New York Times Features Transformer Station

Cleveland, a City Repurposed

by Shivani Vora, New York Times
June 26, 2014

If there had to be a slogan to describe Cleveland as it is today, “what’s old is new again” would undoubtedly be it. In the last few years, locals and businesses in this Midwest metropolis have been repurposing historic buildings from its heyday in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and turning them into restaurants, stores and draws for both residents and tourists. Many of these structures had sat empty for a decade or more before restoration efforts began infusing a vibrancy into this once-somewhat-downtrodden city...

...Regeneration has also come to the Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, known more for its food-centric West Side Market, where there is a year-old contemporary art gallery called the Transformer Station (1460 West 29 Street, 216-938-5429;, which was built in 1924 as a power-converter station for the local streetcar line. Fred and Laura Bidwell, husband-and-wife artists and philanthropists, bought the space — a square brick building reminiscent of a Greek temple — to showcase art from around the world and to share its four exhibitions a year with the Cleveland Museum of Art. The main hall has 22-foot ceilings and a huge horizontal crane that can lift 15 tons. The gallery has free admission. “We’re trying to showcase some top-level art,” Mr. Bidwell said, “which we hope should entice people to come to this part of town.”