“Luxury” – The Rolling Stones (1974)
Elaborate parties, and the inter-mingling of local artists, musicians, business giants and top-national performing acts– all either stayed here as visitors or lived here as residents, and all were treated to only the best during their stay. It was the high-life in the roaring Twenties.
And it was in 1923, in the area today known as University Circle, that the lavish Wade Park Manor residential hotel was opened.
George A. Schneider, the former developer/manager of The Cleveland Athletic Club, took the reigns of the Wade Park Project and decided on the New York architectural firm of George Post & Sons, who had a Cleveland office, to design the building. Among the Cleveland projects that the firm was responsible for, The Cleveland Trust Building (1908) at East 9th Street and Euclid Avenue is most notable.
The 11-story, 400 room residential hotel was designed in Georgian Revival style with warm buff limestone, Tapestry Brick and clay-based ceramic terracotta being the main components to the exterior. The Wade Park Manor structure was fire-proof, with it’s frame made of steel and reinforced concrete.
The interiors were palace-like, utilizing only the finest materials from around the world, and included a grand lobby with an 18-foot ceiling and paneled oak and marble walls, two dining rooms and a ballroom and banquet room with dinner seating for 250 and room for 400 for balls and concerts. Of the 400 guest rooms, 40 were spacious single rooms, with the remaining rooms divided into two to six room suites. Being mere footsteps from Wade Park and the Cleveland Art Museum– the rooms offered spectacular views of the city.
Today, The Wade Park Manor operates as an upscale retirement community, under the name of Judson Manor. Photography of the building’s interior spaces was not allowed.
All photographs, except where noted, were taken on March 9, 2016.
“…you’ll see a smilin’ face… a fireplace.. a cozy room… a little nest that’s nestled where the roses bloom…”
“My Blue Heaven” – Frank Sinatra (1950)
A very unassuming, almost hidden piece of urban property at 4806 Euclid Avenue in midtown Cleveland…
Built in 1898 as an extended-stay housing option for visiting business executives from other cities, “The Esmond” also served as the ideal turn-of-the century “swanky” bachelor pad for single businessmen working in the hustle-bustle world that was Cleveland, Ohio in the early 1900’s.
The building was designed by architect John Eisenmann, who also co-designed with fellow architect, George H. Smith, the Cleveland Arcade. Eisenmann is also credited with designing the official flag of the State of Ohio that flies today in the buckeye state (and He was a graduate of the University of Michigan, of all things!)
Through the years The Esmond has continued to serve as a fashionable apartment building, and still offers extended-stay bed and breakfast suites to visitors to the city.
Photos taken October 31, 2014
“Begin the Beguine” – (Cole Porter) recorded by Frank Sinatra (1944)
From inside the Alcazar Hotel, at the corner of Surrey and Derbyshire Road, in Cleveland Heights–19 photos in black and white capturing some of the elaborate detail to this one time posh home to Cleveland’s upper crust and destination for visiting stars on tour. Cole Porter and George Gershwin– to name a couple. Built during the roaring 20’s, today the rooms and suites have mostly been converted into apartment and office dwellings, but the Alcazar still operates as a hotel. A place that you don’t have to try too hard to imagine the socialite parties that must have taken place here during the Hotel’s hey day during the 1920’s and 30’s.
Another photo of the exterior and more information about the building can be found in an entry I posted here early last year entitled, “Get Out of Town”, (without apology–another Cole Porter song!)
Photos taken August 15, 2014
“What Is and What Should Never Be” – Led Zeppelin (1969)
At 10660 Carnegie Avenue, in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood, the Tudor Arms Hotel building marks the sky with castle-like elegance, and has served the community in vastly different ways over the years of it’s existence.
The building opened it’s doors originally in 1933, as The Cleveland Club, an exclusive, members-only, place where Cleveland’s upper-crust met for lavish parties and other extracurricular activities.
The 12-story, Tudor Revival-style building was designed by American Civil War veteran, and MIT graduate, residential architect Frank B. Meade. Included amenities that attracted Cleveland area socialites to the Cleveland Club– a bowling alley, two swimming pools, a squash court, and two majestically detailed ballrooms.
A victim of the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the club eventually closed and The Tudor Arms Hotel took over the beautiful confines in 1939. During the 1940’s, the Tudor Arms Hotel became known for it’s dinner and jazz shows that filled it’s main ballroom– The Empress Room, on a nightly basis. The hotel offered 157 leaded-glass window, elegantly detailed suites. The hotel corridors lavished beautifully molded plaster and carved stone decor to the visiting guest’s experience.
Case Western Reserve University, eventually took over management of the Hotel as hotel business declined, and the building was slowly converted to a graduate student residence hall in the late 1950’s. By 1963, a total conversion had taken place. In later years, the building was leased to the federally funded Cleveland Job Corps.
