Northern Ohio Apartment Association - Suites Magazine, August

08 The History The Henry W. Longfellow School, located at 650 East 140 th Street in Cleveland, Ohio was built in 1924 by architect Walter McCornack. The architect for the Cleveland School Board from 1914 to 1925, McCornack is credited with “changing the face of Cleveland” for his work with Cleveland public schools and his seminal public housing design work. His Longfellow design served generations of children as an elementary school in the Collinwood neighborhood of the City of Cleveland for over 85 years. The school was permanently closed in 2011. The Plan The Longfellow will create 80 new affordable senior apartment units, spread between the historic rehabilitation of the existing Henry W. Longfellow School and a newly constructed building on the property. Vesta’s vision for the site is to preserve the school building by adapting the classrooms into 30 apartments and renovating the auditorium and other prominent common space for residents and staff. The redevelopment plan also includes the construction of a new building on site with an additional 50 apartments and a connecting walkway providing residents easy access to amenities in both buildings without exposure to inclement weather. Seeing as McCornack was a pioneer of affordable housing in the United States as one of its first designers, it is fitting that the proposed redevelopment of Longfellow will transform McCornack’s school into a long-lasting source of high-quality, affordable housing for the community. Dedicated common areas for residents to socialize with one another will be created. These areas will be located on the ends of each floor, as well as in the center of the building, near the elevators. There will be a large, 3,000-square-foot multifunction- al community area on the first floor as well. Green spaces will be developed to give a park-like feel to the community. The existing hardscape behind the school will be eliminated and replaced with enjoyable spaces, punctuated by existing mature trees, new perennial plantings and extensive landscaping. Furthermore, to create visual interest and interior destinations with wheelchair access, a structured garden between the two buildings will be built. A sitting area, with benches and a gazebo, will be constructed on the south side of the driveway. Longfellow, as an elementary school, was designed to fos- ter social interactions. Longfellow’s central corridors, wide hallways, sweeping stairwells, large entryways and communal spaces cultivate interpersonal interactions; these features THE LONGFELLOW VESTA CORPORAT I ON BREAKS GROUND ON Vesta Corporation, a leading real estate firm specializing in the acquisition, development and management of multifamily affordable housing communities, celebrated the groundbreaking of The Longfellow, an affordable senior housing community on the nationally recognized historic site of the Henry W. Longfellow School in Cleveland, Ohio on June 24, 2021.