"RE: ValleyView Homes demolition - I hope that somebody, somewhere along the line, managed to salvage the way-cool (terra cotta?) mural that adorned the main entrance. I used to live not far from there, and swore that I would pick through the rubble myself if need be should the wrecking ball hit it. Not sorry to see the complex gone, though - it was a deceptively wicked place for something so low scale."
Yes, the mural was saved - you'd be amazed just how many people were concerned about that.
"The Valleyview Homes Estate was opened in 1940 and is located in the historic Tremont neighborhood of the city of Cleveland. The original Valleyview Homes Estate contained a total of 582 residential units, a community center/office complex, and a boiler house and was constructed at a total cost of $3,503,539.00. Over the past 20 years, a total of 339 units have been demolished due to deteriorated conditions and in order to make way for I-490.
Valleyview Homes Estate also benefited from the Ohio Art Program, which was a part of the WPA’s Federal Art Project, a depression-era program to provide outlets for artists’ work, particularly in decorating public buildings. On the wall of the Community Center was a terra-cotta mural of the project designed by W. LeRoy Flint and executed by Henry Olmer. In addition, Henry Keto made 24 ceramic tiles depicting the history of the Tremont area. Three large canvas murals were installed at Valleyview, (i.e., one in Management office and two in the Community Building) two of which were by Elmer Brown, an African American artist from Cleveland Ohio and one by Louis Grebenak, another local artist. Cast stone animals were also created and used as play sculptures in Valleyview.
CMHA removed and safely stored all of the WPA-era artwork to be utilized in the future redevelopment of this site."
As far as the Flats East Bank - the property owners have not only sat on their parcels and let them rot, they've asked for tax de-valuations in the past. Suddenly, they're throwing a fit because Wolstein (the developer) is offering them less money than they think their properties are worth. If I recall correctly, cities can enact eminent domain for private developments due to a recent Supreme Court ruling. I'm not saying it's the best way to go about it, but I'd rather see something done with the site - and the current owners have done nothing.
The Lakewood eminent domain case fizzled - that was a much different scenario. The developer there had proposed using eminent domain on a functioning middle-class neighborhood (whereas Flats East Bank is all but abandoned, it just needs tumbleweeds). Since then, Lakewood has had some great projects come into the pipeline - all without using eminent domain.