Today, the building is home to DoubleTree by Hilton – The Tudor Arms Hotel, as well as two fine restaurants, and offers an exquisite over-night option for visitors to the nearby main campuses of the Cleveland Clinic, University Hospitals, and other institutions in walking distance around the University Circle area.
First 10 photos taken May 16, 2014
Bottom photo taken April 19, 2014
“Round and Round the Christmas Tree” – Bing Crosby (1945)
Christmas time inside the Gaylord Opryland Hotel
Photo taken December 9, 2003
“Fortress Around Your Heart” – STING (1985)
Two 9-story city buildings fused together in 1890… The Cleveland Arcade, built of grand Romanesque style architecture by the Detroit Bridge Company, is one of the few remaining arcades of its kind in the United States. The two buildings are joined together by a five-story arcade with a 300-foot glass skylight. With ornate entrances at both ends, the structure nestles between Euclid and Superior Avenues, in Downtown Cleveland. The elaborate project was financed by John D. Rockefeller, and several other wealthy Clevelanders. Today, the Victorian Age structure remains a vibrant reminder of Cleveland’s booming past–home to shops, restaurants, and a beautiful Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Photo taken November 5, 2013.
“All You Need is Love” – The Beatles (1967)
The entrance and box office area to the Mirage Hotel theater in Las Vegas, Nevada and the Cirque du Soleil show “LOVE”–the homage to the Beatles. My first time experiencing a Cirque show… it really was magic! And the remastered, reworked Beatles music was a phenomenal complement to the stunning acrobatics and pageantry of the stage performance.
Photo taken August 14, 2006
“…if your baby leaves you and you got a tale to tell… just take a walk down lonely street to heartbreak hotel…”
“Heartbreak Hotel” – Elvis Presley (1956)
The grand staircase of the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel in the Terminal Tower complex on Public Square. The 1,000-room “Hotel Cleveland” opened in 1918. Today, after a few owner and name changes along the way, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel has successfully retained it’s old elegance and charm, and offers 491 guest rooms and suites to Cleveland visitors. Another photo I took of the hotel can be found Here.
Photo taken April 12, 2012
“Get Out of Town” — (Cole Porter) recorded live by Anita O’Day (1963)
The Alcazar Hotel, located at 2450 Derbyshire Road in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, was built in 1923 as a 175-room “apartment-hotel.” Styled after the Hotel Ponce De Leon in St. Augustine, Florida, the Alcazar Hotel was noted for it’s Spanish-Moorish architecture type and for attracting such celebrity guests as Cole Porter, George Gershwin, Mary Martin, Bob Hope and Jack Benny. The building was entered into the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
Photo taken on December 13, 2012.
“C’est Si Bon” By Dean Martin
The Eiffel Tower Ride and Restaurant (on the 11th floor)
The Paris Las Vegas Hotel
Photo taken August 10, 2006
“Hotel California” – The Eagles (1976)
Photo taken October 26, 2001
On the banks of the Hillsborough River, the former Tampa Bay Hotel, has been a national gem since its opening in 1891. Built by Railroad Tycoon Henry B. Plant, the lavish structure, of Moorish architectural design, boasted 511 rooms and covered over 6 acres of land and over 150 acres of lush grounds for guests to enjoy.
In 1898, during the Spanish-American War, the United States Military used the hotel and it’s grounds as a base of operations. Teddy Roosevelt and his “Rough Riders” prepared for battle on these grounds, and Roosevelt took comfort in a luxury suite in the hotel, while enlisted men stayed in near-by tents. Years later, Hall of Fame baseball player Babe Ruth signed his first Major League contract at the hotel, surely, with a Tampa hand rolled “Optimo” Cigar (his favorite) clamped between his teeth!
Following depression era hard times, the hotel closed in 1930. In 1933, the Tampa Bay Junior College established residence in the old hotel and the school eventually grew in size and became known as The University of Tampa. Currently, “Plant Hall” as the treasured building is named today, houses University of Tampa administrative offices and student oriented areas, as well as the Henry B. Plant Museum.
The Tampa Life cigar box featured the Tampa Bay Hotel prominently on it’s inner label artwork, to attract customers during the time that the hotel was in operation.
One of Babe Ruth’s favorite cigar brands was OPTIMO, also hand rolled in Tampa, the cigar capital of the world at the time!
Inside the Opryland Hotel
2800 Opryland Dr.
Photo taken June 27, 2003
“Space Oddity” – David Bowie (1969)
High atop the 1,149-foot tall “Stratosphere” Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. A night-time shot of the “X-Scream” ride that jets passengers over the edge for a terrifying birds eye view of downtown Las Vegas!
Photo taken August 11, 2006.
“Theme from New York, New York” – Frank Sinatra (1979)
High atop the Flatotel at 135 West 52nd Street in Midtown Manhattan.
Photo taken July 2, 2005
A downtown Cleveland view from the Renaissance Hotel on Public Square. Key Tower stands prominently as the focal point through the window.
Photo taken April 12, 2012