“Precious” – Pretenders (1980)
The intersection of East 55th Street and Euclid Avenue, in Cleveland, appears to the daily passer-by as the average, run-of-the-mill busy city intersection. But like many things in life–there is so much more than what initially “meets the eye.”
In 1852, the The Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad line (which eventually became The Pennsylvania Railroad) was built, connecting Cleveland and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The line crossed Cleveland’s grand Euclid Avenue at what was at that time the city’s eastern most “developed” area– the north/south road known as Willson Street. In 1906, when the city adopted a numerical system for north/south city streets, Willson Street would become East 55th Street.
During the building of the railroad through Cleveland, Jared V. Willson, the property owner of the land where tracks were to cross Euclid Avenue, saw the likelihood of an economic windfall, and negotiated the building of the first train station at the site.
On April 28th, only thirteen years later, a train making its way to Springfield, Illinois made a Cleveland stop and the flag draped casket of President Abraham Lincoln was solemnly unloaded at the station and placed on a horse drawn hearse. Heading west on Euclid Avenue, the procession made its way to Public Square, where the only outdoor public viewing of the dead President took place, among the stops that were made on the long journey home.
In July of 1881, The Euclid Avenue Station was once again utilized as the Cleveland train stop to unload the casket and allow for the public mourning of another President. James A. Garfield, “Cleveland’s President,” like Lincoln, made the same slow, venerable trip up Euclid Avenue from the station, to Public Square.
During the later-half of the 1800’s, as the city grew eastward toward the University Circle area, the Euclid Avenue Train Station contributed to a massive, ever increasing traffic problem at the intersection of Euclid Avenue and Willson Street. The combination of horse drawn, and eventually motorized vehicles, electric street cars, and train tracks that crossed both thoroughfares at the intersection made Euclid and Willson one of most congested, and dangerous cross streets in the country. It was partially because of this situation that the tracks were reconstructed and run above street level in 1912. With this improvement, The Pennsylvania Railroad Company built a new, independent passenger station to accommodate the new alignment. Steel girder bridges and supports were used all throughout the heavy industrial areas to the North and South of Euclid Avenue along the newly raised Pennsylvania Railroad line in Cleveland.
The passenger station was closed in 1965 and it’s entrance-ways were bricked-up. Today you would never know that a heavily used, historic train station ever existed at this spot for over 100 years. But remnants of the turn-of-the-century station are still there– hidden secrets of the past, behind the brick.
The last four photos below were taken February 22, 2016 at the Cleveland Greenhouse. Exterior decor from the Euclid Avenue Train Station, preserved and on display.
Photos (unless otherwise noted) taken July 21, 2015
“Let There Be Rock” – AC/DC (1978, Live @ the Apollo Theatre)
Cleveland Rocks at the construction site of the new I-90 bridge across the Flats, that will sooth some of the east-west traffic woes in and out of downtown.
Photos taken May 20, 2015
“Dark Eyes” – Bob Dylan (1985)
An underside view of the eastern end of the Main Avenue Bridge, at the West 9th Street and Main Avenue intersection in the Warehouse District of Downtown Cleveland. The “cantilever truss bridge” was completed in 1939, and spans the Cuyahoga River and Cleveland’s “Flats” (at the bottom of the hill in this picture.) This steel-made bridge connects the east and west Cleveland Memorial Shoreway (Route 2) and is widely used by commuters on the west side of Cleveland who work in downtown. During a time in my life, I traveled the high speed freeway daily, living in the near-westside Ohio City neighborhood of Cleveland, and working in downtown.
Photo taken May 21, 2015
“Towers of London “ – XTC (1980)
Looking northeast, descending from Ohio City, down Main Avenue into Cleveland’s Flats, where trucks haul loads of road salt from the salt mines under Lake Erie. Above, the thusly named Main Avenue Bridge, built in 1939, stretches 8,000 feet across the Flats connecting the East and West Shoreway that runs through the city, along the lake.
Photo taken January 9, 2015
“Oh the fishes will laugh as they swim out of the path, and the seagulls they’ll be smiling… The hour that the ship comes in…”
On a blistery cold day, in the shadows of the skyscrapers that mark downtown Cleveland, Ohio… The freighter BUFFALO, of Wilmington, Deleware, makes it’s way up the icy waters of the Cuyahoga River. The Seagulls, in mass, illuminate the sky and water as only winter invites…
Photos taken January 9, 2015
“Run Softly, Blue River” – Johnny Cash (1958)
The Cuyahoga River at Dusk, as it makes it’s way through Cleveland’s industrial flats.
