Friday, March 30, 2007

"All Aboard Ohio welcomes daylight Amtrak train to Cleveland

Breaking Amtrak News from All Aboard Ohio:


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ken Prendergast, Director
March 30, 2007 Research/Communications
(216) 986-6064 office
(216) 288-4883 cell

All Aboard Ohio welcomes daylight Amtrak train to Cleveland

CLEVELAND – All Aboard Ohio, a nonprofit organization, today announced it welcomed what is hopefully an initial attempt at improving passenger train services in Ohio.

Starting April 3, Amtrak’s daily eastbound Lake Shore Limited (Train #49) will offer daylight service between Cleveland and cities in New York. The same train will also offer overnight service between Chicago and downtown Cleveland. Train #49 is scheduled to arrive Cleveland from Chicago at 6:22 a.m. and depart for New York at 7 a.m. First-class compartments, economy coach seating, lounge and dining services are available.

This will be the first time in 36 years that convenient train schedules have been offered in these busy travel markets. Here are some key points regarding this new schedule:

§ All Aboard Ohio and the Ohio Congressional Delegation wrote letters to Amtrak's president and board chairman asking for more usuable train services to Ohioans.

§ Amtrak is continuing to negotiate with freight railroad CSX Corp. to reschedule the daily westbound Lake Shore Limited (Train #48) over CSX’s tracks to serve Cleveland at a more convenient time than the current 3:30 a.m. arrival.

§ The new eastbound schedule allows business travelers from Chicago to travel by train to attend a 9 or 10 a.m. meeting in Cleveland without waking before 4 a.m. to catch a 6 a.m. flight in Chicago. Even if Train #49 is delayed up to 2 hours by frequent freight train traffic, business travelers can still make their meeting on-time thanks to the train’s 6:22 a.m. scheduled arrival in downtown Cleveland.

§ While Cleveland gains from the rescheduling, Toledo loses. The Lake Shore Limited will serve Toledo at less convenient times. Amtrak’s only other daily train service to Ohio, the Capitol Limited, also serves Toledo. This situation, as well as record Amtrak ridership in 2006 and volatile gasoline prices, underscore a need for more trains and thus more federal funding in partnership with states like Ohio.

§ Two bills (S.294 and H.R. 1300) were introduced to Congress to address America’s woefully under-capitalized rail system by unclogging railroad traffic bottlenecks, allowing Amtrak to acquire new train equipment and availing federal funding for new, short-distance services like those envisioned in the state’s emerging Ohio Hub Plan, including fast trains linking Cleveland - Columbus - Dayton - Cincinnati (3-C Corridor). All Aboard Ohio strongly encourages Gov. Ted Strickland and ODOT Director James Beasley to urge the Ohio Congressional Delegation to support both bills.

NEWS VIDEO/PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Starting April 3rd, 7 a.m. departure of Train #49 from Cleveland Amtrak Station, off South Marginal Road, between W. 3rd and E. 9th streets.


Also, the Plain Dealer is asking it's readers to share their thoughts about this improved service. So Tell him what you think:

Dear Readers,

Reporter Grant Segall is working on a story about AMTRAK's decision to restore daytime service from Cleveland to New York, with a planned 7 a.m. departure.

He is looking for people who might be likely to use the train, which takes 13 to 15 hours to get to New York, in order to avoid the hassles of air travel. If you think you might use this service, or even if you have a strong negative opinion of it, Grant would like to hear from you.

The story will run tomorrow, so if you are going to contact him, you will have to do it right away. Please include your name, city of residence and a daytime phone number, and send your remarks to

Thank you,

Ted Diadiun

Reader Representative

Where on Cuyahoga Could We Do This?

This IS interesting.
Perhaps some new realignment of the Tow Path Trail is in order here.

From Stuff To Think About:

Water Bridge

Check out this bridge.

It took 6 years and 500 million euros to build! At 918 meters long, this is the largest water bridge. It was built over the Elbe River in Magdeburg, Germany.

I found a neat trivia question about the bridge: Did that bridge have to be designed to withstand the additional weight of ship and barge traffic, or just the weight of the water?

It only needs to be designed to withstand the weight of the water! Why? A ship always displaces an amount of water that weighs the same as the ship, regardless of how heavily a ship may be loaded. Neat, huh?

posted by CJ at 3/20/2007 07:02:00 AM

Thursday, March 29, 2007

"Ameritrust Tower to come down"

Breaking news from Crain's Cleveland:

Ameritrust Tower to come down


4:21 pm, March 29, 2007

The Cuyahoga County commissioners voted 2-1 today to tear down the Ameritrust Tower at East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue and replace it with a new county administration building.

