Monday, August 21, 2017

The abandoned Cleveland subway and the now-closed streetcar deck of the Detroit-Superior Bridge here in Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland once had one of the nation's largest streetcar systems. The city has long had a problem creating enough bridges over the Cuyahoga River, however. In 1915, the city began work on constructing a new, all-steel bridge alongside the existing stone and concrete Superior Viaduct. The Detroit-Superior Bridge's upper automobile deck opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1917, and the lower streetcar-only deck opened on Christmas Day 1917.

On the west side of the river, streetcars accessed the lower deck via tunnels on Detroit Road and W. 25th Street. In the east, streetcars entered a tunnel on Superior Avenue east of Public Square. There were six underground subway stations and four public restrooms in these tunnels. Stairs and tunnels beneath the tracks allowed pedestrians to move from one side of the subway to the other.

The subway closed when the city streetcar system closed in 1954. The lower deck was deemed unsuitable for conversion to automobile traffic, and also closed.

The lower deck has been opened to the public once a year since the 1980s. It's been rented out as a temporary nightclub, dance venue, site for press conferences, and even an art installation. It closed in 2013 when the Detroit-Superior Bridge underwent a four-year repair and upgrade. This was the first time it opened in four years, and 10,000 people showed up!

* * * * * * * * *

I say "Cleveland subway", but it wasn't really a subway.

Cleveland's considered a subway in the past. The idea was first raised in 1905 by Progressive mayor Tom L. Johnson (probably Cleveland's greatest mayor of all time). But Johnson had just gotten the city's 15 streetcar systems top merge into a single company, and had fought a massive fare-war that left him without political capital. His idea went nowhere.

In 1953, Cuyahoga County voters approved a $35 million bond issue to build a downtown circulator subway. The route was never settled on, but one of the most popular suggestions was a line that ran in a loop from Terminal Tower down Superior Avenue to East 9th Street, then south to Euclid Avenue, over to East 13th Street, and then down to Huron Road and back to Terminal Tower.

County engineer Albert S. Porter -- an evil, evil man -- persuaded the county commissioners to abandon the plan in 1957 in favor of endless freeways. We're living with that disaster now. Porter's freeway system destroyed neighborhoods, led to excessive air pollution, and created such urban sprawl that it destroyed the city of Cleveland. Moreover, the spread-out suburban areas now mean that not a single place has enough population density to support retail any more, and the poor (who lack access to public transit) are trapped in shit-paying jobs they can reach only on foot or by bus.

In 1959, downtown merchants tried to restart the subway program as a means of drawing customers back to the city center. The City Planning Commission even included a subway into the city's 25-year master plan. Porter ridiculed the subway idea, claiming it would cause buildings to collapse, and that people would be "packed like sardines" into subway cars. Moreover, apparently the highway construction industry paid some massive bribes to the commissioners, and they voted to cancel the subway a second time.

In the 1980s, Cleveland considered building an underground streetcar from Public Square to University Circle. Costs put the kibosh on that plan, but 20 years later the city established the Healthline rapid-bus which accomplished some of the same goals.

beneath the bridge 01 - Detroit Superior Bridge

subway tunnel 01 - Detroit Superior Bridge

subway tunnel 02 - Detroit Superior Bridge

subway tunnel walls - Detroit Superior Bridge

subway tunnel walls 02 - Detroit Superior Bridge

subway tunnel drippings - Detroit Superior Bridge

subway tunnel exit - Detroit Superior Bridge

subway tunnel rails to nowhere - Detroit Superior Bridge

subway tunnel rails - Detroit Superior Bridge

subway tunnel labyrinth - Detroit Superior Bridge

streetcar rails beneath - Detroit Superior Bridge

vast crowds - Detroit Superior Bridge

toward Superior - Detroit Superior Bridge

pedestrian walk - Detroit Superior Bridge

down through the girders 03 - Detroit Superior Bridge

down through the girders 02 - Detroit Superior Bridge
I have an affection for small, hard, tight nipples. But sometimes, a guy has such chewy nipples, all I wanna do is bite down and make him fuck me harder while he screams in pain. Twist them until he's moaning and ejaculating at the same time.

I like guys who are clearly very sexual, and who wear tight, cut-off shorts. Like a whore.

I got up Sunday morning, and was just pooped. All day, taking tours and photos and walkinga round.

I considered how to make the best use of my time. And I determined that the most productive use of it was spent sitting in a chair in the back yard, reading and watching the butterflies sip from the last of the summer flowers. I napped for a little bit, and went back to reading. Then I came inside, and watched the sun cast long rays onto the trees and bushes.

I knew there was a reason I liked baseball. And big bats.

Goddamn, he's amazing.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

sign  - Cleveland Heights High School

The new Cleveland Heights High School. I took the two-hour tour on Saturday morning, which was guided by the architects and some city staff. It was awesome.

The 1930, 1950, 1958, 1974, and 2015 additions were all torn down, and replaced with new structures. Although the high school lost 100,000 square feet, all of its 385,000 square feet is useable -- whereas most of the lost footage was dead space.

The renovations cost $103.25 million, instead of the $90.5 million predicted. (Design costs were $11.5 million, and construction costs were $79 million.) School board members claim that architects and contractors "talked them into" putting the project out to bid with only 50 percent of the architectural drawings completed. The school district agreed, so that construction would be completed in time for the 2017-2018 school year to begin. (Design costs rose another $3 million, and construction costs another $6 million once drawings were complete.)

Both design flaws (which the school district did not catch before authorizing construction), unanticipated costs, and design changes have caused cost overruns. Among them are:
  • A design flaw that put the lockers too close together. They had to be ripped up, moved, and more lockers put into the school elsewhere.
  • A design flaw which did not give every student a locker. More lockers had to be ordered, and alterations made to find space for them.
  • A design flaw that left a three-foot gap between the original building and the new science wing. It's been corrected.
  • A change order to remove or redistribute soil on the site. Soil testing failed to detect that some of the soil should not be built on; this had to be removed. Other soil had to be redistributed to accommodate the lost soil. Cost: $850,000.
  • A change order to remove asbestos. More asbestos than anticipated was discovered. Cost: $400,000.
  • A change order to remove old foundations, underground storage tanks, and old utilities. These had not been documented during the school's history. All had to be removed. Cost: $100,000.
  • A change order to patch unforeseen holes in the walls, floors, and the exterior. These had not been documented during the school's history, but had to be fixed. Cost: $275,000.
  • Change orders caused by instructions from the City of Cleveland Heights architectural review board and a tardy review of city building codes. Cost: $700,000.
  • A design flaw that required additional internal steel to reinforce the 1926 structure. Cost: $450,000.
  • Unforeseen costs and design flaws due to problems connecting the plumbing and HVAC in the old building to the new building. Cost: $650,000.
  • Unforeseen costs in technology, career tech equipment, security cameras (they forgot to budget for the CPU to record the footage captured), and improved wireless access. Cost: $260,000.
  • Hundreds of unforeseen small expenses totaling $423,000.

clock  - Cleveland Heights High School

library - Cleveland Heights High School

science room to cafeteria - Cleveland Heights High School

new classroom - Cleveland Heights High School

stadium - Cleveland Heights High School

pool - Cleveland Heights High School

competition gym - Cleveland Heights High School

band room - Cleveland Heights High School

social area - Cleveland Heights High School

clock mechanism text - Cleveland Heights High School

auditorium 03  - Cleveland Heights High School

stage  - Cleveland Heights High School
11 days until September.

C'monnnnnn Fall!