fraternity

“Everyday brings change, and the world puts on a new face… sudden things rearrange, and this whole world seems like a new place…”










“The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game” – The Marvelettes (1967)
“The Hunter Gets Captured by the Game” – Massive Attack (feat. Tracey Thorn) (1995)

(10 photos)

In 1910, a grand house was built at this spot at 3289 East 55th Street, near Broadway Avenue, in Cleveland. And today the house still exists, though just by looking you would never know!

In 1919, the house was purchased and became the national headquarters for the First Catholic Slovak Union of America. In addition to administrative offices, the house also served as residence for the organization’s president. The organization was founded in Cleveland in 1892 as a fraternal benefit society for immigrant Slovaks and their families living and working in America, and provided insurance and other benefits.

The organization grew to over one hundred thousand members by the early 1930’s, and it became apparent that larger facilities were needed. It was then decided to expand their facilities and Cleveland architects Warner, Katonka and Miller were hired to convert the single family residence into the building that is pictured above. With Art-Deco style design features, the renovations and expansion to the house was completed in 1933, and served as the headquarters for the First Catholic Slovak Union of America until 1982. JEDNOTA, which the organization became popularly known as, means “Union” in the Slovak language, and appears over the front entrance to the building.

Photos taken March 30, 2016

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“…he’s a well-respected man about town doing the best things so conservatively…”









“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


“…oh, there’s more to life than books, you know… but not much more.. not much more…”




“Handsome Devil” – THE SMITHS (1983)

For over 100 years, this Italianate Style antebellum home has been more than just a “page” in Cleveland’s written history. The ornately detailed house was built in 1838 for early Cleveland settler George Merwin. After changing owners a few different times after Mr. Merwin’s death, the house became the headquarters and library for a very exclusive private gentleman’s club in 1892. This organization, The Rowfant Club, is still in existence today at this location on Prospect Avenue near East 30th Street.

Dedicated to “primarily the critical study of books in their various capacities to please the mind of man…”, the “by-invitation-only” bibliophile aficionado membership of the Rowfant Club has convened at the Merwin House over the decades for meetings, ceremonies, lectures, or just to simply relax with one of the books from the club’s extensive in-house private library collection. Members of note have included James Ford Rhodes, Charles F. Schweinfurth, and William G. Mather.

Top 3 photos taken November 25, 2014
Bottom 2 photos taken June 16, 2014


“Oh, if this old house could talk, what a story it would tell… It would tell about the good times and the bad times as well…”

“This Old House” – Loretta Lynn (2004)

The Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity house, on the campus of The University of Akron… My residence, for one year while in college. It looked in a lot better shape back in the day. Originally built as a servants quarters for a near by mansion, in 1898, the old frat house is set for demolition this summer. Located at 116 Fir Hill, in Akron, Ohio.

Photo taken on March 30, 2013.