Monday, April 30, 2007

Breur Tower: Time for Action

For Immediate Release
Contact: Ms. Daryl Davis, event coordinator
216-631-0557 (day) or


A coalition of good government and fiscal responsibility advocates, environmentalists and historic preservationists will assemble at 5:00 pm on Thursday, May 3, 2007 outside the Ameritrust Tower, located at East 9th Street between Euclid and Prospect Avenues, to protest the Cuyahoga County Commissioners' plan to raze the building.

Last year the Commissioners purchased the 29-story tower designed by world- renowned architect Marcel Breuer for $21 million. Demolition, including asbestos abatement, is estimated to cost $11 million. On the
surface this appears to be a $32,000,000 expenditure to create an empty lot. Upon closer examination the costs associated with the commissioners plan exceed this.

The coalition is picketing in order to call attention to the fact that Commissioners Tim Hagan and Jimmy Dimora ignored input from their fellow Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones and architectural experts who objected to the proposed project from the standpoint of its cost and the loss to Cleveland's skyline of one of its historically significant buildings. The coalition is opposed to the demolition of the tower, whether the
site is used to create a new county administration center or not.

Total cost for building the new county administration complex has been estimated at $164 million with contracts of $10 million and $13.5 million already awarded to R.P. Carbone Construction and Robert P.
Madison International, Architects. It is likely that the estimated cost is too low and will increase during construction.

Dimora and Hagan have said they want the new administration building to be “green” or “sustainable”. Destruction of the Ameritrust Tower, and the resultant waste of its “embodied energy” effectively cancels-out any legitimate claim the project may make to environmental responsibility.

The “embodied” energy contained in the structure can be estimated at 15 gallons of gasoline per square foot; equal to approximately $11,000,000. Discounting the other environmental costs associated with the demolition of the tower, this figure brings the total amount of wasted public funds to well over $44,000,000.