Monday, December 31, 2012

sixth foto miscellany 2012

University Hospital building. Cleveland, O.
 doubting thomas gallery. tremont cleveland, o.
 advertising sign. Consaul Street. Toledo, O.
 visitor at Toledo Art Museum
Tom Johnson. Mayor of Cleveland, holding Henry George's book. Herman Matzen. 1915. Cleveland's Public Square. 

There is another statue of Tom Johnson. William McVey. Western Reserve Historical Society. 1986.

fifth foto miscellany 2012

 bank windows. E.62nd & St. Clair. Cleveland, O. 
Stained glass door window. Hungarian restaurant and saloon. Toledo, O. At one time, people put plates on automobiles promoting the repeal of the prohibition of alcohol.
 circus train before Dead Man's Curve Route 2/ I-90. Cleveland.
juvenile red-tailed hawk in west Akron, O.
 fast food statue boy on Granger near Canal. Valley View, O.
 problemed Davis-Besse nuclear reactor, Oak Harbor Ohio. Route 2.
light fixture over entrance of a Carnegie library in Tremont Cleveland

fourth foto miscellany 2012

 train passing by East 40and Payne
 Fruitland is not a store or park but an old elementary school on a street with the same name
 on East 79th near Sowinski
 sign in Cleveland City Hall
 Community Dragon on Payne Avenue and E. 39th
William Shakespeare at the Main Branch Cleveland Public Library

third foto miscellany 2012

A new innerbelt bridge of highway 71 is being built in Cleveland. These fotos are by Abbey Road by Annuciation Greek Orthodox Church.
 infra a colorful sign nearby, see the two walking penguins on the left

Excavator. Stephen Manka [Cleveland's Claes Oldenburg (if he liked stainless steel)].
 One of three similar on Superior Avenue, good spots to meet for the St. Patrick parade.
Ohio Bell Building and the Terminal Tower viewed from East 18th Street.
The Terminal Tower opened in 1930 and only the Empire State Building was taller.  The Terminal Tower remained the second tallest building in the world until 1964. The Ohio Bell Building was built, because the previous telephone switching station was in the way of the Tower complex construction. The Ohio Bell Bldg. looks like the Daily Planet Bldg. of  Superman's Metropolis. The two creators of Superman were from Glenville Cleveland. It was the tallest building in the city when completed in 1927.
 The Terminal Tower and Key Tower (formerly Society) viewed from West 20th street.
The Society Bank Tower was the tallest in the city since 1991. It is built next to the Society for Savings Bldg, which was the city's tallest from 1889-96.

second foto miscellany 2012

Richard Lennon had the second Saint Andrew Svorad church leveled days before his public pronouncement of parish reductions in March 2009. Mid-January 2012, the lot near the corner of E. 51st and Superior became a parking lot for construction vehicles working on the road surface of Superior Avenue. St. Andrew's began as a Slovak parish and soon Benedictines arrived to start an abbey. They moved eastward for the new abbey, and did not prevent the destruction of either the parish or the old church. It was of a Spanish mission architecture, unique for Cleveland.
Beveled glass of the old baptistery (now bride's room) of St. Michael Cleveland gives an interesting view of the stained glass on the wall behind.
This is a rondel of St. Paul in St. Stephen Cleveland. The window is above a double lancet window, but the picture was taken outside the church, through an open window, flattening the angle of sight.
Belfry of Our Lady of Good Counsel Cleveland. I like angles and symmetry. Euclid above both Pollock and Breuer.
Fr. Simon Gregorčič *1844, 1906† was a national, romantic poet of Slovenija. He was not loved by the political clericalists, nor his bishop. He translated the book of Job as poetry, and his last song was on Jeremiah. His funeral was huge, many Slovenes and Italians attended. In a poem about the Soča river valley, he foresees the bloody carnage, that Hemingway was to write about (Kotarid, Caporetto) in Farewell to Arms. This painting is paired with a similar one of George Washington, in the Slovenian National Home (Newburgh, Cleveland).
F.X. Zettler tracery window angel. Immaculate Conception. Cleveland, O.

