Collinwood Recreation Center

Believe it or not after years, actually decades, of trying to build a recreation center in Collinwood and then finding the funding, all the meetings to plan and create it – the Collinwood Recreation Center will celebrating its 5th YEAR ANNIVERSARY this November 12th! 

Come join the party on Saturday, November 12, 2016 from 2-4 PM for a special program of activities to celebrate this milestone including cake and punch.

This week we also learned that our Collinwood Recreation Center will be featured as a part of an exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. The exhibit entitled, “By the People: Designing a Better America” is highlighted below.  I am also sharing the email from Mr. Paul Volpe, the architect of the Recreation Center, who entered the recreation center as a project for consideration and was awarded a slot in the exhibit for design and community collaboration.

This is how Collinwood works. So, at the Center’s 5th anniversary we have much to celebrate and we have much to be proud of for it was the push and support from Councilman Polensek on down through the community which made the project a reality in the first place. 

Here is Paul Volpe’s email:

“Over the last year I submitted the Collinwood Recreation Center to the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum in New York City as a potential entrant in the national exhibition described below. The program is called “By the People: Designing a Better America”. The final markup of our submittal which will be exhibited is attached.


Our project was accepted as one of only 60 others across the nation as an example of excellence in collaborative community design. I trust you are as thrilled with this as I am. This is just another way the country will see what we are about in Cleveland, with a particular emphasis on neighborhoods.

The show opens in NYC on September 29th and will run I think for 3 or 4 months. It will travel to 3 other cities over the next 18 or so months. One of these may be the City of Cleveland. We are waiting to hear if it will be coming next year to the Cleveland Institute of Art’s gallery at Uptown.


Finally, Cooper Hewitt being the excellent institution that it is, will eventually publish a book of the exhibition with our project as a part. They said what the City accomplished in Collinwood is an outstanding example of architectural adaptive re-use, green design, and urban neighborhood investment.


Needless to say, I am beyond proud to have had the privilege to work will all of you on this special project.”


Paul J. Volpe; Architect / Urban Designer; (216) 870-7961;

Isn’t this great news?  Stay tuned.  We are hoping that the exhibit may eventually come to Cleveland; Paul’s working on that. The best way to honor our achievements here though is by continuing to support the Recreation Center by using the center and participating in its activities.  Become a part of the Friends of Collinwood Recreation and help us continue to ensure that the Center is here for many years to come and that the activities at the Center are supported. If interested in becoming a member of the Board of the Friends of Collinwood Recreation call Mary Louise at Councilman Polensek’s office at (216) 664-4236 or email me at

By the People: Designing a Better America 

By the People: Designing a Better America 
On view through February 26, 2017

An exhibition of 60 collaborative designs from across the United States, By the People challenges the country's growing crisis of social and economic inequality. Through installations, interactive media, and video, the exhibition shares how designers are engaging the public in creating more inclusive and sustainable communities, and delivers a powerful message of optimism for achieving a more just and equitable society for all Americans through design. #DesigningAmerica.   

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