On July 20, 1925, its formal opening was held. The Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BLE) Bank Building--known to us today as the Standard Building. That beautiful 21-story pale cream terra cotta building located on the southwest corner of…

What kind of pub gets shout-outs from national media ranging from Maxim and GQ to Huffington Post and Better Homes and Gardens? The answer is Prosperity Social Club—one of Tremont’s, and Cleveland’s, homiest and most storied spots for drinking…

In 1938, Ben Stefanski and his wife Gerome started Third Federal Savings and Loan, with the promise of helping those in the community achieve the dream of home ownership and financial security. In addition to offering mortgage loans, Third Federal…

Across the United States there are over twelve thousand bowling alleys in operation. Of these twelve thousand, the Bowling Proprietors Association of America recognizes only twelve registered alleys which still use manual pin setters to reset their…

The "Cathedral of Bakeries." That's how one incensed customer in a letter to the editor referred to Isabella Brothers Bakery in 1976, when a Plain Dealer writer failed to mention it in an article that purported to list the best bread bakeries in…

Cleveland is a city that was built upon the backs of industries and although it has come to be identified with burning rivers and unavailing sports franchises, the industrial culture of the region is what drove, and continues to drive, a significant…

Funeral homes are necessary to every functioning community, but they are generally not the sexiest and most popular businesses in town. Successful ones, however, provide more than just rudimentary mortuary services to their neighbors, and are…

In 1888, Charles Eisenman and Jacob Kastriner pooled their resources to create a company that would provide boys with quality shirts and washtogs. The company was originally named the Kastriner and Eisenmann company but underwent a number of name…

One could easily mistake the recent proliferation of microbreweries and brew pubs springing up on what often seem to be every other block in Cleveland as a modern and unique phenomenon. All of this has occurred here before, however, and with even…

Some masters of craft may work in paints, and others, wood. Frank Azman III, however, works in meats and has been doing so for the past four decades. An afternoon spent in Azman & Sons Market over a sausage sandwich reveals in one bite why the shop…

Imagine leaving work in downtown Cleveland on a cold, early winter evening in 1887. Though that winter would go on record as one of the warmest in Cleveland’s history, and it was in the upper 60’s just days before, November 29th was a bitterly…

The Richman Brothers Company was originally founded by Jewish-Bavarian immigrant Henry Richman Sr. and his brother-in-law and business partner Joseph Lehman in Portsmouth, Ohio, in 1853. In an effort to become closer to a bustling city, both to…

The sweet smell of retail success was in the air in the early 1870s due to the example set by William Taylor and Thomas Kilpatrick. Their success prompted Lewis A. Bailey, Colonel Louis Black, and Charles K. Sunshine to combine their financial…

Before Hot Sauce Williams and Beckham's B&M Bar-B-Que ruled the east side, Scatter's Barbecue was Glenville's home for ribs, shoulder sandwiches, fries soaked in Scatter's notable barbecue sauce. Herman "Scatter" Stephens, born in Birmingham, Alabama…

It's 1840 and you're traveling from Detroit to Buffalo on business. The fastest route would be by boat, straight across Lake Erie from west to east, but it's November and this shallowest of the Great Lakes is notoriously treacherous this time of the…

According to one website, it is one of Cleveland's most popular places for urban exploring. In a building where world wars were once won, young people now creep through dark hallways, clamber up rusted metal stairways, and walk carefully through…

Well into the 20th century, waves of immigrants swelled Cleveland's ranks. Among them was a Greek native by the name of Chris Mitchell. Rather than contenting himself with a factory job, however, Mitchell tried his hand in business. Unfortunately, it…

The house at 7200 Detroit Avenue,which today is the Craciun-Berry Funeral Home, had an unusual beginning and an unusual end for the family which first owned and occupied it. Legend has it that, in 1888, the house was given as a wedding present to…

Imagine walking into this building located on Cleveland State University's campus near East 24th Street and Chester Avenue, and negotiating with a salesman to buy a Buick! Before it saw institutional use, this building constructed in 1924 was the…

The Cleveland Municipal Light Plant was the product of Mayor Tom L. Johnson's vision for a city that owned or controlled all of its own public utilities and public transportation companies. Mayor Johnson's campaign for municipal ownership was…

Shaped like an "E" opening onto Superior Avenue, the 1,000-room Hotel Cleveland was built in 1918 by the Van Sweringen brothers on the corner of Superior and Public Square. The hotel was built before the construction of the adjacent Terminal Tower…

Near the northern edge of Coventry Village, surrounded by vintage, hip clothing stores, stands one of Cleveland Heights' oldest businesses. Operated by Tom and Andy Gathy, a father-son team, Heights Hardware is in some ways timeless: Oak cabinets,…

The Zitiello Bank, located at 6810 Herman Avenue, was the earliest known ethnic bank opened in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. The bank was founded by Joseph Zitiello, an immigrant from the Campania region of Italy who came to Cleveland in…

The opening of the CoventrYard Mall in 1977 signaled a new era for the Coventry business district in Cleveland Heights. Controversy over the actions and intentions of real estate developer Lewis A. Zipkin sparked a public discussion about the impact…

Operated by brothers Maxwell and Roman Gruber between 1947 and 1959, Gruber's Restaurant was one of the most popular establishment for fine dining in Northeast Ohio and acted as a social center for the affluent residential community of Shaker…

Royalton Township was founded in 1818. It was not much different than any of the other Western Reserve townships, as it was primarily a community based on general family farming. With the exception of a smith shop, a boarding house, and a sawmill,…

The history of the Taylor Building highlights the rise and fall of Cleveland's downtown department stores as well as the recent revitalization of Euclid Avenue. It was part of the wave of department store closings that signaled the beginning of…

Opened in 2008, Stone Mad Pub is the latest in a long tradition of saloons and bars located at 1306 West 65th Street. The history of the building speaks to the importance of these establishments within a community, and reflects the changes that the…

At 35 years old, Orville A. Dean first started selling milk to friends and acquaintances. In 1886, he built a large farmhouse on Mayfield Road, which served as his family home and the office for the OA Dean Dairy Company for seventy-one years. In the…

Founded in 1892 as the Cleveland General Electric Co. by Charles F. Brush, C.E.I. adopted its current name just two years later, and headquartered its corporate offices within the Cuyahoga Building on Public Square. C.E.I.'s stint in the Cuyahoga…