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For Sale: Cuyahoga County Public Library Branch

Historic Telling Mansion has been home to the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library since 1952. The Library board has put it up for sale.

The Telling Mansion is for sale.

The Telling Mansion has been home to the South Euclid-Lyndhurst branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library since 1952. Quoting directly from a Library webpage, “Mr. Fiske (Library Board President from 1946-1954) recognized the potential of the Telling mansion, knew it was for sale, and felt the unique building should be preserved for use as a public library”.

On October 30, 2012 the current Library Board President, Robert Varley, and the Library Director, Sari Feldman, put Telling Mansion on the market. Mr. Varley was appointed by the Court of Common Pleas and is the registered lobbyist for Dominion Gas Company.

Most people think that because Telling Mansion is listed on the National Register of Historic Places that it is protected.  Is this true?

No. We asked the Cleveland Restoration Society about this; Telling has no protection as federal funds were never used to renovate it (please see the attached document)

Is Telling Mansion being sold because it is not ADA compliant?

 No. The Library is currently considered in compliance with ADA . But the Library has needed an elevator for many years. If the Library administration were concerned about the people who use the building, particularly people with disabilities, why didn’t they install an elevator in Telling Mansion many years ago? Installing an elevator costs $400,000 vs. $12.5 million for a new building.  

CCPL administration is co-opting people with disabilities in order to force a new Library on a community that does not want one. (That sounds silly, doesn’t it? Forcing a new library on a community that wants to keep their historic and beautiful library.)

Everyone reading this has a friend or family member who has a disability. Any of us can become disabled and that won't mean that we will no longer want or need beautiful and interesting public spaces.

The proposed new library site is further away from the high school, bus routes and the city of Lyndhurst. And, it will rip up 5 acres of greenspace along Nine Mile Creek, contributing to further watershed management problems, less wildlife habitat and degradation of water and air quality.

If the community's well being mattered to the Library board, why didn’t they choose a site that had vacant or unsightly buildings and build there?--that would have contributed to the area’s economic vitality.

If the Library abandons Telling Mansion, years from now people will ask: “Why didn’t the people in the community save this historic building—didn’t they care?”

”Why didn’t they prevent their own demise?”

Now is the time to act to save Telling Mansion.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP? The community must display a show of force.

You can help by attending a public meeting convened by Councilperson Sunny Simon on Monday, November 19th at 7pm at the South Euclid Community Center; 1370 Victory Drive; 216-291-0771. 

Please bring as many people as you can to help our community demand that Councilperson Sunny Simon and other elected officials save historic Telling Mansion.

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD.

You can contact the group Save the SE-L Mansion Library by emailing savethemansionlibrary@gmail.com or by calling 216-694-8304.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Garry Kanter November 13, 2012 at 09:46 PM
For Sale: Our Heritage
LolaMontez2 November 15, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Amen. Thanks for this wonderful article and wonderful photo. What a shame, what a disgrace. I am beginning to feel like I do not even want to live in such a community, where they can destroy both the Oakwood greenspace AND the Telling Mansion within a couple of years of each other. I have the richest and most marvelous memories of the SE library, starting from when I was so little I could not even read yet -- 4 or 5 -- my mom brought me there to pick out picture books. It is such a magical place -- how can think of selling it with the aviary, the fountains with the frogs and art deco tiles? the wrought iron and so on? is this not on the historical register???? IF SO WHY NOT? I am very seriously afraid this will absolutely be torn down. What other kind of business could possible use such a space? It is far too late to turn it back into a private residence; it's been a library since 1954. Why is a bleeping ELEVATOR such a big problem for them? They have plenty of room in the rear of the building to install such a thing. Is there a way to reach Sunny Simon privately and offer help, or encourage her continued support????
Sunny Simon November 16, 2012 at 05:41 PM
From: County Council Member Sunny Simon The Cuyahoga County Public Library is under the control and management of a statutory board of seven members appointed for seven-year terms. Monday evening’s meeting is simply an opportunity for South Euclid-Lyndhurst residents to be more fully informed about the library’s decision and plans for the Telling Mansion and the new library site; to offer comments and to ask questions. The Cuyahoga County Council has no authority to overturn a decision by the Cuyahoga County Public Library Board of Trustees.
Garry Kanter November 16, 2012 at 06:12 PM
County Councilprson Simon is an elected representative of We The People. I hope lots of her constituents will let her know of their displeasure with the Telling Mansion decision. And I hope the councilperson will use her office to advance the will of We The People regarding this matter. For the county councilperson to imply she can do "*nothing* strikes me as very jaded and cynical.
Fran Mentch November 17, 2012 at 05:16 PM
We citizens depend on our elected officials to use their political influence to bring about what is the best for our communities. All our elected officials can do is try to talk with the Cuyahoga County Library Board members about this issue and persuade them to keep the Library in the Telling Mansion. There is NO evidence that any elected official has done so. We appreciate and thank the officials who have said they do not like the idea, and we urge them to DO SOMETHING to save Telling Mansion. Many elected officials are very quick to become vitriolic and nasty with citizens --so why are they so reluctant and demure in dealing with this important issue? Cuyahoga County LIbrary Board and administration will probably move on, resign or retire in the next 10 years, but the community will live with this loss FOREVER. SUNNY, PLEASE HELP US SAVE TELLING MANSION!

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