Sunday, July 31, 2011

From Pavement to Ponies - N. Chagrin Photo Exhibit

© Stuart Pearl 2011 - Click on Image to Enlarge

Do you feel like a stroll in the park followed by a walk through a photo gallery? Stop into the North Chagrin Nature Center before the end of August and you'll see a variety of photos featuring views of the Eastern United States.

There are Cleveland landmarks mixed with images of Chincoteague ponies. Views of the New River Gorge hang opposite the Appalacian trail. And a last view of the old Cleveland Cold Storage building shows it's crumbling detail.

Carl Finer viewing gallery images

The nature center sits between Sunset Pond and the boardwalk marsh and can be reached via SOM Center Road.

The exhibit was assembled today with the help of my good friend Don Nikolai (above left). What would normally have taken more than three hours was done much more quickly. The Center is open daily from 9:30 am - 5 pm.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Cold Storage: Going....going.....gone....

© Stuart Pearl 2011 - Click on Images to Enlarge

It was a stunning sight. Normally you see images like this on the news. They are buildings found in a war zone or a Hollywood movie. Sometimes they are the result of a violent bombing.

I couldn't help but think of that very sad day in Oklahoma City back in 1995. So I had an emotional jolt when I framed this image.

The old Cleveland Cold Storage is one of 23 major structures that will have to be demolished to make room for the new Innerbelt Bridge. And once the visible floors have been removed, the basement areas will also have to be dealt with to insure stable terrain for pier construction.

As soon as the Cold Storage demolition has been completed, workers will begin stabilizing the hill that slopes down to the Cuyahoga. Over time the shifting hillside has closed the expansion joints on the existing bridge. It's then been necessary to jack up and reposition parts of the bridge to fix the problem.

By regrading the banks, pressure will be reduced on the river bulkheads which is critical to river traffic. To accomplish this it will be necessary to remove more than 200,000 cubic yards of earth. This equates to over 13,000 dump trucks.

July 1, 2011

Those Tremont residents close to the Cuyahoga can easily see the construction work as it approaches from the East. Pit excavation for support pier #8 is visible on the east bank of the river near the Norfolk and Southern railroad trestle.

Pier #8 Pit Construction

July 1, 2011

This is why Cleveland Cold Storage had to go. It occupies the exact footprint where the new west bound bridge will land when it crosses the river into Tremont.

July 19, 2011

As of mid July, only a rubble heap of concrete and rebar marked the spot where Cleveland Cold Storage looked out over the Flats.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cold Storage Meets Alien

© Stuart Pearl 2011 - Click on Images to Enlarge

Strange and powerful machines have been the fodder of many childhood nightmares. They tower over us with their open, menacing jaws and giant steel teeth.

I had some of those bad dreams in my own childhood. But more recently I am reminded of the movie "Alien." In one scene that creature bursts from the chest of an unsuspecting crewmember.

At the site of Cleveland Cold Storage last week, a similar evil looking device was ripping the flesh and bones from that old landmark. At times it was as if the biting head would pause to examine it's handiwork before plunging in for another bite.

This old landmark on the West bank of the Cuyahoga is directly in the path of the new Westbound Innerbelt bridge. Within the next few weeks it will be completely reduced to rubble. Perhaps these old bones will gain new life as part of Cleveland's breakwall. Or maybe the concrete will provide the foundation of a new lakeshore dike for wildlife.