The City of North Royalton, Ohio recently celebrated the opening of their new 30,000 square-foot library. The facility is a branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library and arguably the system’s most modern, by several measures. Many of the library’s features allow for flexible use: a retractable divider can be closed to allow use of many public computers in a classroom setting or opened to allow free access; at least two of the meeting rooms allow for similar division or union depending upon the need. Throughout the public space “coffee” tables, full-height tables, and a counter in a snack area offer hidden electrical outlets for personal electronics. Of course, there is high-speed Wi-Fi access throughout. Overall, the feeling of the place is one of openness and light – a generous translucent skylight provides soft daylight and a bank of windows along the building’s eastern wall faces a line of evergreen trees. All-in-all a most impressive new facility and a great asset to the city. I’m hoping to get permission soon to visit and photograph the facility’s interiors out of professional interests!
It is possibly the oldest structure in North Royalton, Ohio and it was built to house the dead. In my city walkaround I visited the cemetery at the top of the hill … the one across the street from Taco Bell. In the churchyard stands a little mausoleum bearing the date 1879. The stone structure is definitely in distress and could use some repair. I don’t know if any bodies are inside but window gratings are falling from their openings and some of the stones look like they could just tumble to the ground. Still the little maison des morts stands, built with attention to detail, its beauty in some ways growing as the decades pass, as testament to love for the departed.
Old North Royalton, Ohio is oddly developed. There are few truly old buildings and no really old commercial buildings at all. Low commercial structures, apparently put up in the ’60s and ’70s, are uninspired and even ugly but they serve their purpose. The haphazard placement of businesses leads to odd situations where buildings sit behind other buildings; entrances to stores can be on sides or at the rear with no street exposure at all. Occupants do what they can to inform customers of their locations and how to reach them. Looking around, the oddities can be interesting.
Photographing around the site of the 128th Annual Community Festival in North Royalton, Ohio, I had a fine time with the clear sky and beautiful morning light. Carnivals and festivals attract photographers like cotton candy attracts, well, everything; their usual photos are of rides at night but I’ve often noticed how interesting and even beautiful those same rides can be by day. I spent a good long time at the town’s square observing and shooting the scene, in the company of only a few workers. Got some nice shots around the old town as well, perhaps to be seen here later.