Cleveland History In The Spotlight: Special Meet the Author Event At LPL

Two books, three authors, lots of fascinating information. The Lakewood Public Library will host a special Meet the Author event focusing on Cleveland history on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Main Library Auditorium.

Through meticulous research and gathering of photographs, authors Dave Ford, Brad Schwartz and Ken Schneck have steeped themselves in our city’s history. Both “The Birth of Downtown Cleveland” and “LGBTQ Cleveland” tell detailed stories about particular aspects of Cleveland’s development.

Cleveland was born in 1796 when the Connecticut Land Company surveyed and mapped the southern shore of Lake Erie. The city has had its ups and downs since then, and authors Ford and Schwartz look at the many iterations of downtown Cleveland, from trading center to manufacturing hub to residential core. Set up as a collection of five essays that explore “Visions” that have shaped the development of Cleveland, “The Birth of Downtown Cleveland” covers the city’s early years, the plan proposed in 1903 as part of the City Beautiful movement and how that plan was disrupted, revised and revitalized over the years.

Ken Schneck’s book is decidedly different, but no less entertaining. With more than 150 photos, “LGBTQ Cleveland” is essentially an illustrated history of the people, places and events that affected the city’s LGBTQ population. Told by his publisher that all the images he needed would be available at the Cleveland Public Library or Western Reserve Historical Society, Schneck soon discovered that much more research would be needed to produce the book he wanted to write. “I basically went from person-to-person in Cleveland: social media posts soliciting images, which led me to this gay guy's attic, who pointed me to that lesbian's basement, who directed me to that ally's kitchen table,” he says of his research process.

The event at Lakewood Public Library on September 20 will feature a question and answer session which will begin with the authors asking one another questions, after which audience members will get a chance to ask their own questions. It promises to be an entertaining and enlightening evening of Cleveland history.

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Volume 14, Issue 17, Posted 4:23 PM, 09.04.2018