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Moved building, reimagined campus is the first step toward reconnecting with MidTown Community

Posted at 9:28 AM, Dec 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-04 09:28:06-05

CLEVELAND — MidTown’s Dunham Tavern Museum is moving a small, late 1800’s building from one side of its property to the other as the first step in a large effort to integrate its entire campus back into the community.

The Banks-Baldwin building move

Right now, the Banks-Baldwin building sits on the corner of Chester Avenue and East 66th Street and will eventually be moved to the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 69th Street to serve as a Visitor’s Center, welcoming tourists to the Dunham Tavern Museum on that side of the property.

The building is due to be moved to this plot of land, serving as a welcome center for visitors.

Parts of the structure will be preserved while other elements of the current structure will be restored so it more closely resembles the way it looked originally.

The bigger picture

Moving the building is the first step in a much larger master plan for the entire piece of land between Chester and Euclid Avenues, bordered by East 66th and East 69th Streets.

Right now, the building sits on the other side of the property, off the busy Chester Avenue.

Early plans show trails and upgraded gardens running through what is now largely open land.

“The idea is that these are connective things and this is an easy neighborhood move through from asset to asset,” said Dunham Tavern Museum Executive Director Lauren Hansgen.

Helping achieve that goal is the large, mass timber construction project happening next door: the Cleveland Foundation’s new headquarters.

Construction on the Cleveland Foundation's headquarters show the mass timber frame rising from the ground.

That $21.8 million headquarters project will also have a welcoming lobby, public cafe and various gathering spaces inside and outside the building giving the community a place to spend time and passersby a spot to rest. Plans show the new paths and gardens will play off the new headquarters building once it’s finished to draw the community closer to the Dunham Tavern Museum, figuratively and literally.

“We have come to realize we have both physical and perceptual barriers that need to be taken down,” said Hansgen. “It might be as simple as fencing and overgrowth but also building relationships with our community and making it clear that this little organization that might be mysterious to many people passing by is actually welcoming.”

East 66th Street

Beyond what’s happening between Euclid and Chester, other projects are already revitalizing the corridor along East 66th Street.

The corner of Hough Avenue and East 66th Street houses Chateau Hough, where Mansfield Fraizer planted about 300 grape vines to create a winery in the middle of the Hough neighborhood. In October, he died at age 78.

Chateau Hough could soon see more foot traffic as East 66th Street is revitalized starting at Euclid Avenue.

Farther north, the Cleveland Public Library is building a new Hough Branch at the corner of East 66th and Lexington. Across the street, the Baseball Heritage Museum at League Park commemorates one of the first places where baseball was played in the Sixth City.

Cleveland Public Library's new Hough Branch begins to take shape on East 66th Street and Lexington.

Farther down the block, ambitious developers are working through how to turn open lots into homes with the intention of helping existing neighbors stay in their community instead of pushing them out, like previous development projects in similar communities have done.

Have you ever noticed something interesting in Northeast Ohio and wondered, “Hey…what’s going on there?”

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