TMA seeks to brush up the Old West End

. November 8, 2017.

For a mere ten dollars, the cost of a lunchtime meal, The Toledo Museum of Art was able to purchase the Museum Residences, a group of five buildings situated close together on Collingwood and Monroe, which include the Lincoln Suites, and the historic Bartley Mansion. The acquisition was finalized in March, and the Museum is now actively looking to ensure that the community has a voice in how the property is managed.

Conservation of community

With the previous owner in default, the Museum purchased the property, which includes the Lincoln Suites and the historic Bartley Mansion, from the Lucas County Land Bank. The acquisition was finalized in March, and the Museum is now soliciting input to ensure that the community has a voice in how the property is managed. Adam Levine, the Museum’s Associate Director, explained that this idea-gathering phase will likely take upwards of a year. Ultimately deciding on a plan may take as long as three years.

With peeling paint, rotting wood and missing patches of sidewalk, the buildings have fallen into some visible disrepair, which has cost the taxpayers of Toledo millions of dollars over the years. Levine views the acquisition of the property as an important act of stewardship both for, and as a part of, the community.

“The opportunity to acquire the Museum Place Residences has been part of the Toledo Museum of Art’s redevelopment discussions since winter of 2015. The vision is to redevelop the properties by bringing them up to code, and utilizing the buildings for the benefit of the Museum, as well as our neighbors and guests,” says Emily Rippe Desmond, Communications & Public Relations Specialist for the Toledo Museum of Art.

A palette of many possibilities

Together, the buildings contain 62 apartment units, though only a portion are currently occupied by tenants. Possibilities that have been suggested include renting the units to local artists as personal studio space, opening them for commercial opportunities and providing market-rate apartments.

“This is a community project that requires community input,” says
Desomd. “During the next few months, our public conversations hope to generate thoughtful discussions and ideas for how to optimize the use of the property for residents, Museum members and visitors, and the community at large. While the Museum will have final say on future redevelopment of the properties, we take into thoughtful consideration the ideas and themes being discussed at our open-to-the-public meetings.”

Ten community conversations will be held by the Museum over the coming months to solicit feedback for this development. The meetings will culminate in a project summary and findings report, both to be published in May, 2018.

Community Conversations Upcoming Dates Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017 6–7:30pm, Toledo Museum of Art Green Room Monday, Dec. 4, 2017 6–7:30pm, Mott Branch Library, Meeting Room A Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2017 6–7:30pm, Mott Branch Library, Meeting Room B

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