Browse Interviews

  • Collection: History 400: Local History
24 total

Richard Horton Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Richard Horton, former executive director (1975-1989) of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center, discusses the history of the Shaker community in Cleveland, the Shaker Lakes, the failed Clark Freeway that threatened the land upon which the lakes are located, and the founding and operation of the Shaker Lakes Nature Center. Mr. Horton grew up in Geauga County with a love of nature; became a teacher; volunteered at the Nature Center shortly after it was established in the 1960s;…

Andrea Sweazy Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Andrea Sweazy, niece of legendary Cleveland Agora founder Henry LoConti and (currently) the booking agent for the Cleveland Agora, discusses her childhood, including her love of music while growing up; her college years in Chicago, including her early efforts to combine business acumen with the love of music; and her eventual entry into the family business in 2003. Sweazy also discusses the current rock-n-roll scene; how bands are booked at the Agora; quirky requests by…

Charles Berry Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Charles Berry, a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason, discusses his life growing up in Cleveland in the 1930s and his involvement with the Scottish Rite Masons with whom he had been a member a the time of this interview for 48 years. Berry is a volunteer worker at the Masonic Library in Cleveland, and has acquired a wealth of knowledge of Masonic history by reading many of the books at the Library. Along the way, Mr. Berry has also met many famous Clevelanders who were…

Thomas Yablonsky interview, 15 November 2005

In this 2005 interview, Thomas Yablonsky, executive director of both the Warehouse District and the Historic Gateway District. Mr. Yablonski discussed his involvement with downtown Cleveland, first as a high school and college student in the 1970s, and then later in the 1980s as a volunteer and ultimately the executor director of two of the historic districts of Cleveland. Mr. Yablonski has worked the last 20 years in downtown Cleveland in the area of historic preservation and redevelopment. …

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Penny Rakoff Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Penny Rakoff, currently (2010) a Professor of Art at Akron University, discusses her role in creating public art for the Cleveland Gateway Project of the early 1990s. Ms. Rakoff talks as an artist about the value of public art in an urban environment. She also discusses the research and other work that she did in preparation of two art projects she collaborated upon for Gateway. One of her projects was the "Market Place/Meeting Place" a concrete bench with ceramic tiles…

Christina Monreal interview, 24 October 2005

2005 interview of Christina Monreal, Canon Administrator of Trinity Cathedral. Ms. Monreal was an employee of the Cathedral since 1973 and recalled with great detail her memories of life at the Cathedral during that period and upon surrounding properties on Euclid, East 22nd Street, and Prospect. She described the change of the Church from a conservative institution established by Cleveland millionaires to a liberal community-minded institution in the 1970s and onward. She also described how the…

Ginger Bitikofer Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Ginger Bitikofer, the Christian Education Director for Trinity Cathedral, discusses her job with Trinity and the role of Trinity Cathedral in the Greater Cleveland community. Bitikofer came to Cleveland from Virginia in the 1980s and immediately became a volunteer in a variety of neighborhood organizations, all while working in the downtown May Company Department store. Bitikofer details her activities as a parishioner and volunteer worker at Trinity for 20 years, and…

Joe Valencic Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Joe Valencic, a second generation Slovenian-American active in a number of local Slovenian-American organizations, talks about Cleveland's Slovenian community. He talks about his father's immigration to the United States and to Cleveland, and the pattern of Slovenian-American settlements in Cleveland. Valencic also discusses the rise and fame of America's polka king, Frankie Yankovic who was a Slovenian-American, and who won the first Emmy for Polka songs. Valencic also…

Matt Zone Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Matt Zone, Councilman for Ward 17 of the City of Cleveland, discusses his family's history on the west side of Cleveland and his political career. Zone is a third generation Italian-American. His grandparents came to the Detroit-Shoreway area of Cleveland shortly after WWI ended. His father and mother grew up on West 65th Street and were both Councilpersons for the Ward--from 1960-1982. Matt has been Councilperson for the Ward since 2001. Zone talks about neighborhood…

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Jeff Ramsey Interview, 2005

In this very brief 2005 interview, Jeff Ramsey, Director of the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization, provides a short history of Gordon Square and its redevelopment, and refers the interviewer to several other persons with knowledge of the Square and its history.

Tom Einhouse Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Thomas H. Einhouse, Vice President for Playhouse Square Real Estate Services, discusses his involvement with Playhouse Square as well as his personal upbringing in Lakewood, Ohio, in the 1950s and 1960s. Mr. Einhouse has a business degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, and after working for a time with Belkin Productions in the early 1980s, began working at Playhouse Square. He discusses his involvement as the project director for the renovation of the Allen Theatre. He…

Dargan Burns Interview, December 2005

This 2005 interview of Dargan Burns is a follow up to an earlier interview. In this later interview, Mr. Burns discusses in greater deal his friendship with Martin Luther King, Jr--how, when and where they met, and relates very personal stories about King that illuminate King's personality and magnetism as a young minister going to school in Boston in the early 1950s. In the second part of this interview, Burns discusses his involvement in Cleveland's historic Church of the Covenant. Burns…

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Dargan Burns Interview, November 2005

