Historic preservationist hope to stop demolition of Cleveland landmark for casino development

Historic Columbia Building in danger of demolition

CLEVELAND - Historic preservationists are taking a gamble, and willing to bet they can stop a landmark from being demolished to build an entrance for a downtown casino.

The group is trying to protect the Columbia Building on Prospect Avenue and Second Street, which was built in 1909.

Casino officials are seeking approval to tear down the building to put in a valet parking lot. Those preservationists are taking their battle to the city landmark commission during a meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday to tell the casino developers to find another place to put the lot.

Casino developers said the space is needed to build the garage and welcome center that will provide easy access in and out for customers, an additional 342 parking spaces and an enclosed walkway over the busy corner of Prospect Avenue and Ontario Street directly into the casino planned for the Higbee Building.

However, after three hours of opposing testimony from critics, that issue was tabled until Thursday.

The demolition was scheduled for the first week in July, but Thursday's decision could alter that timeline.

NewsChannel5 will have a crew at Thursdays meeting. Check back with newsnet5.com for more details.

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