Shaker Heights, Shaker, Joyce Braverman discussed on Little Fires Everywhere - The Official Podcast


Planning Shaker today. This is a conversation. I had recently with Joyce Braverman eat. Director of Shaker Heights city, planning and Julie Voice the Shaker. Heights communications director the week before little fires everywhere first aired, so let's take a listen. Hello Ladies so before we get started just so everyone can tell who's speaking. Let's just introduce ourselves hi I'm Julie McGovern Boise and I am the director of Communications and marketing for the city of Shaker Heights and I'm Joyce Braverman and I am the planning director for the city of Shaker Heights and I've been with the city for thirty years I've only been with the city for ten years, but I was raised here buffo. For, many people watching little fires everywhere is going to be their introduction to Shaker Heights just for US newcomers To describe what is Shaker, Heights? We are a community real planned by the fan. Swear brothers in the early nineteen hundreds nineteen twelve. Most of the land of Shaker Heights early in their career, so they developed this beautiful community, they wanted to control how the built form look, so that was very important to them, and they had a publication called the swearing design standards, and these talked about building your house in three styles, and this appears in the book tutor French colonial, and they also had standards for paint colors, and which colors to paint the trim of your house in the body of the house they also called for the homes to be designed by a competent architect in what. What they meant by this was an architect that was known. It was an era in the early nineteen hundreds, where some of the fines protects, were at the height of their careers in the Cleveland area, and also to regulate good taste. They were very concerned about someone who might not have good taste. That's kind of the history of Shaker Heights. That's so interesting I I am very interested in the planning aspect especially because it's just a concept that is kind of foreign to me. So when the syringe brothers said good taste. What did they mean by that? So? They were very concerned with what the roof slipped like and what the windows looked like, and the garages were the garages I said the garages were not in are still not allowed to have doors facing street, so as an attached garage met you came up? You're driving. Did A u-turn into the garage with the door facing the rear or a detached garage would have adore facing sideways, so again came in your driveway. Instead of going right into your garage, you made a right turn or left turn they are our garage doors and eyesore I'm trying I'm trying to figure out stores. See See. I, mean in the book. Your idea of being a planned community is sort of like plan to perfection, or it's planned for perfection. At when I was reading the book, it made me realize like wow, that could feel like a really confining thing for some people gave me this new perspective on it, because I think that there were a lot of characters in the book that did feel confined by that that that created. Created, a certain amount of pressure I think that for when you grow up here. The idea of this being a plans community feels that we were doing things in a very intentional way are planning was to try to be an expression of our values and many situations. Yeah, field planned planned. You appreciate all the little details, but you don't feel like some Utopian side right? Yeah, you're you're not in a simulation. Right. No, you're not and really what it gets to that. It's created a physical environment. That's a really nice place to live. starting to talk a little bit more about little fires everywhere. Have you both read the book? Oh Yeah yes. Yes, I'm. What were your initial reactions to it? Well, you know my initial reaction. If I I was a little taken aback, because like personify Shaker, so since it's a work of literature, it kind of makes us more than what we are prepared for this I went back and read parts of the book and on second reading. It wasn't so shocking to me because it really is a fair portrayal of our community. It's very accurate about the details of the city. Shaker actually has a life. Life in a personality so feels like a character in the book. Yeah, I would agree and you know. It was really fun to read it. The accuracy was really amazing, but I also have to say that. Having gone to the high school scenes in the high school were so incredibly accurate I felt like I was back in high school I mean. She talked specifically about our backyard pickup for Gurvich. Yes, which people from not around the east side of Cleveland thinks it's the most bizarre. Process, they ever heard of. It's actually fantastic. It is fantastic, but it's part of the value of the community not to have garbage on the front lawn to keep your community beautiful, and then other characters in the story that you felt particularly connected to a I was captivated by the you know the high school kids in the book because I thought the experience with billy genuine I did feel like Elena was. You know almost a caricature of people here? It was sort of an extreme version of people here in her. You know her drive for perfection, and you know like I said before that sort of connection between everything being planned and you know. Know perfect and controlling for the messy mess, I didn't really connect with that but I did think the kids and their experience here seemed real, and the interactions between them I think it reflected our diverse community, and that we do have a lot of single parent households and Shaker and part of it is because forty percent of our housing stock is actually stock. Be It two family homes like the one they lived on winslow were apartment buildings, or Condo's so even though Shaker Heights seems like you know the picture, perfection and single family home ownership. We are actually have a good percentage of rental property in our city and people who are single single. Single parents or lower income are in a lot of those rental properties, so I felt that was very real portrayal of that type of people that lived here right, and that is of course where we find Mia and Pearl living in the show in the rental property owned by Lena's family on winslow road. She talked about the book. Winslow wrote historic district and every two family home was designed to look like a single family home, and that designation that effort was recognized in the nineties by the designation of the street as a historic district to show that smaller homes had value and were held to the same share standards as larger house. You know that sort of. Of shown as one of the ways that Shakur was trying to be so.

Coming up next