In this 2005 interview, Dargan Burns, an African-American discusses his involvement in integration efforts in Cleveland from the 1950s to the present. Burns, born in South Carolina, fought in the Army in World War II, and was educated at the Hampton Institute and Boston University. At BU, he met and became a friend of Martin Luther King, Jr.. He was also a friend of J. Harold Brown, who was very active in Karamu House. In 1954, Burns joined the then white elitist Church of the Covenant as one of…

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Margot Glinski Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Margaret Glinski, manager and co-owner of Frank Sterle’s Slovenian Countryhouse, discusses her memories of this famous Cleveland landmark. Ms. Glinski is an immigrant from Germany, who came to Cleveland and who initially worked at the Hofsbrau House across East 55th Street from Sterle’s. She worked 16years at the Hofsbrau House before she and her Italian boyfriend bought Sterle’s 18 years ago following Frank Sterle’s death. She talks about the menu—which she describes as…

William Shorrock Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, William Shorrock (1941-2007), a retired Cleveland State University official, discusses the history of Cleveland State University during the period 1969-2005, including the development of new programs and new buildings on campus during this time period. Professor Shorrock, whose undergraduate degree was from Dennison University, obtained a PhD in History from the University of Wisconsin in 1968 and was hired by Cleveland State University in 1969 as an assistant professor…

Victoria Mills Interview, 2005

This is a 2005 interview of Victoria Mills, Executive Director of the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, whose offices are at the Shaker Heights Nature Center. Ms. Mills talks about the importance of protecting watershed in the course of city planning, and discusses the unique history of the Doan Brook watershed. She describes what industrialization did to the watershed; the environmental challenges that were presented; and the efforts of community-minded people and government to restorate the…

Jacob Rosenheim Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Jacob Rosenheim, a retired copy editor in the sports department of the Plain Dealer, talks about growing up in Cleveland's Hough neighborhood in the 1940s and 1950s. Rosenheim recalls when, in the 1950s, one white family sold its house to a black family, how the "for sale" signs popped up immediately thereafter. He also recalls attending Indians' ball games in both the old League Park as well as the old Municipal Stadium, and has many memories of the 1948 and 1954…

Tim Donovan Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Tim Donovan, Director of the Ohio Canal Corridor, discusses the history of this non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and restoring the Ohio canal and its towpath. Donovan, who grew up on the west side of Cleveland in the 1950s, and attended St. Ignatius High School and Cleveland State University, recounts early jobs he had in the Cleveland area, including working at Jones & Laughlin's steel mills and serving as a Census Bureau surveyor. He was working at J&L…

Alan Jones Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Alan Jones, Executive Secretary of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Valley of Cleveland (32nd Degree Masons) discusses his career as a Mason; the history of the Masonic orders in Cleveland and Ohio; and the history of the Cleveland Masonic and Performance Arts Center located at East 36th and Euclid Avenue. Jones first discusses his family's long involvement in Masonic organizations in Pittsburgh, and then his own introduction to Masonic orders in Cleveland as an…

Thomas Rathburn Interview, 3 November 2005

In this 2005 interview, Thomas Rathburn, a native Clevelander and accountant, describes his history as a theater volunteer since the mid 1960s, especially his experiences since 1988 as a volunteer tour guide for Cleveland Playhouse Square. Mr. Rathburn is a Baldwin-Wallace graduate, and studied theater as a graduate student at Bowling Green State University. Mr. Rathburn tells stories about the history of Playhouse Square, including how the play Jacque Brell is alive and well in Paris saved…

Michaelangelo Lovelace Interview, 2005

2005 interview of Cleveland artist Michaelangelo Lovelace. Mr. Lovelace grew up in the inner city of Cleveland; dropped out of school; took menial jobs and then discovered his artistic talent. Cleveland and its people are the subjects of his paintings. He painted "Born Again," a mural located at East 36th Avenue and Cedar near the projects. In this interview, Mr. Lovelace describes his troubled youth and his recollection of various districts of the inner city of Cleveland.

Ben Stefanski Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Ben Stefanski, son of the legendary Polish immigrant founder of Third Federal Savings and Loan Association, discusses his experiences as the Director of Public Utilities for the City of Cleveland form 1968-1971. Stefanski, a lawyer, was brought into the Stokes administration not only for his talent and experience, but also because of his connections to Cleveland's ethnic neighborhoods. As Utilities Director, Stefanski was instrumental in leading the City's efforts to…

Henry Loconti Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, Henry Loconti, founder of the Agora Nightclub in Cleveland, discusses the history of the famous nightclub which provided the "big break" for Cleveland bands like Eric Carmen and the Raspberries and Grand Funk Railroad. Mr. Loconti talks about how he started in the jukebox business and in later in the 1960s opened the first Agora Nightclub near Case Western Reserve University. In 1968, he moved the nightclub to downtown Cleveland--on 24th and Euclid. Mr. Loconti chronicles…

William Becker Interview, 2005

In this 2005 interview, William Becker, University Archivist for Cleveland State University, discusses his career as an archivist at CSU since 1974 and also talks about the history of Fenn College. Mr. Becker points to his retrieval of the President's records from Fenn College as one of his most memorable accomplishments as CSU's Archivist. Mr. Becker has also taken oral histories of many professors and administrators from Fenn College. Mr. Becker describes how YMCA technical college at E.22nd…