Brick Canvas, Clothcraft, OH

The Joseph & Feiss Company was located in Cleveland, Ohio and is the oldest manufacturer of tailored apparel for men in the United States. The company was founded in 1841 as the Koch, Kauffman & Loeb General Store in Meadville, Pennsylvania.

At it’s peak the company sold over 200,000 of it’s Clothcraft label $15 blue serge No. 5130 “Model T” suits a year.

In 1989, Joseph & Feiss and its 46 apparel speciality stores were acquired by Hugo Boss and shortly thereafter production was moved to Brooklyn.

In 1998 Ameri-Con Homes acquired the former facility and announced condominiums would be built. In 2006 fire destroyed the initial townhome frameworks and then developers bank foreclosed. The property failed to sell at a Sheriff’s sale and was eventually split and sold at private auction.

In 2011 Ohio awarded $1 million in preservation tax towards rehabilitating the remaining structure into 62 market-rate apartments. To date nothing has started.

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Assembly Day.

The Willson Middle School built in 1903 by architect Frank S. Barnum was named for the street it faced until Cleveland adopted a numbered street system for community safety (now East 55th) 2 years later. Closed in 2005, it is an eyesore, a canvas and an object too costly to demolish.Frank S. Barnum was the architect and Superintendent of Buildings for Cleveland Public Schools from 1895-1915, his work marked the era of modern school construction. He designed forty-five schools and forty-nine annexes or additions. The new buildings pioneered fireproof construction, had flat roofs, electric light, steam heat, and used space efficiently.

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