Filed Under Architecture

Schofield Building

Recovering the Original Façade

Who would have guessed that underneath an ugly, polished granite exterior was a beautiful Victorian style building designed by Levi Schofield?

For 30 years the beautiful red brick and terra cotta Schofield Building lay hidden underneath under a gray sequoia granite façade. In an effort to modernize the Schofield Building, part of Cleveland’s history had been buried. Luckily, historic preservation brought the original beauty of the Schofield Building back to Cleveland.

From the very beginning, the construction of the Schofield Building was wrought with impediments. Levi Schofield designed the Schofield Building to be built on the site of Schofield family residence located on East Ninth Street and Euclid Avenue. In August of 1900, Levi Schofield’s sister Mary E. Field objected to the use of the deeds belonging to property, claiming that the Schofield Building Co. was using the deeds without her authority. The common pleas court case had little effect on the construction as Schofield’s plan to build a fourteen story office building on the property attracted the attention of several banking and trust firms.

The construction of the Schofield Building began in April of 1901. On April 16th a laborer on the Schofield construction site named William O’Neal was badly injured when he fell from the first story and was buried under the debris of a toppled wall. Schofield was arrested on September 16, 1901 for violating the building ordinance by not providing temporary floors in the Schofield Building during construction. Schofield informed the Plain Dealer that he was humiliated by the police who treated him as if he were a “common pickpocket” and a “rogue.” Schofield explained that it was not his responsibility to put the temporary floors into the Schofield Building, but that of Building Inspector Harks. During Schofield’s September 27th trial, Inspector Harks testified that the Schofield Building was ready to install temporary floors, but Schofield refused to install them because they would be in the way. Schofield testified that the building was not ready for the temporary floors, and it would be dangerous to install them. Schofield was acquitted when Judge Woolf dismissed the case due to insufficient evidence.

In October of 1901, another man fell from the Schofield Building. Inspector Harks attempted to obtain another warrant for Schofield’s arrest. Mayor Tom L. Johnson advised Police Director Dunn not to serve the warrant. Mayor Johnson threatened to revoke Harks’ building inspector certification and insisted that Harks have the contractor arrested instead of Schofield. Regardless of warrants, the unsafe conditions continued on the Schofield Building construction site. Another incident occurred on October 29th when a lumber derrick broke two stories up, sending lumber crashing to the ground. Luckily there were no workmen directly under the derrick and there were no injuries.

As the 429-room, fourteen story Schofield Building neared completion in 1902, its red-brick masonry and terra cotta moldings covered its steel skeleton, also consigning to fading memory the tumultuousness of its construction. In 1969, another layer then consigned even the building itself to fading memory as the Nelson Façade Company put new facing on the upper floors made of fiberglass panels and metal trim. When the Citizens Federal Savings & Loan Association became the new owners in 1980, they began to renovate the Schofield Building. The new design by Hoag-Wismar Partnership’s architect Raymond S. Febo intended to blend the Schofield Building into the architectural landscape of the area. Febo chose a polished gray sequoia granite to complement the three surrounding banking institutions. The lower-level columns of the Schofield Building were sheathed by the granite and panoramic windows were installed. The result was a building that not only lost its original appearance but also its very name: The Schofield Building was now Euclid-Ninth Tower!

A historic restoration of the Schofield Building was promised in 2009. The metal façade was removed to investigate the brickwork and terra cotta underneath. The remaining historic material qualified the Schofield Building for federal and state tax credits, but the recession kept the renovation from going forward. The Schofield Building sat windowless and surrounded by scaffolding for three years.

The Schofield Building has proven to be an adaptable home to many Cleveland businesses and professionals. Some tenants of the Schofield Building include manufacturing companies, advertising firms, printing companies, investment security companies, brokers, lawyers, bankers, treasurers, engineers, stenographers, and tailors. The Schofield building was also home to Cleveland's first gay-friendly bar, the Cadillac Lounge. The Cadillac Lounge was a small piano bar in business from 1946 to the 1960s.