Photo taken November 10, 2014
“Plush” – Stone Temple Pilots (1993)
On a chilly day back in February– the Eagle Avenue Bridge over the Cuyahoga River, and the city’s venerable old sir, the Terminal Tower. The bridge was completed in 1928 and was Cleveland’s first “lift span bridge,” connecting to a viaduct which enabled residents and workers an artery from the low lying flats of the river valley to downtown, which is at a significantly higher elevation. By 2005, the viaduct was demolished due to deterioration and the bridge closed. It still stands today, however– one of the many beautiful bridges from yesterday that span the Cuyahoga River in the Flats.
Photo taken February 20, 2014
“My, My, Hey, Hey (Out of the Blue)” – Neil Young and Crazy Horse (live, 1979)
A shot of the Terminal Tower and the Tower City Center Complex in downtown Cleveland, from the Carter Road Bridge spanning the Cuyahoga River.
Photo taken February 25, 2014
“…the pounding of the drums, the pride and disgrace… you can bury your dead but don’t leave a trace… hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace…”
“Eve of Destruction” – Barry McGuire (1965, live)
The Sidaway Avenue Footbridge on the near-south side of Cleveland as it is today… Designed by Wilbur J. Watson and Associates and completed in 1931, the 680 foot long pedestrian footbridge spanned the Kingsbury Run gully, and connected a largely Polish Slavic Village neighborhood, on the south side with Garden Valley, a predominantly Black neighborhood, to the north. It is the only suspension bridge in existence in the city. The bridge provided access to schools and hard to find jobs in the connecting areas during the Great Depression. In July of 1966, racial tensions that were prevalent across the country spilled over among groups from the two Cleveland neighborhoods and someone destroyed the bridge by torching the wooden deck planks. The bridge was closed and never opened again. Today the bridge is vastly overgrown with vegetation and there has been talk of relocating the steel structure to one of the Metroparks in the surrounding area. But today it still remains as a sad reminder of troubled times from the past.
Top three photos taken from the North landing on April 23, 2014
Fourth photo taken from the South landing on April 18, 2014
“Alright don’t worry even if things end up a bit too heavy… we’ll all float on… alright… already we’ll all float on…”
“Float On” – Modest Mouse (2004)
On the Cuyahoga River, in downtown Cleveland, where the river exits out into Lake Erie–“American Courage,” a river-class vessel heading in to it’s next destination. The American Courage was built in 1979 by the Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin Bay Shipbuilding Corporation. It is powered by two 3500 Horse Power diesel engines. It also is equipped with 1,000 Horse Power “bow” and 600 Horse Power stern thrusters to negotiate tight waters in port, or on rivers such as the Cuyahoga.
Photo taken on October 4, 2013
“Damn this traffic jam… how I hate to be late… it hurts my motor to go so slow… time I get home my supper’ll be cold. Damn this traffic jam…”
“Traffic Jam” – James Taylor (1977)
Another bridge icon in northeastern Ohio spanning east and west over the Cuyahoga River Valley. The Valley View Bridge, better known as the I-480 Bridge, was opened in 1977 and connects eastern and western suburbs of Cleveland. It consists of two parallel sections 4,150 feet in length. The bridge rises 212 feet above the river valley below.
Photo taken December 30, 2013
“Connection” – Elastica (1994)
One of the many bridges that connect east with west, over the Cuyahoga River flats–the Interstate 90 Bridge looking east toward downtown Cleveland.
Photo taken December 11, 2013
“Our history runs down our rivers… down our rivers to the sea… reminds us of the things that matter… home and hearth and history…”
“Rivers” – Frank Turner (2011)
On the Chicago River… traversing the city of Chicago via the Architectural Riverboat Tour.
Photo taken July 28, 2013
“Burn On” – Randy Newman (1972)
Three photographs of the Center Street Bridge, located in the heart of the “Flats” near downtown Cleveland. The first two photographs, looking south eastward, show a freighter ship as it approaches the bridge and as the “Bob-tail Swing Bridge” moves into passing position and allows ships slowly through the narrow channel. The Center Street Swing Bridge was built in 1910 providing foot and automobile traffic to travel east and west across the river. Once the most popular form of bridge in the U.S. today it is the only one of it’s kind still in operation in the State of Ohio. Towering above the Center Street Bridge is the mighty Detroit-Superior Avenue Bridge, built later. The third photograph from street level shows the Center Street Bridge from the east bank of the Cuyahoga River spanning across the waterway.
