Downtown Cleveland Residents Association Holds Meeting to Discuss Future of Stanley Block Site After Casino Sculpture Proposal Falls Flat

It wasn't too long ago that no one was really thinking about what would eventually become of the former Stanley Block building site. That changed quickly when the Horseshoe Casino proposed a sculpture garden that was an ode to a paradise only Biff Tanner could love. The gaudy gambling-themed sculptures quickly drew the ire of just about every living human who cares about downtown Cleveland and was also quickly withdrawn from the Cleveland City Planning Commission's design review agenda.

Tuesday evening at Flannery's, the Downtown Cleveland Residents Association held a meeting to solicit suggestions from residents about what the casino should do with the space. The DCRA's 
Joseph Giuliano says they had been in touch with the casino and the Horseshoe folks seemed amenable to at least fielding input.

"It was no dice to the no dice," says Giuliano. "We reached out and asked if they would be willing to entertain some thoughts from residents much like the 5th Street Arcades did when they reached out to see what kind of retail and shops residents would be interested in, and that ended up being a successful project."

What do residents want? Giuliano and crew are still tabulating all the specific responses to present in a final report to the casino, but he said the 40 or 45 folks in attendance Tuesday evening discussed recreational type ideas, green spaces, and "active spaces" that would work in collaboration with a host of events going on downtown, whether it's Cavs games or anything else. 

DCRA was, naturally, among those vehemently opposed to the gambling-themed sculptures and that its inclusion on the design review agenda was the first they learned of that. As they have lately, they're just looking for downtown stakeholders to at least solicit the opinion of those who live downtown before moving forward.

"And what the DCRA has been trying to do is get more active in the design review," he says. "Previously, we wouldn't know about things until after the fact, but we've been working with the city to get advanced notice on projects and meetings to give our input. I think it's a victory that the casino is willing to sit down and take a look at proposals."

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