Lakewood hoping to avoid painting over city’s historic brick wall character

LAKEWOOD, Ohio – City Council is expected to soon pass a new ordinance to preserve the architectural and historical character of brick buildings in Lakewood’s business corridors.

“There has been some concern that brick painting is a structural problem,” said Daniel J. O’Malley, president of Lakewood City Council, who proposed the ordinance. “There is also an aesthetic problem with maintaining the historical character of some of our landmarks in the city.”

In the event of a pass, owners who want to paint on brick would have to submit an application to the architecture authority.

“We need this process for a lot of other things so this would just help,” said O’Malley. “In all honesty, it should have happened a long time ago. I have spoken to a number of people who are familiar with such problems. You can’t believe we don’t have this in the books yet. “

This summer Mahall’s painted its entire brick building white. (John Benson / cleveland.com)

An example of what the city is hoping to avoid is what Mahall finished this summer by painting its entire brick building white. O’Malley said his interest in natural brick maintenance stems from the venue’s recent paint job.

Ian Andrews, Executive Director of LakewoodAlive, noted the importance of maintaining the integrity of brick buildings and said he was a supporter of the regulation.

“Moisture is supposed to move in and out of masonry,” said Andrews. “Any type of coating traps moisture and can damage the brick and mortar, leading to chipping and eroding masonry.

“Painting masonry also creates maintenance problems. When paint peeling, it will be necessary to replace the brick and mortar. A well-designed, budgeted maintenance plan is vital because if not activated it can cause serious structural integrity problems. “

Mayor Meghan George said it made sense for the architecture board to review each situation to weigh the value of change against the importance of maintaining the architectural and historical character of brick structures in Lakewood.

She supports O’Malley’s suggestion, in which the almost permanent change in the painting of a brick structure is listed.

“One of the values ​​of our community that sets us apart from newer ‘sprawling’ suburbs is our history,” said George. “Part of that history is reflected in our architecture. These brick buildings have been here a long time, some longer than Lakewood was a city.

“Knowing that these buildings are likely to outlast all of us, it is our responsibility to carefully consider these permanent changes.”

The city council president expects the ordinance to be passed next month.

“I think we are true to our commitment to preserve the historic character of brick structures in our city,” said O’Malley.

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