Judson Park: Dining in Style
Judson’s original roots go back to 1906. Since then, Judson has blossomed into three campuses, each with unique flavors and settings. Judson Park is nestled in the Ambler Heights Historic District of Cleveland Heights. Since its early days, Judson Park has grown from a handful of apartments tucked into the circa-1919 Bicknell mansion to a true campus, boasting multiple buildings and comprehensive services.
While the campus has continually evolved, the mission remains the same: to offer a dynamic and engaging lifestyle to anyone who wants to live life to the fullest.
Recent renovations to the former Fisher Dining Room were designed with that in mind.
“We wanted to make dining here as appealing as possible,” explains Maryellen Kennedy, vice president of Judson Park. “Dining, after all, is not all about the food: It’s also about the atmosphere you create.”
Among the major updates, dining director Mary Schellhammer says, a double-sided fireplace was installed, and new, contemporary paint colors enliven the walls.
“The acoustics were one of our residents’ greatest concerns,” says Mary. “So we enlisted the services of an acoustics specialist and, based on those recommendations, we installed sound-dampening ceiling tiles and replaced a door that had opened into the kitchen’s dish room with a double-soundproof wall.”
The newly christened Overlook Dining Room references both a street in the historic neighborhood and the fact that Judson Park overlooks the bustling University Circle area, with its wealth of cultural and educational amenities.
The updates have found a fan in resident Nancy Sherwin.
“I think they did a fine job,” she says. “The materials they selected have made the dining room so much lighter, and the changes have made it a very pleasant place to entertain. I have already invited friends to dine with me there – especially people I hope might want to live in Judson!”
Judson Park residents are apt to be interested in the contemporary food scene, Mary notes, and expect seasonal menus, healthful preparations, and open seating – the recent updates have been designed to appeal to just those qualities.
“Dining should be a delightful experience,” Maryellen says, “and these renovations reflect an upbeat, energetic attitude. After all, our residents deserve the very best. This is just one of the ways we provide that for them.”
Judson Manor: History, Up to Date
Settled within University Circle, the historic Judson Manor is a prime beneficiary of the area’s recent growth. The development of the nearby Uptown district – with its restaurants, grocery store, and cornerstone Museum of Contemporary Art – has added more options to the already vast cultural attractions of this vibrant area.
Today, thanks to the recently completed Nord Family Greenway – a 2,200-foot-long and 300-foot-wide expanse of lawn that includes walking paths, trees, and terraces – accessing those treasures has never been easier.
Conceived by Case Western Reserve University in 2013 with the Cleveland Museum of Art and the Cleveland Foundation, the Greenway offers a direct walking path for Judson Manor residents to CWRU on one end and the Maltz Performing Arts Center on the other. “Best of all, it’s right outside our front door!” says Julie Anderson, Vice President of Judson Manor.
Inside, Judson Manor continues to pursue the balance of contemporary convenience and historic charm. One of this year’s most anticipated renovations involved tackling the building’s original above-street-level entrance. The solution has been the creation of a new, barrier-free entrance on the Manor’s south side.
Resident Roger Ellsworth appreciates the new addition. “I use it all the time!” he says. “When I come home with groceries, I can come from the parking lot right into the lobby. It’s a great convenience!”
This year also saw some renovations to the Judson Manor ballroom, which is home to a variety of musical and theatrical performances, and improving the acoustics was a priority. Once appropriate sound baffles were installed, attention turned to refurbishing the room’s chandeliers, installing new drapes, and selecting new carpeting to complement the lobby’s carpet.
“Our resident-led House Committee took the lead on this one,” says Julie. “They helped make all the selections and even prepared design boards to introduce the choices to the other residents.”
The thoughtfully remodeled space is elegant and inviting. “It’s very elegant and very much in keeping with the building’s historical era,” says Julie, “It was truly a labor of love.”
South Franklin Circle: A Community on the Grow
The newest member of the Judson family, South Franklin Circle in Chagrin Falls opened in 2009.
Today, the community has reached more than 90 percent of its residential capacity, putting pressure on its two dining rooms, Radius Restaurant and the more casual Bistro. An ambitious project to expand the Bistro was a timely response. The major remodeling included enlarging the kitchen, expanding the menu, and ensuring a convenient layout.
It also saw the addition of the Pub, a cozy dining area connected to the Bistro, boasting a copper ceiling and cherry paneling.
Resident Helen Whitehouse visits the Bistro every Monday night with friends. They enjoy a pre-dinner glass of wine in the nearby Great Room. “Then we go into the Bistro around 7 or so for a chat and good food.”
“Dining at South Franklin was never intended to feel like eating in a dining hall, with everyone crowding in at a set time,” says Bill Fehrenbach, Vice President of South Franklin Circle. “We offer more of a restaurant feel, with open seating. “At Judson, our goal is bringing community to life,” Bill continues. “And offering well-prepared, high-quality food is a big part of that.
“But most importantly, we want to bring residents together to share their experience with the people around them.”