“A Well Respected Man” – The Kinks (1965)
United States Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, William McKinley and William Howard Taft all were members here. Six U.S Senators and two U.S. Supreme Court Justices enjoyed membership as well.
Located on the northeast corner of East 12th Street and Euclid Avenue, in downtown Cleveland,The Union Club of Cleveland has been an exclusive, “by invitation only” political, cultural, and civic iconic force in Cleveland, since the club was established in 1872, and ultimately was to become the most prestigious, and influential club in the city.
The building shown here was designed and built by famed Cleveland architect, and Union Club member, Charles Frederick Schweinfurth. This new building for the Union Club’s expanding membership was completed in 1905. It was built of locally mined Berea Sandstone, with it’s outer walls, in places exceeding 3 feet in thickness. Schweinfurth noted that as the building aged, the sandstone would take-on a darkened, aesthetically pleasing look. And it was lauded immediately by visitors for it’s elegance and refined Classical architectural design. The majestic interior is adorned with a grand Italian marble staircase, Persian rugs, and a master dining room that boasts 20-foot high ornate plaster ceilings, ornamental columns and rich honey-colored hardwood floors.
Photos taken March 4, 2016
“Stars” – HUM (1995)
Hiding in amongst the trees at the top of the Taylor Road hill in East Cleveland– The abandoned Warner and Swasey Observatory, just four miles southeast of its original parent home, the then, Case School of Applied Science (Case-Western Reserve University.)
The Observatory was designed in 1918 by the Cleveland architectural firm of Walker and Weeks and The Warner & Swasey Company completed construction of the building in 1920. On October 12th of that year, world renowned astronomer Dr. W. W. Campbell, the Director of the University of California Lick Observatory, gave the key note address at the observatory’s dedication.
The building included a small library, a darkroom, a transit room, an office and one bedroom. The observatory also housed two Riefler astronomical regulator clocks, two four-inch transits, and an extremely sensitive zenith 9.5-inch refractor telescope, built by the Warner and Swasey Company of Cleveland. The entire Observatory, including all equipment, as well as the cost of construction of the physical structure, was donated to the Case Institute of Technology by Trustees Worcester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey, of the Warner and Swasey Company.
As the need for expansion of facilities and new equipment became evident, additions to the Observatory were graciously provided by Warner and Swasey. In 1940, the building of en entire new wing to the Observatory was completed. Included in this expansion was a new library, a teaching lecture hall, and a new Warner & Swasey Company-manufactured 24-inch Burrell Schmidt telescope, housed in a new dome (pictured below.)
By the 1950’s, city-light evening sky “noise” made it necessary for Case to develop a new facility and relocate the housed telescopes and other equipment, in order for the school to maintain the highest levels of scientific integrity. The new facility– the Nassau Astronomical Station, was built in 1957 on 281 acres of land in Montville Township in Geauga County, thirty miles to the east of the Warner and Swasey Observatory. The Burrell Schmidt telescope was transferred to this site, and was replaced with a 36-inch telescope that was used primarily for viewing by the public. In 1980, The Warner and Swasey Observatory was closed permanently, and the original zenith telescope was transferred to the Euclid Avenue main campus of Case-Western Reserve University, where today it is housed and in-use in the University’s Albert W. Smith Building.
The old observatory was sold and has changed ownership hands a few different times since Case managed the facility, and although every attempt has been made to board-up entrance points inside… graffiti artists, area gangs, historians, photographers and urban explorers have all found their way to the interior of the building. Picture number 20, from the top, of the photos I have taken and posted here– the empty window frame– was my magic doorway into the fascinating storied past of the Warner and Swasey Observatory that still stands at the top of a hill in East Cleveland.
Above photos taken July 3, 2015
“Things are different today, I hear every mother say… cooking fresh food for her husband’s just a drag… so she buys an instant cake and she burns her frozen steak…”
“Mother’s Little Helper” – The Rolling Stones (1966)
The two entrance ways into the once– supermarket giant “Fisher Brothers” Bakery and Warehouse, built in 1916, at 2323 Lakeside Avenue in Cleveland.
Incorporated in Cleveland in 1908, by brothers Manning and Charles Fisher, the food retail company grew handily with sales reaching over $18 million and over 300 food stores in Northern Ohio, by 1928.
In 1961, the name of the company was changed to Fisher Foods, Inc. During the years prior to this, Fisher Brothers had become the largest retail food distributor in Cleveland. But by 1965, the company only held 12 percent of the Cleveland market. In that year the fledgling firm merged with Fazio’s and Costa supermarkets, who were prospering as part of the Stop-N-Shop Super Markets Association.
Although Fisher Foods maintained solvency and in some cases, prosperity throughout the 1970’s and 80’s under a variety of different marketing names and outlets, in 1997 all of Fisher Foods financial holdings were sold to the Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Supermarkets for $403 million.
Today the 420,000 square foot Fisher Brothers building, with it’s elegant entrance ways on Lakeside Avenue, is leased as loft-style commercial warehouse space.
