Malley’s Chocolates has been a family-owned and operated Cleveland business since its inception in 1935. The mastermind behind this Cleveland business was Albert “Mike” Malley. Malley decided to create his own American dream in the midst of the…

In 1852, John Ball, a Lake Erie ship captain, his wife Harriet Blake Ball, and their eight children moved into a new, two-story brick house on the northwest corner of State (West 29th) Street and Franklin Avenue (Boulevard), in what was then the…

On a chilly evening in November 1923, hundreds of Clevelanders gathered for a tour of Fenway Hall, “Cleveland’s New Exclusive Apartment Hotel.” The delegation “inspected everything from the Florentine furniture in the lobby to the nutmeg grater in…

In the mid-afternoon hours of July 28, 1880, Col. John Dempsey, a banker from Shelby, Ohio, a small town in Richland County located about 80 miles southwest of Cleveland, appeared at a sheriff's sale being held on the south steps of the…

Kenyon V. Painter (1867 - 1940) grew up on the 25th block of Euclid Avenue. His father, John Vickers Painter, a wealthy banker, railroad man and associate of John D. Rockefeller, purchased 8.5 acres in Cleveland Heights and hired Frank Skeel to…

S.H. Kleinman Realty Treasurer Jay B. Goodman was not engaging in mere hyperbole when he stated that Carnegie Avenue was fast becoming Cleveland’s Fifth Avenue. In the decade of the 1920s, Carnegie Avenue was the place to be. Stretching eastward for…

Some classic restaurants bank on culinary excellence. Others feature great ambiance or perhaps famous clientele: celebrities, gangsters, politicians and so forth. However, the claim to fame for Kiefer’s – the venerable German eatery – might be the…

On June 11, 1928, the Cleveland Plain Dealer ran a front page article criticizing the decision of Cleveland City Council to abandon the proposed extension of Chester Avenue to University Circle just months after recent construction had made it a…

Born in 1874 in Yellow Springs, Ohio, to formerly enslaved parents who had migrated from eastern Kentucky after the Civil War, J. Walter Wills arrived in Cleveland in 1899 after graduating from Antioch College. He was among eighteen African American…

On the one hand, it was a bucolic, glass-walled, red-meat Mecca with unobstructed water and city views. On the other hand, both the Cuyahoga River and the City of Cleveland were increasingly dark, smelly and bereft of life. Moreover, travel to and…

In 1973, architectural critic Ada Louise Huxtable described "a huge, bleak, near empty plaza with a complete set of non-working fountains and drained pools, focusing on a routine glass tower by New York architects Harrison and Abramovitz, known to…

Two things about iconic hostelries. First, many had larger-than-life owners (consider Mushy Wexler’s Theatrical or Herman Pirchner’s Alpine Village). Second, their repute often was magnified by the renown of their customers (politicians, rock stars,…

The famous (and infamous) Theatrical Grill was a mainstay on the equally famous (and infamous) “Short Vincent” Avenue off East 9th Street in downtown Cleveland. In fact, the histories of the restaurant and the street are largely comingled,…

The S. S. Canadiana was originally built in 1910 to ferry passengers from Buffalo, New York to the Crystal Beach Amusement Park in Crystal Beach, Ontario. It made the circuit up to six times a day for over 40 years. However, by the 1950s revenue…

As World War I raged across battlefields in Europe, Adele von Ohl Parker, nationally known daredevil rider, waged a campaign in the United States for the creation of a mounted Red Cross to be composed entirely of upper-class horsewomen. Conscious…

Beginning in 1893, and for nearly 100 years hence, Otto Moser’s was East 4th Street’s hippest hole in the wall—a cramped see-and-be-seen hangout featuring heavy food, boundless booze, and walls dripping with celebrity photos and theatrical…

Literally and figuratively, Captain Frank’s covered the waterfront. On any given day, visitors to the East 9th St. Pier restaurant might be felled by wilting humidity or blistering wind. Once inside, they could order anything from hake to steak.…

After the Great Migration a new nationalist movement arose in African American communities across the U.S., with Marcus Garvey as its spearhead. Founded by Garvey in 1914, the Universal Negro Improvement Movement (UNIA) stressed black pride,…

Icabod Flewellen founded the first independent African American museum in the United States. In his home at 8716 Harkness Avenue, Flewellen chartered the Afro-American Historical and Cultural Society in 1953. His vision was the preservation and…

By the year 1956, the United States and the Soviet Union had been engaged with one another in the Cold War for almost a decade. Although there was no direct confrontation between the two world superpowers, the development of weapons and defense…

The Cinema Theater opened its doors to Euclid Avenue at East 17th Street on October 14, 1928. The movie house offered the “best of second-run pictures,” and audiences on that first night were shown “The Patent Leather Kid” starring Richard…

Parmatown was part of a national trend that emerged in the 1950s sparked by the father of shopping malls, Victor Gruen. Originally, like many malls of that time, Parmatown once looked more like it looks today as the new Shoppes at Parma before it…

It didn’t live long. Its street presence was minimal and its food unremarkable. Nonetheless, The Last Moving Picture Company deserves a place in the pantheon of Cleveland restaurants. Located at 1365 Euclid Avenue in Playhouse Square, “LMPC” was…

It is May 4, 1925. A great crowd of men, women, and children huddle together around the lanterns of their guides as they walk through a dark, stone hall beneath the earth. Somewhere under the arches, music begins to play as young men test their…

In 1923, the Air Service, a part of the U.S. Army, published and distributed a basic how-to manual on airport construction for America’s cities.  This publication, titled “Airways and Landing Fields,” contained information on the Model Airway…

National Basketball Association Hall of Fame inductee Larry Bird’s favorite place to play was one steeped in history, with hundreds of sporting events and concerts taking place within its confines each year. When Bird discusses his favorite place to…

Historic Bedford, located in downtown Bedford, Ohio, is a terrific example of the power of small-town preservation. Bedford, which has been around for more than 190 years, may be a small town, but it has connections to a big history. Indeed, much of…

"Everybody’s doing a brand new dance now; come on baby, do the locomotion!" Sound familiar? It’s the cover hit, "The Locomotion," by Grand Funk Railroad. The band recorded many hit records, as did many other bands during the 1960s and 1970s,…

The Van Dorn Iron Works Company was one of the leading companies in the iron industry and later plastic molding industry throughout the twentieth century. J. H. Van Dorn started his business in 1872 from the basement of his Akron home where he…

It’s a typical cold and drizzly evening in Cleveland, 1948. A young woman can be seen walking along the cracked asphalt. The buzzing light of the flickering neon sign ahead beckons her as the wafting sounds of snare drum riffs, husky baritone…