Rock and roll history in jeopardy

CLEVELAND -- Tear it down or turn it's history into housing? That's the fight going on between the City of Cleveland and the owners of a century old building.

Built in 1906 as a plumbing supply house, the Herold Building is showing its age and neglect. The brick is pulling away where it used to share a wall, and the fire escape is falling off.

The inside doesn't look much better. The floor has caved in some places.

But Peter Ketter with Sandvick Architects doesn't see a deteriorating building, he sees an historic relic that can still be saved.

"We've obviously lost a lot of buildings along for surface parking that leaving gaps in the city so it would be a shame to lose another building on this block," said Ketter.

He's working on plans to convert the first floor into commercial space and the upper floors into housing using the historical layout.

Back in the 20's, Kurtz Furniture moved in. In the 50's, Leo Mintz opened Record Rendezvous where Alan Freed coined the phrase "Rock and Roll." Because of that, all the buildings were put on the historic registry.

But L&R, based in California, wants to tear down the Herold Building. Some argue that destroying just one of the buildings destroys Cleveland's one-of-a-kind feel.

"That's what draws people to want to live here and visit here. Its a unique sense of place and unique character that we have in our city," said Ketter.

The city is in a legal battle with the owners, L&R based out of California, about whether the building can be torn down. We tried contacting L&R last month but still haven't heard back from them.

Follow WKYC's Kristin Anderson on Twitter: @KristinWKYC


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