Lakewood OH

Bain Park granted important historical designation

By Kevin Kelley
Fairview Park

Bain Park is officially on the National Register of Historic Places, the federal government’s list of buildings, sites and locations deemed worthy of historic preservation. The park joins the 80,000 properties currently on the list, which is administered by the National Park Service.

Formal approval for the listing of the Bain Park Historic District was announced in June by the U.S. National Park Service.

A plaque that commemorates the park’s designation will be unveiled during a ceremony at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 8 at Bain Park Cabin, 21077 N. Park Drive. Mayor Eileen Patton plans to make a short presentation at the ceremony. Afterward, the Bain Park Cabin Restoration Committee will host an ice cream social. Ice cream sundaes will be available for a minimum $1 donation, with all proceeds going toward the maintenance and restoration of Bain Park.

The benefit of acquiring National Register status is that the city can apply for grants and other funding opportunities to aid in maintaining and restoring Bain Park Cabin and other elements of the park. In addition to the cabin, the park contains a stone staircase on North Park Road, a shelter house off Eaton Road and four stone bridges.

The city hired Wendy Naylor, a historic preservation consultant, to lead the application process. Her $4,500 contract was paid for from Bain Cabin rental fees, all of which go into the Bain Cabin restoration fund, said Matthew Hrubey, development administrator with the city.

Naylor said Bain Park is historically significant in that its architecture and art are representative of the romantic, rustic picturesque style of projects built by the Works Progress Administration.

In October, Naylor told West Life there were two things that stood out about Bain Park. First was the leadership of Mayor David Bain, who served from 1932 to 1943, in getting the park and cabin built, especially after the original cabin was destroyed by fire shortly after its completion in 1937. The current cabin was completed just two years later. The second notable aspect of the cabin is the 8- by-12-foot mural, also a WPA project, designed by Fairview Park resident Earl Neff and painted by Michael Rosdilsky. Most such murals were installed in prominent locations in central cities, Naylor noted, not villages of just 5,000 people, as Fairview Park was at the time.

Bain Park runs along Coe Creek, from the intersection of North Park Drive and West 210th Street to the intersection of Seabury Avenue and West Park Drive.

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