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The Civic is a former Jewish temple located in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, an inner-ring suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. The building was close to being abandoned and possibly torn down after its former congregation built a new facility farther out in the suburbs. This study describes how a former temple came to serve the community in a new and different way in the secular world. This study will chronicle the Civic as a historical building; describe the efforts to remake it into a multi-purpose building that is a community asset; and serve as a model to other communities interested in adapting houses of worship to secular purposes. While other government regulations, the basic tools are the same everywhere. there are differences between states in terms of the details of this kind of preservation work, such as tax codes and to provide the capital necessary to perform the retrofit. People responsible for the stewardship of older buildings that must be extensively retrofitted, as the Civic was, find it almost impossible to generate enough revenue to both sustain the operations of the building. Original publication date 2000.


ISBN-13: 978-1-936323-40-1 ISBN-10: 1-936323-40-0

Publication Date



MSL Academic Endeavors


Cleveland, Ohio


remodeling synagogues, local history


Architectural History and Criticism | Cultural Resource Management and Policy Analysis | Historic Preservation and Conservation


The original print version was published in 2000. Cleveland, Ohio: Urban Center, Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs, Cleveland State University.

Redistributed digitally by the Cleveland Memory Project and MSL Academic Endeavors in 2010.

Copyright Statement

This electronic edition contains the complete text as found in the print edition of the book. Original copyright to this book is reserved by the author(s). Organizations and individuals seeking to use these materials outside the bounds of fair use or copyright law must obtain permission directly from the appropriate copyright holder. For more information about fair use, see the Michael Schwartz Library's copyright guide: Any permitted use of this edition must credit the Cleveland State University Michael Schwartz Library and MSL Academic Endeavors as the source.

From Ark to Art : The 20-year Journey of the Civic, Cleveland Heights, Ohio, from Jewish Temple to Multi-purpose Community Facility