I would drive by this old terrace apartment complex all the time… “The Emrose” definitely had seen better days. In a troubled area on Cedar Avenue, in Cleveland’s east side Fairfax neighborhood, the Emrose is just one of too many structures that has fallen into disrepair and left for dead over the years. And for safety reasons, the buildings in this condition all eventually meet the same fate. After photographing the premises the first time, I happened back a few weeks later, and by chance caught the process of demolition. The Emrose was built in 1907.
A green field now, like so many green plots of land throughout the city, where structures from yesterday once stood.
The Emrose Terrace Apartments complex was designed by Architect Edward E. Smith.
Smith was born in Cleveland in 1869 and attended Central High School. After high school he learned the craft of design working as a draftsman under Architect Fenimore C. Bate until 1889. Like Mr. Bate, Edward E. Smith began designing apartment and terraces throughout the City of Cleveland.
Most of the over 50 buildings and homes that were designed by Smith have been demolished over the years. But a few still do exist.
(above) The “Lucretia” Terrace Apartments built in 1905 at 4301 Woodbine, in Cleveland’s Ohio City Neighborhood.
(above) A private residence at 10324 Lake Avenue, on the city’s northwest side designed by Smith and built in 1925.
(above) At the intersection of Central Avenue and East 73rd Street, an Edward E. Smith designed Terrace building built in 1904.
(above) A Smith designed apartment building built in 1908, at 11201 Hessler Road, near the campus of Case-Western Reserve University.
(above) Just one block north of where The Emrose once stood, the beautiful Monticello apartment building sits at 7102 Carnegie Avenue, built in 1899, and designed by Edward E. Smith.
Etched into the foundation stone of the Monticello: the building’s architect, Edward E. Smith.
“Everything Zen” – BUSH (1995)
Photo of Edward E. Smith from the March 1905 edition of “The Ohio Architect and Builder”
Other Photos taken:
August 5,6, 2015
September 28, 2015
September 30, 2015
October 2, 2015
February 2, 2016
August 2, 2016
September 15, 2016
“…all around the world, you’ve gotta spread the word… tell ’em what you’ve heard– you know it’s gonna be ok…”
“All Around The World” – Oasis (1997)
St. Ignatius High School on the left, and Trinity Lutheran Church to the right, on Lorain Avenue in Cleveland’s near-west side Ohio City neighborhood.
Photo taken June 16, 2016
Hanging-on by a thread on Cleveland’s Lexington Avenue– an old farmhouse built and lived-in in the mid to late 1850’s by accomplished shipbuilder, and land owner, Luther Moses. Moses was born in West Farmington, Ohio in 1811, moving with his 6 brothers and sisters to Cleveland when he was five years old.
The old house originally faced west toward then Willson Street (East 55th Street) but sometime after Luther Moses died in 1895, the house was converted to a Lexington Avenue address with adjustments made to the original right side of the house, rendering it the “new” front, facing south.
Moses owned significant land in the general vacinity, which was on the “outskirts” of Cleveland at the time the house was built. Eventually the land was parceled off with additional streets created. New houses were built– today one of these houses still sits on the lot to the left of the old Moses House, on what was once the front yard of the farmhouse facing Willson Street.
According to local historians, the Luther Moses House is estimated to have been built in 1854, shortly after Mr. Moses retired as a wealthy ship manufacturer. Cleveland librarian and historian, Christopher Busta-Peck, believes the house “… is of a finish quality unmatched in pre-Civil War construction in the city of Cleveland, east of the Cuyahoga River...”
The building is in rough shape today. In an inner city neighborhood that struggles against poverty, crime, and urban decay, the antebellum home seems bunkered down, patiently in waiting for a rebirth.
The interior of the structure has been stripped of almost everything that once made it a home. What does remain is much of the original woodwork, door and window framing, and two first floor fireplaces. There is evidence, as well, of redesign– both from when the “front” of the house changed from Willson Avenue/East 55th Street to it’s current Lexington Avenue front facing, as well as when, some time along the way, the structure was converted to a multi-unit dwelling. It was fascinating, if not a bit unsettling, to explore the cellar that Luther Moses must have utilized toward the end of his life. So many raw nooks and crannies that still exist in amongst the original disheveled stone foundation.
Almost unseen from today’s busy East 55th Street, the old Luther Moses farm house is another surviving urban historic relic, and official Cleveland Landmark that needs to be saved. From historical accounts, Luther Moses was a generous man with a big heart. He gave his wealth away during his lifetime, to those in need. I really do hope that his generosity can somehow be “paid forward” decades later, and the house at 5611 Lexington Avenue will be restored and preserved, for future generations.
“The Pretender“ – Jackson Browne (1976)
Photos taken on May 12, August 27, and September 17, 2015.
“Glory Days” – PULP (1998)
At 7630 Broadway Avenue, in a once prosperous neighborhood on Cleveland’s southeast side, the building pictured above was built in the late 1800’s with the promise of a new century before it. With commanding doric columns, and beautiful exterior complements, it was a notable piece to Cleveland’s South Broadway community.
The last photo in this set was taken in 1939 of the same building and vantage point, and is borrowed courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library Digital Gallery. The Amster-Kirtz Cigar Company, which was headquarterd here eventually relocated and today still exists in Ohio under the name The Amster-Kirtz Company and are regional wholesale distributors of candy, tobacco and groceries. The Erie Savings and Loan, which was incorporated at this location in 1923, and the Cleveland Liberty Bank, also former tenants (whose name plates still exist on the building today) are gone as well. Today the facilities are home to a second-hand furniture and appliance shop.
Top 9 photos taken June 22, 2015
“Through the streets, every corner abandoned too soon… set down with due care… don’t walk away in silence.. don’t walk away…”
“Atmosphere” – Joy Division (1980)
A bird’s eye-view of some of the historic, old homes on Cleveland’s East 89th Street. In the distance, the Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company’s Lakeshore Plant, and the fresh waters of Lake Erie.
Photo taken November 7, 2014