The dissenting vote was cast by Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones. Commissioners Jimmy Dimora and Tim Hagan were in favor of replacing the 1971 tower designed by French architect Marcel Breuer.

The decision to bring the building down was part of $22.6 million in contracts approved to remove asbestos from four buildings in the Ameritrust complex and demolish the tower and the 1010 Euclid Building.

The architectural team of Kohn Pederson Fox of New York and Cleveland-based Robert P. Madison International recommended tearing the Breuer building down and will design the new building.

Mr. Madison, who studied architecture in France and told the commissioners that his student work had been critiqued by Mr. Breuer, disagreed with those who want the building saved. He said while the opponents describe the Ameritrust Tower as an excellent example of Brutalism, a style of architecture that sought to elevate raw concrete forms, “It isn’t.” He said other buildings better represented the style.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

"Cuyahoga County Commissioners to Determine Fate of Breuer Tower"

Big news coming up this week regarding the fate of the Marcel Breuer tower by the Cuyahoga County Commissioners.
(Photo of the Breuer towers as they were suppose to be built -

This was posted on the Urban Ohio forum and originally from the Cleveland Chapter of the American Institute of Architects:
"AIA Cleveland Urgent - Advocacy Bulletin"

Cuyahoga County Commissioners to Determine Fate of Breuer Tower

The Cuyahoga County Commissioners will be discussing the demolition of the Marcel Breuer designed Cleveland Trust (Ameritrust) Tower at it's next meeting at 11:30 AM on Thursday, March 29, 2007 at the Board of Cuyahoga County Commissioners Chambers, 1219 Ontario Street, 4th Floor.

All AIA Cleveland Members are invited to attend the meeting and express their views on this matter.

Over the course of the last several months, AIA Cleveland's Executive Board and Committee on Historic Resources has urged the Commissioners to reconsider demolishing the Tower and has called for them to conduct a comprehensive feasibility study of adaptively reusing the Breuer Tower for the new County Administration Center.

If you cannot attend, please call or e-mail your position on this important matter directly to the Commissioners before Thursday's meeting. Their contact information is as follows:

Commissioner Jimmy Dimora
Phone (216) 443-7180

Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones
Phone (216) 443-7182

Commissioner Timothy F. Hagan
Phone (216) 443-7181

AIA Cleveland Statement

Cleveland, Ohio, January 30, 2007 - AIA Cleveland, a Chapter of the American Institute of Architects, urges The Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners to preserve and renovate the Cleveland Trust (Ameritrust) Tower.

Designed by the pioneering modernist architect Marcel Breuer in 1971, the tower's prominent location, noteworthy design and contribution to downtown Cleveland's skyline, make the building potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. As stewards of the built environment, it is our community's responsibility to ensure that significant examples of modern architecture like the Cleveland Trust Tower endure for future generations.

Furthermore, AIA Cleveland encourages the Commissioners to undertake a comprehensive feasibility study of adaptively reusing the Breuer Tower for the new County Administration Center. This study must thoroughly analyze the overall project development costs to the tax payers of Cuyahoga County and definitively justify the decisions made by the Commissioners. In addition, the impact of demolishing the twenty-nine story structure must be carefully considered from an economic, environmental and sustainability perspective. This study, coupled with a creative and transparent design process, will determine if and how the existing building can best meet the County's needs.

Most importantly, we urge the County to engage the community during the decision making process so that all voices are heard on this major expenditure of public resources. AIA Cleveland stands ready to provide the Cuyahoga County Board of Commissioners with assistance and counsel in this most important matter and we look forward to a constructive community dialogue on this issue.

The same person who posted this added the following information:
The topic of the Tower in this Commissioners' meeting was news to me... check out the agenda on their webpage ( and note Item 23c where the Commissioners will vote on the abatement and demolition of the Tower contract going out to bid. From what AIA's release indicates, the Commissioners will hear statements from the public for the Tower's future.

The meeting is on Thursday at 11:30 am in the Commissioners' Chambers at the County Admin Building on Ontario and Lakeside.

Which was then followed by another member who posted the following:
The commissioners are going to design review on Thursday afternoon to ask to demolish two other buildings (I believe they are the one immediately east of the rotunda and the ungly shorter gray building on Prospect)

There is a local blog that has a plethora of information regarding what has been happening with the tower, including a copy of a flier making the rounds around town. From the Design Rag:

Taxpayers Against Breuer Tower Demolition

This tri-fold brochure from "Taxpayers Against Waste" was sent to The Design Rag and has recently been circulating around Cuyahoga County (I apologize for any difficulty in viewing):