Top photo taken September 23, 2013
Middle photo taken September 6, 2013
Bottom photo taken August 15, 2012
“A Swing And a Drive…” – Tom Hamilton, Cleveland Indians Radio Announcer (July 31, 2013)
Ontario Street and Carnegie Avenue
Taken from the west bank of the industrial flats
Photo taken September 7, 2013
“Stuck in the Middle With You” – Stealers Wheel (1972)
E.36th Street and Superior Avenue
Photo taken May 30, 2013
“Up, down, turn around, please don’t let me hit the ground.. tonight I think I’ll walk alone.. I’ll find my soul as I go home”
“Temptation” – New Order (1987)
The Detroit-Superior Bridge, connecting Detroit Avenue on the west side of Cleveland, with Superior Avenue, on the east is one of the area’s many beautiful bridges. The structure was completed in 1918 and at the time was the largest steel and concrete reinforced bridge in the world. Spanning the Cuyahoga River and the “flats” and being at the edge of downtown Cleveland, a trip across the bridge allows for many wonderful, picturesque vantage points. At 3,112 feet in length, it offers an easy walk or a quick drive from downtown to the Ohio City neighborhood, which sits at the western end of the bridge.
Photo taken March 14, 2013
“If You Leave” – Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (1986)
Standing atop the old Superior Avenue Viaduct, built between 1875 and 1878–looking southwest, toward the modern day, Detroit-Superior Bridge. The twisting, turning nature of the Cuyahoga River, in the Flats of Downtown Cleveland, made an abundance of bridges necessary throughout the relatively small area.
Photos taken March 14, 2013
“Any Town USA” – George Thorogood And The Destroyers (2008)
Downtown Cleveland, from the near-west side,
Photo Taken January 11, 2013
“I hear the train a comin’… It’s rolling round the bend.. and I ain’t seen the sunshine since.. I don’t know when…”
“Folsom Prison Blues” – Johnny Cash (1959)
Photo taken December 10, 2012
“Bridgekeeper” – Monty Python’s Holy Grail
One of the ornate facings that decorate the Detroit-Superior Bridge (Veteran’s Memorial Bridge) in Cleveland, Ohio. Completed in 1918, this bridge was at the time, the largest steel and concrete reinforced bridge in the world, and helped connect west side Clevelanders to downtown, and all points east, on the other side of the Cuyahoga River. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
Photo taken December 10, 2012
“Dirty Boulevard” – Lou Reed (1988)
Jacobs Field (Progressive Field) where the Cleveland Indians play and to the left, Quicken Loans Arena (The Q) where the Cleveland Cavaliers pro basketball team call home. Taken from the near west side neighborhood of “Ohio City” along W.25th Street, overlooking the industrial “flats.”
Photo taken December 3, 2012.
“It Was A Very Good Year” – Frank Sinatra (1965)
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Rail Line
Rt. 82 – Chippewa Road-West Aurora Road Bridge
Photo taken October 24, 2012
“Fool For the City” – Foghat (1975)
Like the subway systems in other larger cities, Cleveland, Ohio has an above ground public transit system that transports passengers in all directions throughout the Greater Cleveland area. The “Rapid Transit” or “Rapid” is a fun alternative to driving, particularly if you are headed into downtown. On this trip we took my 10 year old niece for an adventure into downtown Cleveland. The train shoots along the rails directly into the Terminal Tower where visitors are within footsteps of all that this metropolitan focal point offers. In this picture, taken from the train, we are cruising beside the Cuyahoga River, over the scenic “Flats,” and moments from our destination.
Photo taken April 12, 2012.
“My Town” – Michael Stanley Band (1983)
A view of the industrial flats and downtown Cleveland, Ohio from the near west side Tremont neighborhood.
Photo taken April 16, 2012
The Fulton Avenue Bridge spanning the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.
Photo taken March 27, 2012
“Stairway to Cleveland” – Jefferson Starship (1981)
Bridge scaffolding in the flats of Cleveland, Ohio
Photo taken August 15, 2012
Everett Covered Bridge
2370 Everett Rd.
Peninsula, OH 44264
Photo taken March 10, 2012
The Rocky River Reservation
Brook Park, Ohio
Photo taken March 18, 2012