The Haber Family Center for History

A Home of our Own

In March 2019 the Lakewood Historical Society cut the ribbon on our new society headquarters at 13314 Detroit Avenue. Through a generous donation by the Haber Family Foundation the society was able to purchase the former Ehren Chiropractic offices originally known as the Detroit Clarence Medical Building.

The building houses the Lakewood Historical Society offices, collections storage, library, archives, and fundraising work space. The building is normally open to the public Weekdays from 1:00 to 4:00 PM, and by appointment.

The Detroit Clarence Medical Building

The 1959 Detroit-Clarence Medical Building is a small-scale, mid-20th century example of a medical office building, a new building type developed in that period. Architecturally, it is the most high style example of its type in Lakewood, combining the crisp, asymmetrically arranged, geometric forms of the International Style with a palette of materials consisting of glass, aluminum, stone, and brick that are a familiar part of mid-20th century modern design. The Detroit-Clarence Medical Building also retains the most original features of its building type in Lakewood, a densely populated city of approximately 66,000 residents with its own large hospital at the time this medical office building was constructed.

Three physicians, Carl W. Hahn, John R. Sylvester, and David N. Wood, had the Detroit-Clarence Medical Building designed and constructed to house their growing medical practice.

The medical practice, with a gradually evolving roster of physicians, remained at 13314 Detroit through 1989. After being vacant for most of the next five years, Ehren Chiropractic Center occupied the building from 1994 into 2017.

Architect Adelbert B. Kleine (1911-1992), a European trained architect, designed the building. After graduating from the School of Architecture, Czernovitz, Austria (now Chernivtsi, Ukraine), Kleine had his own office in Budapest, Hungary for six years. He did postgraduate study at the British Institute of Technology and then joined the British Army, serving with the Royal Engineers during World War II in Egypt, North Africa, Italy and Austria. After the war he worked for the American War Crimes Commission, utilizing his ability to speak six languages. After arriving in the U.S. in 1948, he worked initially in North Carolina and then spent several years with the firm Fulton, Krinsky &DelaMotte in Cleveland. He became a licensed architect in Ohio in 1952 and opened his own office in downtown Cleveland’s Caxton Building the same year.

Kleine became best known during the 1960s for designing luxury apartment buildings throughout Cuyahoga County. In addition to being the architect, Kleine was often an investor in the project.

Capital Campaign

To complete renovations and operate the new facility, the Lakewood Historical Society held a two-year, $250,000 Capital Campaign to establish an endowment fund dedicated to the building. And the Campaign was a tremendous success! We thank Kathy Haber and her committee heartily for their sustained efforts in reaching our goal.

A substantial portion of the fund has been used for ongoing renovations and repairs to the building. The remainder will be in a permanent fund to support the building as a permanent home for our ever expanding archives and to make them more and more accessible.

Renewed thanks for your great generosity!