Doan School

Famicos Foundation, Marous Brothers Construction, City Architecture, and Ted Sande, AIA Emeritus, for the preservation and rehabilitation of the 1904 Doan School at 1350 East 105th Street in Cleveland as the Doan Classroom Apartments

Doan Elementary School sits at the heart of Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood, an area that suffered from the civil unrest of the 1960s and the disinvestment and abandonment that followed.

Now known as Doan Classroom Apartments, the project is a keystone in a coordinated development initiative  that is bringing new investment and renewed life back to this diverse community. This project is integrating historic preservation and affordable housing together to recreate a livable neighborhood that complements new institutional development nearby.

The original 1904 school was expanded in the 1950s, when international-style classroom wings were added. It was converted into apartments in 1985 but eventually fell into disrepair, which accelerated rapidly once the building was vacated in 2008.

The Famicos Foundation, a non-profit housing developer and neighborhood development corporation, purchased the building, and working with various professionals, Doan was successfully preserved and rehabilitated into 45 senior apartments that preserve remaining historic features, community amenities and modern living options, while incorporating cutting edge sustainable design strategies.

Care was taken to preserve the building's exterior character. Windows were restored using the original wooden sash that were carefully adapted to accept double pane glass and weather stripping. On the interior, 12-inch plaster crown moldings, discovered under the drop ceiling, were restored.  Modern living units that take advantage of natural ventilation and light were created. The character of the mid-century wings was respected and re-established by re-opening shuttered windows and by the design of the ADA-accessible vestibule that was added.

In order to turn the dilapidated former school and its site into senior housing, the Famicos Foundation worked closely with the City of Cleveland and was able to utilize federal funding and tax credits including the historic rehab credit to make this project feasible. The former Doan Elementary School now provides gracious apartments for its residents. This project exemplifies the value in recycling an old building, preserving history in a diverse and rapidly changing Cleveland neighborhood and rebuilding an area around its heritage.

Click here to return to the list of 2013 State Historic Preservation Office Award recipients. 

Click here for a complete list of past recipients.