J. B. Robinson Co., Inc. was a wholesale diamond operation located on the 8th floor of the Schofield Building. It was founded in 1946 by Joseph B. Robinson and became one of the largest jewelers in the country. Robinson's son, Lawrence, changed the company to a retail jewelry firm, and became the "Diamond Man" spokesman for the company in the 1960s. Currently, the Schofield Building has transformed into a four-star boutique hotel.

In 2013 Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants promised to turn the Schofield Building into a 122 room hotel below 52 luxury apartments. The brick and terra cotta of the exterior along with the decorative cornices and Corinthian columns were repaired or recreated. The interior was completely rebuilt, only the original marble and iron staircase remain imprinted with an “S” for “Schofield.” The Kimpton Schofield Hotel opened in March of 2016, decorated with artwork that reflects Cleveland’s industrial roots. The Schofield Building celebrates over a hundred years of Cleveland’s local history, highlighting the importance of historical preservation.


The Kimpton-Schofield Hotel
The Kimpton-Schofield Hotel The beautifully restored Schofield Building, bought by Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant, now contains 122 rooms below 52 luxury apartments. Creator: Madeline Holye Date: September 10, 2017
Early Rendering of Schofield Building
Early Rendering of Schofield Building This vintage postcard view shows the removed cupola. The depiction appears to be from the early 1900s, judging by both the horse-drawn carriages and the streetcars. Source:
Schofield Building and Citizens Building
Schofield Building and Citizens Building A view of East 9th and Euclid Avenue. Visible on the first floor of the Schofield Building is The Standard Drug Company and the United Cigar Store. Source: Cleveland Public Library, Photograph Collection Date: 1910
Removing the Facade
Removing the Facade The scaffolding around the Schofield Building remained in place for three years, waiting patiently for restoration. Source: Flickr Creator: Ohio Redevelopment Project - ODSA Date: August 21, 2009
Schematic of the restored Schofield Building
Schematic of the restored Schofield Building This schematic was designed to plan the restoration of the Schofield Building. Source: Creator: Ohio Redevelopment Project - ODSA
The Damage Underneath
The Damage Underneath Historical preservation was necessary to restore the original terra cotta that was underneath the concrete facade on the Schofield Building. Source: Flickr Creator: Ohio Redevelopment Project - ODSA Date: August 28, 2009
The  Kimpton-Schofield Entrance
The  Kimpton-Schofield Entrance The current entrance to the Kimpton-Schofield Hotel off of Euclid Avenue. Source: Flickr Creator: Ohio Redevelopment Project - ODSA Date: February 26, 2016
The 'S' in Schofield
The 'S' in Schofield The original molding on the staircases featuring the 'S' in Schofiled are still in the building today. Source: Flickr Creator: Ohio Redevelopment Project - ODSA Date: February 26, 2016
The Schofield Building Today
The Schofield Building Today Observing a building like this is easy in person. But, if a building is too tall, too wide, or too close for a photograph to be taken of an entire building, photographers must make artistic decisions on how to distort their images to appear pleasing to the viewer. Madeline Hoyle created this image by stitching together dozens of separate photographs taken at different angles from a single point in space, by panning and tilting the camera in a spherical manner. The photograph was then manually warped to appear less distorted to the viewer, due to the perspective distortion introduced by the close proximity between the photographer and the building. Creator: Madeline Hoyle Date: September 10, 2017
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument
The Soldiers and Sailors Monument Depicted on the side of the Schofield building is another design of Levi T. Schofield: The Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The monument was built to honor the 10,000 Cuyahoga county residents who fought in the Civil War and was dedicated on August 25, 1891. Creator: Madeline Hoyle Date: September 10, 2017
"Schofield" in Terra Cotta
"Schofield" in Terra Cotta There's no mistaking this building! The Schofield building advertises its namesake between the windows along East 9th Street. Creator: Madeline Hoyle Date: September 10, 2017


2000 E 9th St, Cleveland, OH 44115


Natalie Neale, “Schofield Building,” Cleveland Historical, accessed June 15, 2024,