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Saturday, June 4, 2022

Last Years Ames Walkway Off-Season Favorite was a Hammock:
The 2022 Ames Off-Season Favorite is
a Pontoon Boat making Ames Avenue Walkway look more like ‘Ames Canal’

Ames Ave. Walkway does not share the popularity of the Silver Lake Institute's Heritage-Walkway that leads to the Flag Garden and the Big Blue Dock because the Big Blue Dock is used almost daily for sight-seeing and relaxation, and weekly for concerts and Spiritual Life during the SLI Season, July 1 through Labor Day.

Ames Ave. Walkway, on the other hand, has its greatest amount of use during the Silver Lake Experience (SLE) events on alternate summers including this summer of 2022. Many of the SLE guests prefer walking Ames Walkway as opposed to walking in the street (Perry Ave.) when traveling from Epworth Hall or from Asbury Retreat Center.

Some members of the SLE Planning Committee have noticed that the Walkway is used more when the multi-colored flags are posted showing the eastern boundary of the Walkway, assuring the walkers that they are still on the official path since the regular boundaries blend nicely with neighborhood yards.

Ames Walkway runs parallel to Perry Ave. between Genesee Ave. and the front lawn of Epworth Hall. During the many years when cars and horses were not permitted on individual private lots, walking made Ames Avenue the primary "Main Street" of the Institute because it connected the Main Auditorium in Burt Park (lost to fire in 1918) continuing to Epworth Hall and continuing on to Epworth Inn (razed circa 1972) on the south side of Chapman Road. These three were the largest of SLI's historical buildings of primary use in the late 19th century and early 20th century. 

The two smaller historical buildings are the Hoag Memorial Art Gallery which was presented with maintenance funds to SLI in 1895, and The Women's Temperance headquarters building which was left to SLI circa early 1950s and was then named John Stoody Memorial Hall in honor of Mr. and Mrs. John Stoody's substantial donations in providing funds for buying back the SLI properties lost to the foreclosures caused initially by the Cleveland Depression at the turn of the century. The buyback was completed by 1908. Circa 1970s, the open porch on the east side of the Stoody building was enclosed and made into a small kitchen.

Walking the Bishop Ames Walkway no longer has the double tree-lined dirt street with board walks and defined boundaries, but today takes on a casual boundary-less lawn overlooking one of the neighborhoods known for its double lots. The Walkway is used in the off-season for limited residential parking (and for walkers until the snow flies). 

The Walkway can be entered at Genesee, Haven, Hamline Avenues and from Epworth Hall's front yard. Epworth Hall still holds its original street address on Ames Avenue. Ames no longer travels over to Chapman, but is cut off by the Perry Ave. extension, constructed in the mid 1950s. For more historical information on the Perry Ave. extension through Burt Park and over to Chapman, click HERE.

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