About the Work
Irishtown Bend is a catalytic and transformational restoration and open space project along the industrial Cuyahoga River valley next to Downtown Cleveland and Lake Erie. Irishtown Bend is a 17-acre site that connects Ohio City to the Flats, downtown, and Lake Erie. The road and surrounding hillside of Irishtown Bend have been the subject of much attention in recent years due to concerns about its structural stability.
A stabilized hillside provides an opportunity to create the following:
· A concept for a dramatic new greenspace
· Improved connectivity to Ohio City, the Flats, downtown and other near west side neighborhoods
· Transportation planning that balances vehicular, public transit, pedestrian, and bicycle traffic
· A hub for Cleveland’s growing multi-purpose trail network
· An analysis of development potential for areas of the project site
Recognizing the opportunities presented through the vision of Irishtown Bend, the Port of Cleveland and Ohio City Incorporated (OCI) sought and secured grant funding through NOACA’s TLCI program to begin planning for Irishtown Bend’s future as a vital public space.
LAND studio secured additional private funding specifically aimed at selecting a design firm that will elevate and advance deliverables beyond what is traditionally possible with TLCI funding.
In February 2017, LAND studio and project partners (the Port, OCI, Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, the City of Cleveland, and West Creek Conservancy) were awarded a $1.4M grant from the Clean Ohio Conservation Program. Funding will be used for acquisition of 6.9 acres along the east side of West 25th Street, just south of Detroit Avenue. The acquisition sets into motion not only the restoration and preservation of green space, but also enables the Port to begin economically-vital hillside stabilization efforts on adjacent land that will be added to the park space once stabilized.
In its current state, Irishtown Bend is a barrier that disrupts connections between some of this region's greatest natural areas. Clevelanders have limited opportunities to experience the Cuyahoga River up close. When completed, Irishtown Bend will feature a dynamic new riverfront public park, neighborhood connections, green infrastructure, new internal trails and links to adjacent regional trail and greenway networks. It will spur economic development in a racially-diverse, mixed-income neighborhood. It will also serve as a strong example of how Cleveland can reconcile its industrial past by reclaiming its natural heritage. While planning efforts to stabilize the hillside have been ongoing for a number of years, public and private partners are now aligned to make this big vision a reality.