foto miscellany 2012

I took a lot of fotos. Here are some taken this year. These are of people at churchy events, and causes. I have had a tendency to not take portraits, as people are people and deserve some privacy. I also am uncomfortable in pestering, cajoling, and the like; but i like these photographs.
These two fotos were taken in Cleveland's Polish Constitution Day Parade on the Sunday before 3 May. The form up begins in Washington Park,  Newburgh Heights. The parade begins on Cleveland's border at Fleet Avenue (yes, 'Street' sounds better). Former Old Brooklyn councilman Theodore Sliwa is in the car, the Magyar (Hungarian) flag is on the car. Las Vegas Elvis rides in the other car.
Very recently there has been a move to have the parade in Parma. At first they were on the same day, this year they were on successive Sundays. There are still rankled people over this.
Many news stories were filmed at St. Casimir's. Supra, is before the last street vigil prayer circle 8 July. Infra, is Homecoming Sunday a week later.
William and Nancy McGrath of St. Peter's Cleveland attend a pre-Homecoming service on 28 August. Nancy is a fifth generation member of the parish. Their grandchildren come to Mass there now. The statue of St. Paul once sold to a parish in Westerville is left of center.
Deacon Moises Cruz presents an homily at St. Michael the Archangel in Cleveland. 1 July.
Bishop John Kudrick of the Eparchy of Parma speaks at Holy Ghost (Tremont) Cleveland. 16 September.
Some members, and friends of the Community of St. Bridget came to hear Fr. Roy Bourgeois 17 October.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

find this shocking?

How disturbing is the electric chair?
Ohio's electric chair was active between 1897 and 1963. Ohio was the second state to get one, it was officially retired in 2001. Three hundred and twelve people were executed in this chair of applied electricity. Notice the copper butt plate. Public viewing of the chair was curtailed in the 1930s. It was first put back for view in 2011, in Columbus. It has been in Cleveland this year. It has an extended visit at Cleveland's Police Museum (inside the 'Justice Center'). Most state authorities like to call the object 'Old Sparky', and they have a common appearance (similar to an un-unapolstered dentist's chair). In Alabama it is painted with yellow road marking paint, hence 'Yellow Mama'. 

In general, the adoption of its use was predicated as an improvement over hanging. Since the re-introduction of the death penalty in the US, it has been mostly replaced by drug injections. Often, the argument is the introduction of newer methods are of humanitarian considerations. It is advance of technology that is called 'progress'.

The creation of the electric chair was involved in the battle between Edison and Westinghouse over direct and alternating current. Edison and J.P. Morgan ($$$) wanted to make Westinghouse and alternating current look dangerous. Edison was against capital punishment, but pro-profit.  A series of animals were publicly executed to demonstrate the danger of AC. New York adopted the method, that Edison called 'Westinghousing'. The first electric chair was built by an Edison employee. Westinghouse tried to stop the first execution. The first electrocution by a state electrician of a man was in 1890. It was gruesomely bungled. George Westinghouse was a witness, "They would have done better using an axe."

The electric chair is almost exclusively an American phenomena. The United States imposed it in the Philippines in 1926, it was lastly used in 1976. In 2006 capital punishment was abolished. To-day, only six states in the American south still have it as a regular option, two have it as a suppositional option.
...I don't want to spend no
Ninety-nine years in jail
So judge, judge, good kind judge
Send me to the 'lectric chair 

— George Brooks
— sung by Bessie Smith 1927

Saturday, December 29, 2012

ghost signs of cleveland

Buckeye Ribbon & Carbon Co.
Inked Ribbons
Carbon Papers
Est. 1896
building near intersection of E. 72nd and St. Clair
Really this is a handsome sign. It is functionally elegant sign. The products manufactured were black tint to clearly, and sharply print letters on office and business stationery. The products are extinct. Cheap photocopies killed carbon paper. Typewriters worked great, and many were built well, and looked good. Typewriter ribbons were knocked off before computers killed off typewriters. There were ink cartridges in between. 

This is a ghost sign. The company was established in 1896, there is no extinguished date. Some other entity may have bought the trademark, but this one is gone. These pre-WWII advertising signs were painted on brick walls, and on barns. Sign painters nicknamed 'wall dogs' had work for a generation. A lot of signs advertised businesses that did not make it through Hoover's Depression. Some buildings remain, and new owners did not bother with the sign. Note how well the paint held up.
on Prospect near E. 51st
 This is a very simple sign, just the company's name. Many young people, well now even middle-aged people are not familiar with Packard. Was it a beer? or a pickle? Before Cadillac was Cadillac, Packard was Cadillac. The last Packard was made in 1956, Studebaker used its name until 1958.
 Uneeda Biscuit, National Biscuit Company's extinct first cracker 1899-2009
W. 32n near Fulton and Bridge
Uneeda Biscuit replaced the cracker barrel. They were packaged for shipping, and had the first advertising campaign for such a food.
postscriptum 30 January 2013:  Drove by to-day, some insignificant street jerk had 'tagged' the biscuit sign with graceless scrawl.

