go further?

CSU and St. Procop

  Oengus--all your great suggestions could work, if we had progressive visionaries in Cleveland.  See the history of this church and school.  Diocese is allowed to rent out buildings:

1980 - In the early 1980's, the vacant school building is rented to the Cleveland School
           Board to educate children with behavior problems.

Also, NEO has a success story and a model here in Alenka Banco (also a CSU graduate), a visionary/artist/leader who took a church campus and has made a successful rental studio space and living complex.

Why couldn't it be a course requirement for all CSU urban planning or real estate students to habitate and make a church campus viable as urban community living?

City Parks

  Oengus--I have to say...sometimes I can be impressed with your knowledge:

Who knew that the City of Cleveland (still) administered so many parks?

I am cheap and use to

I am cheap and use to running things on shoestrings. I have been thinking about that building, obviously and it really has potential, the current CDC is it still in bad standing? They cut their funding some time ago did they reinstate it? I am sure that they are responsible for all the clearing on Clark. Oh god do you think they are seeking big box retail and fast food chains?  YUCK!

Get Brian online and Kucinich online and I will come on board. I would manage the complex for $10,799.00 a year and I will live in the rectory. Brian can move his office there and also the CDC, maybe Dennis could as well. It would require more occupants than that to meet the bills I suspect. But I need the numbers. I can find tenants and with the politicians on board it would get good exposure. 



Crickets chirping






The Lost Symbol

  Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol has a built-in appeal as Adam Gopnik noted in his New Yorker review.  

When I read the DaVinci Code, my first reaction was this is the Hardy Boys written for I checked out Adam Gopnik's visit to Cleveland last year--I am trying to understand and solve the mystery :)




my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer, my spouse, my cat, my neighbors, my extended family or anyone I happen to acknowledge on the street, bus, etc.

Monuments Men

  I will write more later, but please take a look at the looting of our collective history going on in NEO--see posts above. 

WVIZ has been airing a compelling interview with Robert Edsel, the author of a compelling book:

The monuments men : Allied heroes, Nazi thieves, and the greatest treasure hunt in history

Every copy in Northeast Ohio is checked out and/or on order.  What does that say about our collective conscience?