Figure 9  Side-view of church. Photo taken 10/26/13.

The Cleveland Landmarks Commission, a supposed bulwark against wonton destruction of historic buildings, gave the green light for the Clinic’s plan. The Commission argued that years-long neglect, combined with the limited historical significance of the church itself, was reason enough for its destruction. The commission’s decision ignored, however, the tie of the church to an age of prosperity that the city has yet to reach (and may never) again, and the fact that almost all of the buildings on Millionaires’ Row that have had similar ties have been destroyed.

Figure 8  Back of building complex. Photo taken 10/26/13.

Figure 7 Side view.

Photo taken 10/26/13.

Figure 6 Posted signage prior to demolition. Photo taken 10/26/13.

The church was designed by famous architects Cram, Goodhue & Ferguson, who were noted for their Gothic Revival buildings all throughout North America. Fitting with its’ designers tastes, the church is a Gothic Revival church, echoing the architectural aspects of the medieval period.

Figure 3  Side of the church. Photo taken 10/26/13.

Figure 2  Close-up of the front of the church. Photo taken 10/26/13.

[1] McFee, Michelle J. "Cleveland Landmarks Commission Signs off on Historic Church Demolition near Cleveland Clinic." Cleveland Plain Dealer., 14 Nov. 2013. Web. 11 June 2014.
[2] McFee, Michelle J. "Cleveland Clinic Aims to Build Hotel, Possibly a Holiday Inn, on Euclid Avenue Church Land." Cleveland Plain Dealer., 12 Sept. 2013. Web. 11 June 2014.

[3] Ibid.

[4] McFee, Michelle J. "Demolition Starts at Historic Church near Cleveland Clinic, after Records, Artifacts Are Removed." Cleveland Plain Dealer., 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 11 June 2014.

Former Location:
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio. 8614 Euclid Avenue and East 86th Street.

Also known as Emmanuel Episcopal and Emmanuel Church, the Church of the Transfiguration was built between 1901 and 1902.[1] It was renamed Church of the Transfiguration in the 1990s.[2] The church was built in an area of Cleveland famously known as “Millionaires’ Row,” a stretch of land where beautiful mansions and large ornate churches were built for Cleveland’s budding millionaires during the city’s heyday at the end of the eighteenth and the beginning to mid nineteen centuries. Unfortunately, like the Church of the Transfiguration, most of the houses and churches have been demolished over time. This makes the demolition of the Church of the Transfiguration a grave misfortune for Clevelanders who wish to find glimpses of the past that harken back to the golden age of their city.

Church of the Transfiguration, Cleveland, Ohio

Figure 1  Church of the Transfiguration. Photo taken 10/26/13.

Local History, Every day

This building was demolished in 2014!

Figure 10  Front view of church. Photo taken 10/26/13.

Unfortunately, the Cleveland Clinic, a bastion of stability in the region, has a history of buying up former church land and demolishing existing historic churches – recently the Euclid Avenue Church of God and the Euclid Avenue Congregational Church. They bought the Church of Transfiguration property with the intent to demolish it and build a new hotel upon its rubble, which is exactly what happened. The Cleveland Clinic has real needs to expand their physical footprint in the area and to provide the best care in the manner in which they see fit. However, it is a shame that another property could not be used and that the church was destroyed. Likewise, the Clinic could have incorporated the church's old facade and other architectural designs, elements, and materials into the new building.

This beautiful church was demolished in January 2014, in order to make way for a 275-room Holiday Inn hotel.[4] Preservationists mounted several unsuccessful attempts at saving the building.

Figure 5  Stone work.

Photo taken 10/26/13.

Figure 4 Gothic revival elements.

Photo taken 10/26/13.

The church has some rather rebellious recent history. In 2004, Episcopal bishop Mark Hollingsworth arrived in Northeast Ohio and noticed the deteriorated and dilapidated state of the church. Citing fears over safety for the church’s congregation, he closed it. The small congregation rebelled and split from the Episcopal diocese, sparking a years-long legal battle over the ownership of the church. The parishioners did not have the resources to cover the millions of dollars for repairs the church needed.[3] The diocese eventually regained control over the property and eventually sold it to the Cleveland Clinic.