As Cleveland has grown and changed, we have had the misfortune of watching some of our favorite businesses and buildings disappear. Many even disappeared before our time, but they are preserved forever in photographs and mementos left behind by Clevelanders before us. While these landmarks might be gone, we certainly haven’t forgotten them! While we look toward the future with enthusiasm and excitement, our hearts are still full of pride and nostalgia for these places that enchanted Clevelanders in the past. Here are ten things you can no longer do in our beloved city:
1. Watch a game at League Park.
Also fondly remembered as Dunn Field, this former Cleveland stadium was opened in 1891 and was closed in 1946. The park was originally constructed for the Cleveland Spiders, but it also housed the Cleveland Buckeyes, the Cleveland Rams, and, eventually, the Cleveland Indians and the Cleveland Browns. Four games of the 1920 World Series was hosted and won here, and the Indians made baseball history here. Today, all that remains is the renovated ticket booth, now known as the
Baseball Heritage Museum
2. Enjoy the glittering waters of the Hanna Fountains.
In 1961, the Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund donated a whopping $2 million to add fountains and landscape the public space of The Mall. They would reach completion in 1964, and the public was enchanted. Purportedly, a nighttime visit to the Hanna Fountains was endlessly dreamy. Unfortunately, the fountains experienced countless problems, and soon its reflecting pool began to leak into the convention center. In 1987, they were drained. They would finally be removed in 1995, leaving behind only pictures and lingering memories.
3. Take a trip to the Cyclorama, formerly located in the Lennox Building at Euclid Avenue and Erie Street.
In the nineteenth century, cycloramas were a great source of entertainment. Visitors would stand in the center of a round room, surrounded by a panoramic painting. Lights would highlight important pieces of the scene as actors narrated a dramatic story. The first show at the Cleveland Cyclorama was "The Battle of Missionary Ridge and Lookout Mountain," unveiled when it opened in 1886. However, by 1895, the public had lost interest in this art form, and the building would next serve as a bicycle-riding school. It was eventually torn down in 1924.
4. Watch a show at the Orpheum Theater.
Originally opened as the Family Theater in 1907, this building was converted to a movie house in 1909. It was marketed as the Orpheum Theater in 1913, and it operated as such until it finally closed in 1929. The building eventually reopened as the Roxy Theater, a burlesque house, in 1931. It closed in 1977 and was eventually demolished.
5. Attend class at the Beehive School, 4345 Lee Road, Cleveland.
Imagine sitting in class in 1917. You are in a brand new school and urbanization is underway. Though your school serves a rather rural community, it will soon undergo tremendous change. Throughout its life, it served a rural community, and then an urban community, it observed the Cleveland Teachers Union walkout of 1979, and, for a short time, it served as an apartment building. It has since been demolished.
6. Sneak a peek at the Hollenden Hotel, formerly located at Superior Avenue and East 6th Street.
When this luxury hotel opened in 1885, it was a truly humbling experience for Clevelanders. Its grandeur was unmatched, and rumors tell of the redwood and mahogany fittings glimmer beneath stunning chandeliers dripping with crystal. It hosted celebrities and presidents, and even set the scene for a speech by then-U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy. One of the many unusual events that took place at the hotel was the kidnapping of an 8-year old in 1909. The kidnappers demanded a ransom of $10,000, and, once it was paid, the boy was released unharmed. The kidnappers were caught with nearly the entire sum of the money. In 1989, the building was demolished, taking with it memories of extravagance and drama.
7. Catch a Cleveland Falcons game at the Elysium, formerly found at East 107th Street and Euclid Avenue.
When it opened in 1907, the Elysium Arena was the largest indoor skating rink in the world. Locals flocked to this arena for skating lessons, as well as to watch figure-skating contests. As hockey rose in popularity, it would become home to the Cleveland Falcons, eventually renamed the Cleveland Barons. It would also serve as barracks for the Student Army Training Corps of Case Institute, a used car showroom, and a bowling alley. However, it eventually fell into disrepair and was demolished in 1951.
8. Relax at Euclid Beach Park.
Euclid Beach was a longtime favorite destination of locals. It opened in 1895, and eventually featured free admission circa 1901. Visitors enjoyed a carousel, roller coasters, and delicious popcorn, which amazingly still produces
today. The park closed in 1969, and today its arched main gate stands as a reminder of the amusement park.
9. Swoon over the beauty of Millionaires' Row.
Once upon a time, Euclid avenue housed some of the most powerful individuals in the country. Industrialists like John D. Rockefeller built extravagant homes along the stretch, the likes of which were unparalleled except in the wealthiest neighborhoods of Europe. The street was a hub of charitable endeavors and architectural wonders. However, commercialization claimed the city of Cleveland, and Millionaires' Row began to disappear. Pictured here is the Anthony Carlin House, formerly located at 3233 Euclid Avenue. It was the last private residence constructed in Millionaires' Row, but like its neighbors, it was razed to make room for industry in 1996.
10. Grab a miniature burger at Royal Castle.
Royal Castle was a hamburger chain that graced Florida, Georgia, Ohio, and Louisiana with its yumminess. Columbus native William Singer opened his first restaurant in Florida in 1938, and it was met with success. 175 locations stretched across those four states, and they initially sold hamburgers for 15 cents. Their food was "Fit for a king!", but they unfortunately closed down in 1975. One lone restaurant still exists, but unfortunately, it is located far outside of Ohio's borders.
For many of us, some of these Cleveland locations are naught but memories, faded like a letter that’s been read far too often. Other locations may have been acknowledged by our parents or grandparents, and some many absolutely surprise you. What is your favorite Cleveland memory? For more vintage Cleveland, check out these
photos from the 1970s.