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2009 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award Recipients

Preservation Merit Award to The Finch Group, Ted Sande, City Architecture. and Marous Brothers Construction for the rehabilitation and adaptive use of the 1923 Park Lane Villa Hotel at 10510 Park Lane in Cleveland as the Park Lane Villa Apartments.

Between 1920 and 1924, and within a few blocks of each other, five high-rise luxury hotels were constructed in what is now called University Circle on the east side of Cleveland, a neighborhood that throbbed with activity and became a fashionable option for wealthy people to live in town. 85 years later, conversion of one of these residential hotels, the historic Park Lane Villa, into luxury apartment residences, represents a significant reinvestment in one of Cleveland's most picturesque neighborhoods. The building fronts Rockefeller Park, overlooking the Cultural Gardens and the many institutions of University Circle. This central location allows the new residents of Park Lane Villa to be within minutes of downtown, the Cleveland Clinic, Case Western Reserve University and the many businesses and cultural institutions at University Circle.

Built in 1923, the Park Lane Villa was converted in the 1970s to subsidized housing for the elderly. After years of deferred maintenance, the threat of imminent structural failure in the mechanical rooms forced the abrupt closure of the building. The vacant structure became the property of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which turned to the City of Cleveland to find new life for the building. Based on the strength of their redevelopment proposal, The Finch Group was selected as the developer for the project.

The project involved the conversion of 187 housing units into 96 high-end apartments with over 40 unique floor plans. The new apartments were carefully designed to incorporate existing plasterwork, cabinetry, hardwood floors, and other historic detailing. Low quality replacement windows from the 1970s were replaced with new windows designed to replicate the historic character and profiles of the originals, including reinstatement of French door configurations and balconies that had long since disappeared. Historic terra-cotta fireplaces that had long been hidden were uncovered and carefully restored.

Dropped ceilings, electrical feeders, and sprinkler lines were removed from public corridors and these areas also have been brought back to their original splendor. Additionally, the spectacular historic ballroom and north entry lobby, two of the most heavily damaged areas in the original building, have been extensively restored with careful re-creation of missing plaster elements and the lobby's painted ornamental frieze and terrazzo mosaic flooring.

On the exterior, extensive restoration of historic features has occurred, including repair of the original slate roof, ornamental copper detailing, brick and the cast stone ornamentation.

A new 2-story parking structure has been constructed to serve the new residents, with the lower level hidden below grade to avoid obscuring views of the historic building. A new resident entrance structure was designed to complement the architecture of the original building and provide more gracious access to the building from the parking areas.

This project has not only brought new life to a deteriorated historic structure, but is a catalytic project that is commencing the reinvigoration of a blighted historic neighborhood.

2009 Awards 
Presentation Image. Click to view slides of the awards presentation.

Click here to return to the list of 2009 Ohio Historic Preservation Office Award recipients.

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