Top photo taken March 24, 2014
Middle and bottom photos taken June 16, 2015
“Someday” – The Strokes (2002)
I’ve been told that I was taken to The Euclid Beach amusement park many times as a toddler and that I had lots of fun! I have absolutely no memory of the visits!
Dating from the late 1800’s, through the years Euclid Beach Park delighted residents of Northeastern Ohio with carousels, amusement rides and attractions, a grand ballroom, several wooden roller coasters, a Lake Erie swimming beach, and other wholesome family entertainment.
The park closed in 1969, but along Lakeshore Boulevard, in Cleveland’s east side Collinwood neighborhood, the park’s famed entrance archway still remains and has formally been declared a Cleveland Historic Landmark.
Photo taken September 26, 2014
“Pompeii” – Bastille (2013)
Left for dead. That’s what it seemed like– this old industrial plant, built in 1922. I ventured in one afternoon not knowing what I would find beyond the sight-lines that the broken out windows at street level afforded me on a previous visit, a few weeks earlier. One of my many lunch time adventures, clad in dress pants, shirt and tie… polished dress shoes… exploring a long since abandoned factory in a desolate part of town that people tell me I shouldn’t venture into. But I really do live for these places. My camera and I (eye.)
Located on Ashland Road, somewhere between Cedar and Central Avenues, on Cleveland’s east side, the six-story structure was built by Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, as an additional piece to their, then, existing complex of factory buildings lining Ashland Road. Numerous subsidiaries of Westinghouse as well as other separately owned corporations utilized this brick and mortar facility over the years. During World War II activity soared to peak production at the site when the Thompson Aircraft Products Company (Tapco) called the facility home and military aircraft parts were produced to sustain America’s air superiority against the Axis Powers. A series of other manufacturing tenants followed after the war. It is unclear as to the exact date, but some time at the end of the 1970’s the premises were vacated for the last time and the building was foreclosed.
Over the years following it’s closing, like so many others of it’s kind– the Westinghouse factory building was torn and frayed by vandals and vagrants and “urban artists.” As pictured above, a total ruination of a once proud building— stripped of everything that could be taken and used as an illegal dumping ground. It looks as if some formal wrecking has taken place as well. But in spite of all the crumbling and blight that has taken place– My imagination, as I investigated the wreckage that has evolved, was not hindered. A rigorous past… men and women who earned their days wages… churning machinery. Turn of the century electrical innovations… American war planes flying over Nazi Germany, housed with Cleveland made high-altitude fuel systems. All of this and more hidden within the fractured remnants of this place on Ashland Road on Cleveland’s east side.
Photos taken July 3 and August 8, 2014
“Muse Blues” – Loudon Wainwright III (1972)
A set of 16 photographs I took of the interiors of the Cleveland Public Library Main Branch on Superior Avenue in downtown. Another extraordinary building designed by the Cleveland architectural firm of Walker and Weeks. The five story building was completed in 1925.
Photos taken August 9, 2014
“4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” – Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (1973)
Eight photos capturing the essence of the Caxton Building, built in 1903.
Located at 812 Huron Road in downtown Cleveland, the 8-story structure was built specifically to house several Cleveland-based commercial printing and graphic-arts businesses. Several of the floors were designed to bear 300 pounds per sq. ft to accommodate the heavy printing machinery used by these tenants.
The beauty of the Romanesque architecture style terra cotta archway framing the main entrance really is striking. Designed by local architect, Frank Seymour Barnum, (who is noted for his work as architect and Superintendent of Buildings for the Cleveland Public Schools,) the Caxton Building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and designated as a Cleveland landmark in 1976.
Photos taken July 17, 2014
“Don’t Change” – INXS (1982)
The Euclid Avenue Congregational Church (current/temporary)
The First United Methodist Church (former)
Style: Gothic Revival
Architect: J. Milton Dyer
Location: 3000 Euclid Avenue
(An earlier, additional photo I took in December 2013: “A winter’s day… in a deep and dark December…” posted on 12/21/13)
Photos taken: June 16, 2014
“On a Monday, I was arrested… On a Tuesday, they locked me in the jail… On a Wednesday, my trial was attested… On a Thursday, they said, guilty and the judge’s gavel fell…”
Another set of pictures of the Cuyahoga County Courthouse, located in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.
Photos taken June 16, 2014
“Let the stories be told… let them say what they want… let the photos be old… let them show what they want…”
“Let the Good Times Roll” – The Cars (1978)
On October 21, 1911, ground was broken at the corner of East 6th Street and Superior Avenue for what was later hailed as “the finest Newspaper plant and Office Building in the world”– home to two local newspapers, The Cleveland News, and The Cleveland Leader.
Designed by architect Charles Adams Platt, the Fifteen-floor building rises above a beautifully detailed lobby complete with Famousa marble flooring, imported from Germany, and elegant Bronze grill work, throughout.
The fate of the two newspapers was eventually taken over by current daily Cleveland Newspaper, The Plain Dealer, after a series of mergers and acquisitions.
Today the building provides office space for Cleveland’s bustling downtown business district.
