As we all know, Cleveland has a rich history of industry, go-getters and small businesses. What we want to uncover with this new history blog at the Keep It Local Project is how Cleveland's small businesses today can carry on this history and open our eyes to aspects of our city we never would have known about. Enjoy our latest installment, and look out for more!
Cedar Lee Theatre -- Cedar Lee SID
Submitted by Cedar Lee SID, a cool piece of history and a part of our local culture is the Cedar Lee Theatre! It’s over 80 years old, yet remains a regional destination for independent films, special screenings, and was the first home of the Cleveland International Film Festival! It’s the anchor for our district of award-winning destinations.
The Cedar Lee opened in 1925 originally as a 1,100 seat, single screen theater. In 1977 it was purchased by Cleveland Cinemas and expanded into a 6-screen theater. Its hosting of the inaugural Cleveland International Film Festival set the stage for it to be a hub of indie film showings, including the Rocky Horror Picture Show, today.
CPD Homes in Historic Bratz Manor
Lucky for local realtor CPD Homes, LLC, their offices are housed in a beautiful historic building in Lakewood.
(Quoted mostly from the Lakewood Observer Article listed below):
The Neoclassical century home at 13443 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood was recently restored by local real estate entrepreneur, Tim Bratz.
The property was originally designed in the Neoclassical architecture style by famous architect, Otto K. Stapf. Stapf was an active architect and design master in Cleveland from 1905 to 1917. He gained popularity for his use of reinforced concrete and designed residential and commercial buildings in both Cleveland and Lakewood, many of which are still standing today.
John N. Hahn, president of J.N. Hahn Co., commissioned the home to be built in 1910. Hahn lived in the home at 13443 Detroit for over 30 years.
In the 1940s, Hahn sold his home to Erving J Dress, Sr. an undertaker, and turned the house into the Erving Dress Funeral Home. The house remained a funeral home until 2016.
Once the home, in significant disrepair, was put up for sale, several ideas bounced around as to how to repurpose it. Finally, Tim Bratz, owner of CLE Turnkey Real Estate decided to turn the building into collaborative office spaces, purchasing it in December 2016.
“It took over seven months and hundreds of thousands of dollars to restore the historical home. Improvements include repair of the decking and re-installation of the terracotta Spanish tile roof, new energy-efficient windows, new code-compliant electric service and wiring, new concrete driveway, restoring the original hardwood floors, fresh paint, 1900-era fixtures, a luxury classical kitchen, updated bathrooms, and preserving all the wood work and trim throughout the home.
Today, Bratz Manor now operates as collaborative office space for local entrepreneurs and business owners. The building boasts 10 independent office spaces, with community conference room, lounge, kitchen, and fitness center.”
Everarbor's family history in the Christmas Story House
Something great about Cleveland’s strong local business community is it’s full of folks and families with rich historical ties around the city. According to Derek Skapes, owner and creator of Everarbor, one of the main reasons they opened a store in the Tremont neighborhood is because his grandmother, Helen Skapes, grew up in the Christmas Story house. It was her childhood home for some years. She was present and had pictures with Ralphie when the movie was being taped!
The house, a colonial-style home, was built in 1895, when the area was mostly populated by families of men who worked in the Flats. The Mittal Steel plant (formerly J&L and Republic Steel) is visible from the backyard of the house.
Note: We didn't come up with this stuff ourselves! Please notice our source links that we used for our research, provided for us by our KILP member submitters!
This show ain't over yet! STAY TUNED for future installments, featuring submissions from members Cedar Lee SID, Your Bean Counters, Amy Roth & Co, Everarbor Co, Mr. Chicken, Greater Cleveland Volunteers, Silver Dolphin Solutions, CPD Homes, Once Upon a Time Toys, and others!