Downtown Doors

By GWEN SWIGER
Posted 10/4/18

“ I just love the doors downtown,” said Dwight Richardson.

His Facebook page for weeks reflected the love of Cleveland’s doors. It had many asking where is that door?

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Downtown Doors

Posted

“ I just love the doors downtown,” said Dwight Richardson.
His Facebook page for weeks reflected the love of Cleveland’s doors. It had many asking where is that door?

During a MainStreet Cleveland meeting a few months ago, the owner of Terra Running Company said he had a vision of downtown Cleveland. He suggested “we tell what is right with downtown Cleveland instead of focusing on what is wrong,” Richardson explained. “I thought I’m just one person, but I’m going to do my part.”

His first focus was on First Street Square and the Old Woolen Mill.

“It’s amazing how many people said, ‘I’ve never seen that.’ ‘Where is that statue?’” Richardson said.

“These are things that are right with Cleveland. Many people don’t have these things in their town. …. We have some nice stuff,” he said.

Then he began showcasing the doors of downtown Cleveland. He got the idea from a poster the Chamber put out several years ago.

“I won one at a Chamber Coffee. It was nothing but doors and it was beautiful. I always loved that print. I had it in my office for a long time. Every time I would go down Ocoee Street and see one of those doors, I would think that is a pretty door,” he said.

“Before I knew what I was doing I was looking at doors all the time,” he said.

“The doors — it is funny when I was going downtown to do all those doors, people would say where in the world is that door? I’ve never seen that door and I walk downtown all the time.

“It’s there. You are just not seeing them. Some are so ornate you will miss them if you are not paying attention,” Richardson said.

“Some people who I did their doors would thank me. Some would tell me funny stories about doors,” he said.

Across from the courthouse is the Stamper store. “There is one door of wrought iron that leads up a stairwell to the second story,” he said. One day the mother of the Stamper owner stopped him.

“‘I want to tell you about that door at Stampers,’” she said.

“ ‘When I was a little girl, I used to always be scared to go by that door. I just knew there was a ghost up that stairwell. Then when I was a teenager, I went upstairs and they had that door open. It was scarier looking down than it was looking up,’” she said.

“People don’t pay attention to door. Most of them are nice heavy wooden doors. They are not cheap doors,” he said.

His favorite door was a green door. “It was a gorgeous colonial and real rustic and rough,” he said. The doorway is now boarded up and the door gone.
“I call them forgotten doors. Some of those doors you just pass by … like a door next to the Spot. That is a gorgeous door. It has a lot of concrete at the top. I wanted to try to do something for downtown Cleveland,” Richardson said.

“My second favorite door is one on Ocoee Street across from Café Roma,” he said. The architecture on the door is fantastic with plenty of concrete.

Some of the other doors he showcased included the door leading up the stairs to the Courthouse Annex. “It is absolutely amazing.”

Another of his favorite doors is wrought iron entrance on Inman Street at Ever After Bridal.

“I drove up beside the Raht House and took a photo of it. It has an amazing door. I wish the city could get that house,” Richardson said. The house, although in disrepair, has so much history associated with it.

He noted some other beautiful doors, like St. Luke’s.

“People don’t have those kind of doors now, “ he said.

“If you have a nice door, it’s going to last a long time. Doors make a lot of difference. If you have a nice entry door, you are feeling good before you go into the business. If you go in and there is rot at the bottom and spider webs at the top, you have a totally different feeling going on,’ Richardson said.

“I love the history of Cleveland. There is so much. I have hardly touched the surface of history,” he said.

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