Friday, December 28, 2012

North Collinwood

Rupintojelis, Chrystus Frasobliwy, Christus im Elend, Pensive Christ is a folk representation of  a seated, beaten, scourged Jesus.
sculptors:Romas Mazoliauskas, Eduardas Kersnauskas
Larger war memorial group at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church-Lithuanian.
Euclid Beach Park 1895-1969
The bollocks, a few years ago someone drove into one of the towers, are new. When the amusement park ended, an old agers high rise went up. The park closed after many troubling racial conflicts.

Very few people remember Laughing Sam, but Laughing Sal is still on local tour. The Philadelphia Toboggan Company contracted several throughout the Depression years for amusement parks. We called that attraction, 'Ha Ha Baba'. She was a daymare to many children. A piercing, mad cackle from an hidden phonograph, while she would tower and wildly shake above small kids. The racing carousel went west to Sandusky. Many people mourned the closing of this park. 

The log cabin dance hall had a sign commemorating John Kennedy's visit while campaigning for President. The event was part of  the annual Democratic Party steer roast.  I was there and saw the sign, and my father told me, yes the assassinated President had been there. Years after people remembered, many telling their children that they saw John there. One hundred twenty five thousand were said to have come. Cleveland was still filled with working class Democrats. Nixon won Ohio anyway. The anti-Catholic propaganda was heavy. The Republican party had success instilling the story that Democrats were communists.  After Dealey Plaza a growing majority of people 'had voted' for John. Then Nixon won two more times, and a permanent anti-Kennedy campaign has succeeded. To-day, there are Catholics who are rabidly anti-Teddy. As i have said to many people, the event that has most changed American history, in my lifetime, was the bullet that ended Bobby Kennedy's life.
This movie theatre was active from 1927 to 1991 on E. 185th, Kildeer, and La Salle. The non-related La Salle was a junior Cadillac companion, above a Buick, from 1927 to 1940. The building has apartments, and store space. For a time antique cars occupied the theatre.  The Commodore picture show at E.152, Macaulay, and Lakeshore has began the process of becoming a grass lot in 2008. For a time, it was rented out to St. Jerome as a bingo hall.

under the red star

on Denison Avenue, east of Pearl, west of Barbara
 a sign before the mid 60s would have been circular and the star more prominent
From December 1940 until the century ended Texaco sponsored Saturday afternoon Metropolitan Opera (New York) radio broadcasts. That ended shortly after they were acquired by Chevron, they still sponsor Nascar. Opera sponsorship began as a public relations move to clean the image. The chairman of Texaco, Torkild 'Captain' Rieber, was an active Nazi. He and Texaco sold oil to Franco and Hitler, and engaged in espionage. When France surrendered to the Germans, Rieber threw a party. Previously he was celebrated in the press making the cover of Time (4 May 1936). In the summer of 1940, some of his Nazi activities made the press. In late August he was replaced at a shareholder board meeting.

Texaco bought Red Star Oil Company in 1911, hence the logo. After World War II, many people that left communist eastern Europe were startled to see the red star. Eventually, they found out it was just advertising by an oil company (they never knew that no they were not communists but fascists).  At one time Texaco had gas stations in every state of the Union. They have pulled out of many. Here the sign remains.

    ...It's her last chance
    Her timing's all wrong
    Her last chance
    She can't idle this long
    Her last chance
    Turn her over and go
    Pullin' out of the last chance Texaco
    The last chance
     —Rickie Lee Jones

Thursday, December 27, 2012

the buttons and bows building

 August 2006. Presbyterian Church of the Covenant and a huge ribbon of shiny stainless steel
April 2012. Parking garage before the same wide undulating ribbon of roller coaster sliding
Frank Gehry designed the Peter Lewis business management building of Case Western Reserve U., near Euclid Avenue and Mayfield/Ford Road in Cleveland Ohio. Ugsome items are about campus muchly, this one is visible to the heliocopters that cruise into the neighborhood's hospitals. These distances and angles are the best aspects available. Up close and personal, not such a good idea. There is a suggestion of movement, an indication of entropy (see Second Law of thermodynamics). In physical geology there are two sorts of processes: the endogenous, and the exogenous. As these shape the terrain, the former are internally derived and cause a building up, the latter are such as gravity, erosion, weathering. So, in construction effort is exerted to build up (endogenous). These exogenous factors tend to smooth everything down. The Gehry building exhibits entropy and exogeny.

