Cuyahoga County was established in 1807—eleven years after “Cleaveland” became a city and four years after Ohio became a state. For the next century, multiple structures provided judicial services for the county. Initially, court was held in…

On August 13, 1970, the Cleveland Plain Dealer provided a chilling exposé on Cleveland's deteriorating air quality. The article ruthlessly reported, "To the casual observer – the stranger to the neighborhood – it was alarming; the odor stuck in…

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…

The Cleveland Public Library comprises one of the largest collections in the United States: nearly ten million items. The Library’s two buildings on Superior Avenue (the main structure, 1925) and the Stokes Wing (1997) command an entire city block…

The East Woodland urban renewal project was proposed in the late 1950s, though it was officially approved in 1960. The area between East 79th Street, East 71st Street, the Nickel Plate Road, Platt Avenue, and the Pennsylvania Railroad was in a sorry…

Soaring above a surfeit of drugstores, convenient marts and fast-food eateries a bell tower stands. The tower looms above the modern conveniences on Euclid Avenue, as testament to a different time. The tower once belonged to the parish of St. Agnes,…

In the wake of the Civil Rights movement, the Hough Riots broke out in Cleveland in 1966, bringing attention to the predominantly African American community’s need for change. Growing racial tension between blacks and whites crippled Hough, like…

In 1921, Harvard University's Dean Roscoe Pound and Professor Felix Frankfurter--a future United States Supreme Court Justice--issued a report containing a scathing indictment on the condition of criminal justice in Cleveland, particularly in…

The rich tradition of scholastic football in the Cleveland area dates back to the beginnings of American football in the United States. At the collegiate level, the game first emerged among East Coast schools as a variation of the English Rugby Code…

From 1937 to 1945, Cleveland Municipal Stadium—now the site of FirstEnergy Stadium—was home to the Cleveland Rams for 20 of their 35 National Football League home games in Cleveland, including their triumph in the 1945 NFL championship game as…

The mid- to late 1960s were a very turbulent time of demonstrations and uprisings in scores of major American cities. One such riot erupted in July 1966 in Hough, a troubled inner-city neighborhood on Cleveland’s East Side. In the year before the…

For the hard-core unemployed in Cleveland’s Gladstone neighborhood, the Woodland Job Training Center represented a way out; a way out of poverty and unemployment, a way to a better future. When the Center opened in 1968, it was part of…

The vacant lot at 8127 Superior Avenue N.E. sits quietly in the midst of an East Side neighborhood that has seen a great deal of upheaval and civic unrest. In the late sixties, the lot was the home of the Afro Set Black Nationalist Party for Self…

To answer the need of the expanding Catholic population, Bishop Ignatius F. Horstmann, the bishop of Cleveland, appointed Reverend Thomas F. Mahon as pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish on June 26, 1898. In 1905, construction finished on the grand…

On April 6, 1953, Dr. John Bruere, pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church, mentioned that a "certain colored woman has been attending our services frequently of late." The appearance of an African American woman in the church's congregation "raised in…

In 1991 a derailed construction project had left an abundance of weeds and hills of mounded dirt in the vacant 19.3-acre lot that stretched from East 79th to East 84th Street between Euclid and Chester Avenues. The project to build a shopping center…

There was a time when there were no public high schools west of the Allegheny Mountains. When children living in the Midwest could only obtain a college preparatory education by attending private academies, the tuition for which only wealthy parents…

Like so many parts of the city and the nation, Clark Field was once a farm—a swampy but arable plot stretching from Auburn Avenue to the Cuyahoga River. In the late 1940s, the city of Cleveland bought 67 acres of the farm to use as a recreation…

In 1910, Daniel Rhodes Hanna, a wealthy industrialist and son of legendary political kingmaker Marcus Hanna, bought the Cleveland Leader, an historic, but struggling, daily newspaper. The Leader's offices were at the time located in a small two-story…

The mid-1800s were a busy time for the near east side Catholic residents of Cleveland along the Superior Avenue corridor. The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist was dedicated upon completion in 1852 and also housed a school on its grounds. Within a…

As the Ohio-Erie Canal, built between 1828 and 1832, was nearing completion, many in Cleveland caught "canal fever" and began to believe that their town was so strategically situated on the Great Lakes and along the new canal that it was destined to…

It’s 1956 and you’re a Clevelander looking for something to do. Maybe you should “make plans to come aboard the magnificent Aquarama for a memorable cruise,” as an early ad urges. Or perhaps it’s 1958 and “you are looking for an…

Josiah Barber might have never set foot in Ohio if his first wife, Abigail Gilbert, hadn't died in 1797, leaving him with a young daughter to raise. In 1802, he married Sophia Lord of East Haddam, Connecticut, and, in doing so, became a member of…

Many would argue that the heart of Cleveland's historic Polish community lies at St. Stanislaus Church and in Slavic Village on the southeast side of the city. But there is so much more to Cleveland's Polish community than this one church and that…

It was not the first Sidaway Bridge. That one–the longest wooden bridge in Cleveland history–was a massive trestle bridge that stretched 675 feet across and 80 feet above the Kingsbury Run, connecting the Jackowo Polish neighborhood on the…

The southeast anchor of Cleveland’s most prominent downtown intersection is a work of art that—in the true spirit of capitalism—began with a competition. In 1903, the Cleveland Trust Company (established in 1894 with $500,000 in capital) merged…

Amadeus Rappe was Cleveland's first Roman Catholic Bishop. He was born and ordained in France during the first half of the nineteenth century and recruited to serve in the United States in 1840 by Cincinnati, Ohio, Bishop John Purcell. He led the St.…

Victoria and Michael Sokolowski opened Sokolowski’s University Inn in 1923 as a tavern at the corner of University Road and West 13th Street. Today it is still run by the same family: grandchildren Mike, Mary and Bernie Sokolowski. It still serves…

The Episcopal congregation of St. Paul's in Cleveland made its third stop on its eastbound journey at the southeast corner of Case Avenue (East 40th Street) and Euclid Avenue in 1876. Founded in 1846 at the American House Hotel at Superior Avenue and…

For decades, visitors to Tremont have wondered about the three magnificent, but sadly dilapidated, mansions they encounter when exiting Interstate 90 at Abbey Avenue and West 14th Street. What are (or were) these structures? Why have buildings in…