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2008 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award Recipients

Preservation Merit Award to Emeritus House / Phillis Wheatley Association, Famicos Foundation, Marous Brothers Construction, and Robert P. Madison International, Incorporated for the rehabilitation of the 1929 Phillis Wheatley Association Building at 4450 Cedar Ave.in Cleveland.


Founded in 1911 to provide a wholesome atmosphere for single working women, the Phillis Wheatley Association was the principal African American social agency in Cleveland for many years, and in 1972 became a home for the elderly. The nine-story building, designed by Hubbell and Benes—architects of the Cleveland Museum of Art, West Side Market, and other landmarks–was built in the 1920s, funded in part by a gift from John D. Rockefeller. For many years, Emeritus House and the Phillis Wheatley Association have teamed up to provide affordable housing, counseling, and social services to the community. Recently, these two not-for-profits formed a partnership with the Famicos Foundation, one of Cleveland’s most successful Community Development Corporations, to update the building by replacing efficiency units with 56 more spacious one-bedroom apartments. The financing combined affordable housing tax credits, historic preservation tax credits, and other tools. Marous Brothers Construction provided preservation consulting and general contracting services. The project team obtained a copy of the original Hubbell and Benes drawings and specifications, which proved invaluable in restoring the building’s original character. The project included restoring the lobby by installing new lighting similar to the original fixtures; repairing a stained glass window; refinishing marble and terrazzo floors, brass handrails, and wooden built-ins; rebuilding the registration desk; preserving a mural in the cafeteria; and converting vintage phone booths into an emergency command center for the fire department.

2008 Awards 
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Click here to return to the list of 2008 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.

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