CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Cleveland Public Library announced Monday that the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Foundation has awarded $3.25 million, the largest dollar amount in its history to support the library’s Center for Digital Creativity for Adults and Seniors. Glenville Branch.
The library said in a media release that $3 million from the gift will go to the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel Workforce and Senior Digital Innovation Center at the Glenville branch, 11900 St. Clair Ave.
The remaining $250,000 will be used to enable the Cleveland Public Library Foundation, created by the library system in 2019, to increase fundraising space for charitable fundraising.
Library Director Felton Thomas Jr. said Mandel’s gift allowed the library to increase its original $2.5 million renovation of the Glenville branch to more than $7 million.
In an interview with cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer, he said he was “excited” about the gift.
The goal of the Glenville Center is to improve digital literacy and job readiness in the predominantly black community on the city’s East Side, north of University Circle. Construction will be completed by 2024, Thomas said.
In particular, Thomas said, the library wants to support investments in the northern part of Glenville, which has not seen the same level of development as the southern part, which is closer to University Circle, the city’s medical, educational and cultural center. .
Today’s Glenville branch was designed in It was commissioned in 1978 by Cleveland architect TK Zung, a native of Shanghai, China, the library said.
The Glenville project is part of the library system’s 10-year, $110 million effort that began in 2019 to upgrade its 27 branches in the city. The library has already sold $62 million in bonds to fund the first dozen projects, Thomas said.
The main goal of the library foundation is to “increase our capacity to take each building and find what the community needs,” Thomas said. For example, the Technical Innovation Center in Glenville will be the first such center on the city’s East Side.
The gift has special meaning to the foundation as a gift to the area that the Mandel brothers once called home.
The now-deceased Mandell brothers founded a highly successful Cleveland-based auto parts business that grew into Premier Industries Corporation, later merged into Premier Farnell Pvt.
In the late 19th century, Glenville, a one-time farming community, became an upscale village. In the year It was incorporated in Cleveland in 1905 and attracted a large Jewish population that later included Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.
Mandel Foundation Board Chair Stephen Hoffman asked Mort Mandel to visit the Glenville branch of the library to discuss the philanthropic opportunity with Thomas before Mort Mandel’s death in 2019 at age 98.
“It feels good to give back to the library system,” Hoffman said. “Andrew Carnegie was great for library philanthropy. So did Benjamin Franklin. It’s not a bad tradition if you can follow in the footsteps of Ben Franklin and Andrew Carnegie.
Thomas said he was pleased to receive the donation from the Mandel Foundation because it will illuminate the area’s history for current residents.
“It’s a way for us to reach out and say, ‘Let’s find a way to give that back and introduce those people to our community today,'” he said.