2378 Euclid Heights Boulevard (1995)
In 1937 the Cleveland Chamber of Commerce named this exceptional structure the best apartment building of the year. Although its Art Moderne style was popular during the 1930s, it was seldom used in the design of apartments and was particularly distinctive in this neighborhood of traditional residences. The style is illustrated here by the simple, severe verticality of the building's eight stories, the dramatic steel casement corner windows, and the imposing brick and sandstone fašade. In 1978 the apartment was designated a Cleveland Heights Landmark because of its historical and architectural importance.
Originally named the Brantley Apartment, the building is now known as the Braverman-Brantley Apartment because of the significance of its architect, Sigmund Braverman. Born in Hungary in 1894 and trained at the Carnegie Institute of Technology, Braverman began his architectural practice in Cleveland in 1920. In 1932-1935, an assistant, and then acting, city architect for Cleveland, Braverman designed additions to public buildings such as Cleveland City Hospital and Cleveland Hopkins Airport. He is best known as the architect of more than 40 synagogues in 12 states.
This building on Euclid Heights Boulevard departs from Braverman's more traditional designs. (His Overlook Apartment, 2489 Overlook Rd., completed in 1929, also emphasizes the vertical use of brick and decorative sandstone.) Braverman's post-World War II buildings are clearly modernistic; examples include the Bureau of Jewish Education (1952), the Warrensville Center Synagogue (1958), Temple Emanu El, designed with Moses Halperin (1954), and the Fairmount Temple, designed with Percival Goodman (1957).
The two penthouse suites were intended to be one apartment, but were divided during the building's construction. One is the only two-storied suite in the building and has three retiled balconies. Braverman and his wife Libbie lived in the other suite, which has two dramatic living room windows facing north.
Both apartments illustrate the owner's goal of "adaptive restoration." He hopes to retain the structure's historic and aesthetic integrity — as in the casement windows and the art deco railings around the sunken living rooms — and to complement that integrity with contemporary amenities such as the halogen track lighting and the bookshelves and sliding ladder in the Braverman's apartment. The original configurations of the kitchens and bathrooms have been maintained, but all the cabinets and appliances are new.
The restoration of the Braverman-Brantley is about half completed. The lobby is still in process, and the landscape will be redesigned to accent the building's vertical thrust.