Showing posts with label education. Show all posts
Showing posts with label education. Show all posts

Friday, May 3, 2013

Granville, Ohio, in the 1830s - Two Views or Two Copies of the Same View?

[Granville Female College]
[Granville Female College]. A drawing (1830s?). Used courtesy of Garth's Auctions.

When I first saw the thumbnail for this drawing in the current catalogue at Garth's Auctions, I knew the composition was familiar - namely, it was a subject illustrated in a lithograph by one M. French, made between 1835 and 1839, in the collections of the American Antiquarian Society. The date for the drawing was listed as "mid 19th century" - I hoped that the lithograph might provide some context - most likely the size of the trees - that would give a more specific date.

On further examination, I've come to see that they're a lot closer in composition - and likely date - than I had initially guessed.

Female academy, Granville Ohio
Female academy, Granville Ohio. A lithograph (between 1835 and 1839) from a drawing by M. French. Printed by Bufford's Lith. Used courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society.

There are quite a few elements shared by both images. A woman in a white dress stands in the front door of the Academy, with two women in dark dresses immediately to the right. The chimney of the house to the left ends up centered in a second floor window in both cases - even though they have rather different perspectives. The trees both show approximately the same amount of growth. Many (though not all) of the same windows are open on the front of the structure. There's even a similarity in the toning of the sky.

The drawing features central chimneys, while the print has more of them, smaller in size. In the drawing, the gable has a single window, while in the print, there are two smaller ones. In the print, the house is closer to the street, while in the drawing, it appears to have been moved back. In the drawing, which has a more crude sense of perspective, we can see more detail in the house to the right. The print has a different fence from the drawing.

It seems likely that these two images share some sort of common source - but what that source is, I do not know.

They have enough in common that one might start to consider if the drawing was a copy after the print - but the lack of the same skill in perspective tends to refute this.

My guess - and it is a guess - is that these were the product of two students, working under the same teacher at Granville Female Academy at the same time. On a given day, they went out and made sketches together. They included some suggestions about perspective - and some idealized items (the people walking on the street) as suggested, perhaps by the teacher. It might be worth the time to see if an "M. French" was, indeed, a student there at that time.

This pair appears to provide a look at how two artists, one more skilled than the other, approached the same subject at the same time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Lost: Hathaway Brown School and Laurel School

Image courtesy of the Cleveland Memory Project

Yesterday, the Cleveland Clinic demolished one of the last vestiges of the once great Euclid Avenue, an impressive dark sandstone building at 1945 East 97th Street, designed by architects Hubbell and Benes for Hathaway Brown School in 1905. The school used this building as its home until 1927, when it moved to Shaker Heights. Some of the firm's other notable commissions include the West Side Market, the YMCA, and the Ohio Bell Building.

Laurel School

The Clinic will soon, probably today or tomorrow, demolish another building in the complex, the home of Laurel School from 1909-1928.

Hathaway Brown School Site

This is all that remained yesterday of the Hathaway Brown building. It is shameful that the Cleveland Clinic was unable to find an adaptive reuse for this historic structure. They've done an excellent job of repurposing the 1901 Henry P. White house, at 8937 Euclid Avenue. Surely they could have found a use for this structure of similar character.

It has become clear that the Cleveland Clinic has little regard for the history of the area that has supported it and helped it grow. The last major building the Clinic demolished, the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine, is now surface parking. While the need for parking is clear, I, for one, would be in favor of zoning variances allowing larger parking garages if it would guarantee the Clinic would save some of these buildings.

Take another look at the Cleveland Play House. Is there any doubt that the Cleveland Clinic will demolish the structure as soon as they take ownership of it?

I encourage you to contact the president and CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, Delos Cosgrove, M.D., to let him know your feelings on this subject. He can be reached by phone at 216-444-2300 or by mail at:

Delos Cosgrove
Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code H18
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

National Town and Country Club (Fenn Tower)

Fenn Tower, at 2401 Euclid Avenue, in Cleveland, Ohio, is an art deco building that shows up in just about every architectural history of the city of Cleveland. While the building felt familiar, I couldn't place it on a map. On a drive by the other day, I realized that this was due to the way the area has been built up but also partially due to the orientation of the building.

Seen here looking south, the tower presents a less distinguished face. From this angle, the tower looks like any other brick box. Fenn Tower faces East 24th Street, rather than Euclid Avenue, which affects its visibility.

This piece of Cleveland history was built in 1930 by the National Town and Country Club as a clubhouse. It was designed by New York architects George Post & Sons. The building, 22 stories high, featured a gym, pool, dining room, as well as 120 bedrooms for the club's members. It was purchased by Fenn College, a predecessor to Cleveland State University, in 1937. The housed all of the operations of the college until it was eventually converted to the present function, as a dormitory housing 438 students.

The first floor lobby featured impressive wood and stone work. Here the elevators and stairs to the second floor can be seen

The second floor lobby features similarly impressive detail. Note the quality of work in the railing.

The panel hall, on the third floor, features walls finished with dark wood, probably walnut, with intricate inlays.

The entire third floor is not dark, however, as seen in this lounge.

The swimming pool had a massive skylight to provide better illumination.

I'm including these last two photographs because they illustrate the two rooms that we tend to spend the most money on, yet at the same time, are the least often documented and most likely to be altered as tastes change - kitchens and bathrooms. The kitchen clearly has the means to produce the number of meals required of a club of this size.

This bathroom has some interesting details. Notice the lack of handles or faucets on the sinks. The handles are on the wall above the sinks. A supply line carrying the water into the sink exits through an integral faucet. I'm not sure why there appear to be four handles for each sink.

All images are provided courtesy of the Cleveland State University Archives Photograph Collection in the Cleveland State University Library, which includes a couple hundred more images of Fenn Tower. The collection is online as part of the Cleveland Memory Project.