Photos taken June 9, 2014
“Well all the people have got their problems… that ain’t nothing new…. with the help of the Good Lord we can all pull on through…”
“It Ain’t Easy” – David Bowie (1972)
One of the front entrances to St. Vitas Roman Catholic Church, located at East 61st Street and Glass Avenue, near St. Clair Avenue, on Cleveland’s north east side.
St. Vitas was built in 1932 at a cost of $350,000 and today is the largest Slovenian Church in the United States of America.
“They say that the left side of the brain controls the right… they say that the right side has to work hard all night… maybe I think too much for my own good…”
“Think Too Much” – Paul Simon (1983)
The Rockefeller Physics Building on the campus of Case-Western Reserve University on Cleveland’s east side.
The Italian Renaissance style building was constructed in 1905 at a cost of $96,042.22. The building which bears his name, was built through a gift to the University by John D. Rockefeller.
Photo taken April 19, 2014
“Redemption Song” – Bob Marley (1980)
“Redemption Song” – Johnny Cash & Joe Strummer (2002)
Two photos of the First Baptist Church of Greater Cleveland, on Fairmount Boulevard, in the eastern Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights. Construction on this beautiful structure began in 1928, and a year later it was dedicated. Designed by Cleveland Architectural firm Walker and Weeks, the church was built utilizing Indiana Limestone, in Gothic Architectural Style.
Photos taken March 7, 2014
“Drunken Lullabies” – Flogging Molly (2002)
(two photographs: front entrance, and rear patio area)
I was lucky enough to bring in the new year, 2012, at this fantastic Irish Pub– called, “The Treehouse,” but never a St. Patty’s Day… not yet at least!
Located in the heart of Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, at the northeast corner of Professor and College Avenues, the original structure was completed in 1900. After a variety of different uses over the years, the Treehouse opened for business in 1996 and has been a “must do” entertainment spot along Professor, ever since.
Inside the Jameson and Guinness flow and the crowd arrives nightly. The sizable bar service area is Canopied by a huge tree, with branches extending out over nearly the whole bar area.
I am thinking a pint of Guinness Stout after work today may be in order! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Photos taken January 4, 2014
“Don’t stand alone… you might turn to stone… I’m sure there is a pill for that… you’re on your own…”
“All I Want to Be (is by your side)” – Peter Frampton (1972)
The Cuyahoga County Courthouse, at Lakeside and Ontario Streets, in downtown Cleveland, was the fifth in a series of courthouses built since the city’s inception. This house of justice was built between 1906 and 1911, costing $4 Million. It was Designed in Beaux-Arts architectural style, by Cleveland architectural firm Lehman and Schmitt, with Beaux-Arts trained architect, Charles Morris as chief designer.
The sculpted marble figures that rest on the building’s decorative cornice, or ledge, represent historic figures in the history of Law. Several different artists were commissioned to create these ornate statues, including the acclaimed American sculptor Daniel Chester French, who was responsible for, among other historically significant works, the sitting Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial, in Washington D.C.
In 1975 the courthouse was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.
Top photo taken September 10, 2013 (front)
Bottom photo taken October 13, 2013 (rear)
“Hound Dog” – Big Mama Thornton (live, 1965)
The backdoor at Green Vista Farm
8200 Lattasburg Road
Photo taken April 14, 2012
“HEAVY” – Collective Soul (1999)
Pictured–a side entrance to the Wayne County Courthouse, located in downtown Wooster, Ohio. The two “Atlantes” hold up the triangular pediment that states the year the building was built. The architectural design of the Courthouse was done by Thomas Boyd, in classic Second Empire style.
Photo taken July 14, 2013
“If I gathered all my means.. in a pile beside me… It wouldn’t help to fill my dreams… for the love of ivy…”
“For the Love of Ivy” – The Mamas & The Papas (1968)
These four photos show the ivy cover that entangles beautiful urban architecture. Located on the outskirts of downtown Cleveland, at 3649 Prospect Avenue, this Victorian Era Brownstone structure was originally built as luxury townhouses in 1874. Today it is a designated Cleveland Landmark – Number 58, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Photos taken July 12, 2013
Located between Boliver Road and Prospect Avenue in downtown Cleveland, GRAYS ARMORY was built in 1894 as a headquarters to the “Cleveland Grays”–a city militia group founded in 1837 to help local police, as well as provide a first line of defense against a northern invasion by the British earlier in the century. This local militia unit fought at the battles of Manassas and at Phillipi in the American Civil War and battled alongside General Pershing in the Spanish American War. In 1916, “The Grays” fought in the 145th Infantry as part of the American effort in World War I.
Grays Armory– a castle-like building is constructed of a variety of materials including brick, granite, and sandstone mined from nearby quarries in Berea, Ohio. Among the amenities inside, the Armory has a ten-thousand square foot ballroom and a shooting range in the basement.
Over the years, in addition to being a military installation, the structure also served as a community center and was home to some of Cleveland’s most notable high society events and parties including the first performance of the Cleveland Orchestra as well as the premier performance in Cleveland by the Metropolitan Opera.
Photos taken September 9, 2006