Construction was still booming in Cleveland in 1999. I spoke to a couple of people who happened to be working on the site. "Where you working at?". They called it, 'the buttons and bows building'. "What?''. "Yeah, it looks like some one dropped a giant pile of buttons and bows. Tradesmen were not to pleased working on the thing. To describe the building in familiar terms, it is a cross between the Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and the set of The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari.

Perhaps, for the crafts of masonry and carpentry that are outwardly visible, though adding difficulty in construction, the end result is visually interesting; but for any mechanical trade (the pipe trades, sheet metal) it is absurd. As frustrated workmen who install work linearly, and often not visually apparent in finish, must put work in continuous systems, encounter absurdities. One cannot stop a pipe in mid-air, and continue it later; a path needs to be found or created. For some of the same reasons later, the police were not too pleased either.*

Architects with pencils are not so concerned. Well, the cost overruns on this project were considerable. Generally in construction under current American capitalism, there is much finger pointing, back biting, and no shortage of tyrannical supervision and management. Even if this was not the case here, good jobs to work on are few. It is ironic that such a building is built for graduate business administration degrees, perhaps a building of gold plated cards would be proper, where toilets would flush up.
*In May 2003 an insane graduate came armed and shot hundreds of rounds, killing one person. People were hiding throughout the building, and a mobile exchange of fire was engaged with police. Intense drama spread for some hours. The perpetually badly wigged assailant, Biswanath Halder, proved madder than hatter throughout his trial.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

observation on local television Christmas coverage

a little decoration for Christmas 2012 at Saint Casimir Cleveland O.
the last Christmas the altar saw was in 2008
Christmas Day has passed. I noticed the television news coverage in Cleveland, O.. Being a religious and business holiday, there was a reduction of broadcasts. The big story was the upcoming weather. A snowstorm is expected on the day after. Only the weather was competition for air time. Most work activities that generally produce 'news' were dormant.  But something had to fill time. It was not a Sunday, so there was no local football game. NHL hockey is on a lockout, and Cleveland is a very minor league hockey town.
after a woodcut by Fritz Eichenberg for The Catholic Worker
So, the news went to church stories. And apparently, there are only Catholic churches in town. There is a go to set of visits. I think all four [wkyc and woio share footage] stations had coverage of the basement of St. Augustine. St. Augustine feeds people every day. Many reporters new to Cleveland have gone to Augustine's on Thanksgiving and Christmas to see turkey and ham served. There is a painting on one of the walls of Christ of the Breadlines.  This year there was also mentioned St. Colman, and St. Mary of Elyria.

Christmas Eve the television is mostly about shopping and commerce. Since Rome, and Bethlehem are several hours ahead, film is available in the US. Time does not readily allow television to get the local Midnight Mass (which could begin earlier), and they do not often realise or think of getting an earlier vigil Mass.

Now, there are many Protestant churches that celebrate Christmas. Most Orthodox still use the old calendar (Julian), and are still in Advent. When Christmas comes the crews will come to the cathedral of St. Theodosius, or St. Vladimir. They go for color, atmosphere, and ranking. Now, the Anglican cathedral of Trinity is a far more impressive building than the Cleveland's Latin rite cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (the Greek rite cathedrals of St. Josaphat, and especially St. John the Baptist only confuses media); and the Anglicans can do ceremony well. The tendency is other Protestants to have less audio-visuals.

What was interesting is that both WEWS  (also here), and WJW gave a goodly view of historic Saint Casimir. There are two additional points here:
  • Saint Casimir broke into the regular line up
  • Both stations paired St. Casimir with the Cathedral
Now, in both pairings, the story of the Casimiri was superior. It is also dramatic that Richard Lennon (the bishop who did all he could to suppress St. Casimir) appeared in one of the cathedral stories.