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    in cleveland: the verdant city

    Utako Jul 15 '09 7

    For an odd reason, I had the chance to explore Cleveland Ohio this past weekend. To be honest, I didn't expect to see too much in this verdant city - all I've been hearing about Cleveland is that it's a left over city from the once booming auto industry (like Detroit) and that the city today relies on the sports team industry for spirit. Surprisingly, in the few hours that I took to go around the city (and because of the fully developed road systems and empty car traffic, you only need about a few hours to see the whole city) I found some pieces of interesting architecture around Cleveland. I checked out the Peter B.Lewis Building by Frank Gehry at the Case Western University and also The Verdant Walk art installation by Peter and Alyssa North at the downtown mall. Frank Gehry is a Canadian and Peter and Alyssa North teach at the University of Toronto (my school) so it was a nice surprise to see Canada represent in this central US city!

    The Frank Gehry building looks liked a mundane industrial-looking red brick buildings that's been hammered down at the centre with a metal spiral that twirls like there's no gravity. It was um.. interesting..

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    The Verdant Walk provided a surprisingly serene and quiet walking space in the middle of the empty downtown Cleveland. I really wanted to wait till nighttime when the lights came on inside those neon yellow bubbles, but had to settle for these sunset photos. I didn't know that the tall grass was intentional until I read about the '6 different kinds of ohio native grass' when I got home, but I enjoyed walking in between them..

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    • 7 Comments

    • Liebchen
      Jul 15, 09 5:17 pm

      SWAT teams reported that the Gehry building's curvilinear corridors made it difficult to apprehend the gunman 2003 shooting incident.

      [a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/11/national/main553358.shtml"]http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2003/05/11/national/main553358.shtml [/a]

      Utako
      Jul 15, 09 9:08 pm

      that is actually very disturbing. i'm kinda glad i didn't know that when i walked in..

      David CuthbertDavid Cuthbert
      Jul 15, 09 10:37 pm

      I'll be heading to Cleveland in a couple of weeks. It's an unusual place but what I think is the beauty of the city is the layering of history still evident in the urban infrastructure. Not to mention it's proximity to other mid western cities filled with other cool architecture (Toledo- SAANA, Cincinnati - Hadid, Akron - Coop Himmeblau, Columbus - Eisenman) and that's just broad brushing it.

      Also you missed out the Raphel Vinoly extension at Case Western, and Marcel Breuer downtown

      Nam HendersonNam Henderson
      Jul 15, 09 11:01 pm

      i swear it seems like Gehry's bldgs always have a punchline...

      matthewjboakland
      Jul 18, 09 1:29 am

      The metal spiral that twirls like there's no gravity also pretends there is no weather. It functions as a shiny funnel for rain, snow, sleet and ice in the wonderful Cleveland winter. The building's main entry can be treacherous for almost half the year. LArchitecture in Cleveland.
      I was on the CWRU campus with some friends the day of the gunman incident. Bizarre and interesting. Perhaps a reason for Gehry to stick to sculpture rather than typologies where defensible space & lines of vision are nearly as important as in prisons.

      bothands
      Jul 18, 09 1:12 pm

      mathew: since when is a is a business school a typology that's nearly the same as a prison in terms of "defensible space & lines of vision"? I guess I can answer my own question: since the time a mad gunman went crazy shooting up the place... But proceeding from that possibility, practically every building in our culture that would be such a typology...

      Utako
      Jul 20, 09 4:20 pm

      I'm positively surprised that there are comments/feedback for my blog entry! Having said that, I'm not so sure if the building images and the gunman issues are sensible topics of debate.. so I'm contemplating to take it out. is that a cop-out or is it just part of the building's history?

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