Demolition for Provo House is complete

Nov. 5—The Provo House in Wickliffe, a structure that served numerous purposes including as a hotel for over 60 years and as the home of the Provo family, has officially been demolished.

Plans in store for the property at 28855 Euclid Ave., include landscaping and creating a park-like area to present exposure of the historic Wickliffe Cemetery, located directly behind the home.

“Landscaping — hoping to have done by Memorial Day to improve the aesthetics on that section of town, highlight that cemetery, let all the residents know that we have a historical, nice cemetery and beautify Euclid Avenue,” said Mayor Joe Sakacs. “Many residents don’t know we have a cemetery. The founders of Wickliffe, Civil War, World War I and Spanish-American War (soldiers) are there.”

Due to Provo House being underutilized for many years and costing Wickliffe taxpayers thousands to yearly upkeep, the city decided to demolish it. After many additions were put onto the home, the building lost its historical value, said Ward 2 Councilman Randy Gerhardstein.

The lack of interest of businesses going in the home and it becoming structurally unsafe also contributed to the decision to raze it.

“The foundation was crumbling, it needed a roof and a whole bunch of work, so that led to our decision to tear it down,” Gerhardstein said.

Removal of asbestos embedded where the original windows of the home were recently removed prior to demolition. In addition, Cleveland State University students came out to the property to do an engineering project to give city officials an idea of ​​what they thought for a park-like setting.

Service Director Ron Strauser and Gerhardstein plan to take part of the students’ idea going forward.

Upon completion next year, Gerhardstein hopes more residents will become aware of the cemetery and know that it’s still functioning.

“It’s still a working cemetery where we have room to add columbariums for residents once we get proper signage and people actually know it’s there,” he said. “We’re hoping some of the longtime residents will take advantage of that.”

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