Why she's interesting Coleman is the chair of Cleveland's Landmarks Commission, an architect, creator of the CityProwl digital walking tours of Cleveland, and a member of the Group Plan Commission, which wrote recommendations for how to remake the downtown Malls when the convention center is finished.
Prowling Coleman created her audio tours after working on the renovation of the Howard M. Metzenbaum U.S. Courthouse on Superior Avenue. She realized few Clevelanders have seen the courthouse's floor-to-ceiling marble interior and its huge murals from the American Renaissance of the early 1900s. "Cleveland [has] all these very beautiful, deluxe spaces that are hidden from the average person walking down the street."
Landmarking Coleman and her fellow landmarks commissioners decide which buildings or districts in the city deserve designation as landmarks for their unique architectural style, significance in history or aesthetic beauty. If city council approves the landmark, the commission reviews future building and demolition permits for it. In 2012, it nominated the May Co. Building on Public Square for landmark status. It's one of Coleman's favorite buildings in the city, because of its terra-cotta tile façade and Chicago-style triple-paned windows. "It hearkens back to a time when Cleveland's downtown was a different place."
Preserving In July, the Landmarks Commission rejected a request to demolish the Euclid Avenue Church of God, a 123-year-old stone building with a distinctive bell tower near the Cleveland Clinic. Coleman calls it a "small, graceful church" that gives people "a little snapshot of what life was like" in the 1890s. "Because of the architecture and history of the church," she says, "if we lose [it], the city will be diminished."
Renovating The Group Plan Commission recommended making the Mall friendlier and greener; a place for concerts, yoga classes and throwing a Frisbee. "Mostly people used it as shortcuts," Coleman says. "It wasn't a homey space where you felt you could relax and read a book."