1925 Coventry Road (1991)


CH-UH Branch Coventry Village Library


The Coventry Library, designed by John H. Graham & Company and built in 1926, was the first permanent building owned by the Cleveland Heights Public Library, which had opened for business in 1921 in Coventry School and later moved to rented quarters on Lee Road. The new library proved too small for the growing population, and two more rooms were added in 1928. It functioned as the Main Library until 1968, when the Lee Road branch was enlarged to its present size. In 1974 the building was sold to the Fairmount Center for the Creative and Performing Arts and the library leased the two rooms at the back, the ones that had been added in 1928.


Six years later, after the Fairmount Center announced it was selling the building, community activists persuaded the Cleveland Heights-University Heights Library Board to buy it back. Presently it is functioning in its original space, with the back two rooms leased to a community youth group, while a pottery group is housed in the basement. Now called the Coventry Village Library, it provides regular library service to the neighborhood as well as special services to the hearing-impaired, with a TTY/TDD terminal (Teletype/Telecommunication Device for the Deaf), a large collection of videotapes designed for the deaf, and many programs that encourage interaction between hearing and hearing-impaired groups throughout the region.


The certificate that designated the building a Cleveland Heights Landmark in 1980 reads in part: "This handsome building, whose polychromatic facade features tapestry brick and stone, suggests both Tudor Revival and Jacobean architectural traditions. Skillfully adapted to its functions as a library and as a community focal point, complementing and elaborating the fine residential architecture of its neighborhood. . . . Portions of it have been continuously devoted to library use throughout its history, symbolizing the vitality and constancy of the community it serves."