President Obama pays a visit to the West Side Market.

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2012 Legacy Award
WEEKEND IN OHIO CITY EVENT COMMITTEE

It has long been said that home is where the heart is, and Ohio City residents have long been opening their hearts by inviting the public into their homes.

However, the 25-year-old annual Ohio City Home Tour, now known as a part of Weekend in Ohio City, could not open any doors without its volunteer events committee.

Most college students probably prefer to leave simple living behind when they graduate and seek a full-time job. Yet it’s fair to say members of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps are not your typical college graduates.

For a one-year stint, the young people who sign up to participate in the JVC program scrimp on worldly delights to help the poor. The JVC is a national service program that places young people at nonprofit agencies and schools in order to serve marginalized communities in the U.S. and in developing countries.

For over 40 years, 6-8 JV’s have moved to Cleveland annually to join the program. For the past 30 years, the Cleveland JV’s have lived in a Church Avenue home owned by longtime Ohio City residents Bill and Jean Merriman. 

When school bells ring across Ohio City, many local students are making productive use of their time. They’re joining Saint Ignatius High School students for after-school programs over the course of the school year.

From Monday through Thursday, students in the third through eighth grades join nine after-school programs on the St. Ignatius campus. These programs recently concluded until the start of the school year in September, yet the relationships built through these mentoring programs remain as vibrant memories for everyone involved. 

Leading Cleveland real estate company Abode has donated six new Cleveland Select Pear trees to Market Square Park, along with bronze bench placards that serve to commemorate Cleveland history.

Each of the donated Cleveland Select Pear trees symbolizes a key Ohio City stakeholder or event that has helped to shape one of Cleveland’s most vibrant, well-loved neighborhoods. 

According to Justin Campbell and Andrew Brickman, Partners with Abode, the donation of trees “symbolizes Abode’s commitment to Cleveland as a world-class city. When you can make urban living eco-friendly, it has appeal.”

The partners add, “We’re excited that the Ohio City community shares our vision.”

Abode is well-known as the developer of modern luxury townhome communities that include 27 Coltman, Eleven River and Clifton Pointe. The firm is known as a forward-thinking, creative company on the leading edge of sustainable homebuilding.

The summer months are arguably the best and busiest time time of year in Ohio City. There is something for everyone, every day of the week, from live music and unique outdoor entertainment to family-friendly programming that makes good use of wonderful neighborhood parks like Fairview and Greenwood. Take advantage of all of the summer happenings in our neighborhood!

Developers have broken ground on a new, single-family home on West 45th Street between Bridge and Franklin, the first new single-family home to be built in Ohio City since the Great Recession.
The home, being developed by a partnership between David Fragapane of Civic Builders and Keith Brown and David Sharkey of Progressive Urban Real Estate, is part of a four-unit development on a stretch of empty lots that have grown weeds for well over a decade. 

The developers intended to break ground before the recession hit, but the project stalled out in 2008. Recently, it’s come back to life with the uptick in the housing market, which improved with the economy.
“The house has a very efficient, open floor plan with hardwood floors,” says Sharkey. “This is a big lot for the city, and there will ultimately be four contiguous homes on West 45th.”

Quietly tucked away in the northeast corner of our neighborhood sits one of the most storied churches in all of Ohio. St. John’s, built in 1836, is the oldest church in Cuyahoga County, and one of the oldest in the state. For the past 177 years, St. John’s has been a spiritual home to mayors, senators, ambassadors, and captains of industry – but its real significance is for serving as a home to those without power, prestige, or prominence. St. John’s – through its abolitionist parishioners and the citizens of Ohio City – became known as Station Hope, a temporary refuge for those seeking freedom along the Underground Railroad. Yet, this national landmark has sat empty for too long.

Ohio City will once again be transformed on Wednesday nights this July as the Cleveland Museum of Art launches a free summer arts series. CMA Ohio City Stages, presented by Charter One, will bring acclaimed global music artists to a stage on the blocks surrounding The Transformer Station.

In addition to the diverse, award-winning musicians, films by contemporary artists will be shown on the Transformer Station lawn at West 29th and Church. Food and beverage will be available for purchase at the event.

CMA Ohio City Stages has been spearheaded by Bellwether, a project of CMA’s Contemporary Arts Society.

The Brews + Prose reading series at Market Garden Brewery on West 25th Street ain’t exactly your typical author reading. While most readings take place in quiet libraries or bookstore basements, this one is held in Ohio City’s hottest new bar, bringing together great literature and craft beer.

“There’s a gap between the hushed, almost church-like readings of universities and libraries and the places you can enjoy yourself and have a glass of beer,” says Dave Lucas, a poet and Lyndhurst resident who spearheaded the event with Market Garden Brewery to celebrate talented Cleveland authors.

“We want to remind people that literature is fun,” he adds. “Readings shouldn’t be the broccoli of literary life, yet you shouldn’t have to sacrifice quality.”

Wine connoisseur? Perhaps. Lover of Ohio City? Absolutely.

Joy Valentine has managed the well-established Market Avenue Wine Bar for over 15 years. “Since August 1st, 1995,” she recollects.

Like so many local business owners, professionals and entrepreneurs, Joy is also an Ohio City resident of 14 years.

Originally from Fairview Park, she attended Laurel School growing up. After deciding that her Jewelry and Metal Design major at Kent State University was going to be more of a hobby, rather than a career, Joy switched directions and focused on bartending school instead.

Before finding her calling in the wine industry, she impressively held eleven different jobs at once, which included delivering newspapers, venturing into the catering business, painting and working at Blossom Music Center.

Joy knew nothing about wine before starting her management position at Market Avenue Wine Bar; everything she knows, she has learned on the fly.

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