Cleveland April 28, 2019
Most People Don’t Know The History Behind These 7 Famous Cleveland Streets
Ever heard of The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World? You certainly have… these fabled destinations have long histories that nearly everybody knows. However, modern engineering can be just as fascinating, and each city has streets that are lined with fascinating edifices and stories. Despite this, many locals do not know their respective histories. Today, we’re going to look into the past of seven Cleveland streets deserving of recognition.
1. Euclid Avenue
This engraving depicts The Euclid Avenue Carriage Manufacturing Company as it appeared in 1876. Euclid Avenue was well know from around 1860 to the 1920s for its tremendous collection of wealth, which was most prominently displayed in the iconic Millionaires' Row. While famous Clevelanders like John D. Rockefeller, Marcus Hanna, and Jeptha Wade once called this street home, its oldest and most famous home in this modern age is the Dunham Tavern Museum.
2. Broadway Avenue
Pictured here is the Cleveland skyline as it would have appeared circa 1914. Today this street is most famous for the Broadway Avenue Historic District, a stretch that includes several incredible edifices from 1888 through 1930. This historic area was heavily populated by Czech immigrants, but one of its earliest settlers was a man by the name of Youngs L. Morgan, Sr. that purchased his plot of property from the Connecticut Land Company. Interestingly, Broadway Avenue hosted the earliest Cuyahoga County Fairs in the 1850s.
3. Superior Avenue
This enchanting old school post card depicts Superior Avenue in the warm hues of the early 1900s. The street, as you've doubtlessly noticed in its modern layout, crosses through Public Square and connects the east and west sides of the city. Superior was once known as the "street of churches," as it hosted some of Cleveland's earliest places of worship.One such church, the Superior Ave. Baptist Church, constructed a stone church on the street in 1892 only to see it destroyed by a lightning strike less than a decade later.
3. St. Clair Avenue
St. Clair Avenue was, once upon a time, rather rural... until, of course, the boom of industry that popped up along the nearby the railroad tracks. Slovenian immigrants, hungry for work, fled the area and immersed it in their culture. As a result, an old fashioned craft beer scene emerged in what is now the St. Clair–Superior neighborhood, earning it a reputation as a brewery mecca. Perhaps this culture necessitated the the Women's Christian Association's reformatory (pictured), as it housed women tainted by a life of degradation.
5. Ontario Street
The Roaring Twenties was an era of great vibrancy in Downtown Cleveland. Pictured here are businesses like the local "painless dentist" (come on, 1920s dentists, you think we're wet behind the ears?!), bakeries, and even a clothing store. Today, Ontario Street is famously known as the heart of AsiaTown. The 1940s brought an increase of Chinese immigration to the United States, but the earliest Chinese immigrants arrived in Cleveland in the mid-nineteenth century.
6. Chester Avenue
Today, Chester Avenue is just as heavily trafficked as it was in 1950. Chester Avenue bounds the southern border of the Wade Park District. Jeptha Wade gathered his fortune in the telegraph industry, and he dispersed it throughout Cleveland to build a legacy of fostering and advancing culture.
7. East 4th Street
Today, East 4th Street is a fascinating hub of culture, music, and food. This legacy, however, is nothing new. This street was Cleveland's original theater district, and it hosted the Euclid Avenue Opera House. This performing arts center burned in 1920, and surrounding buildings soon fell into disrepair and were in danger of collapse. For the last two decades or so, however, this street has returned to its roots and found new life as a tourist attraction.
These streets look totally different today. Do you recognize any of the buildings in these pictures?
Are you a lover of local history? Just wait until you
dive into a dozen historical photos of old Cleveland.