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Cleveland: Historic Photos

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Worth staring at and studying. This is what the nation's 6th largest city looks like in about 1935. But it would be another 23 years before another building taller than 6 stories would be built downtown.....

 

BsyqvjqCQAAI5hu.jpg:large


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Worth staring at and studying. This is what the nation's 6th largest city looks like in about 1935. But it would be another 23 years before another building taller than 6 stories would be built downtown.....

 

The density is impressive, though the picture makes the city seem as if the air was so polluted but I wouldn't be surprised due to the lack of air quality standards back then. Also was the building that was built 23 years later the East Ohio Gas Building/The Residences at 1717?

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The density is impressive, though the picture makes the city seem as if the air was so polluted but I wouldn't be surprised due to the lack of air quality standards back then. Also was the building that was built 23 years later the East Ohio Gas Building/The Residences at 1717?

 

Yes, incredibly polluted. Residents living in the city woke up each morning with a bad taste in the back of their mouths and in their throats. They had chronic breathing problems and many died of lung-related ailments. There was a recent article about Shaker Heights that told why deman for living in The Heights became so popular as the 20th century began.

 

The building that broke the dry spell of downtown construction was the Illuminating Company headquarters, now 55 Public Square, which opened in 1958. It preceded the completion of the East Ohio Gas building by only one year. So good guess!


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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East 4th Street ‏@e4thst  Aug 17

Did you know? East 4th was originally a narrow street with elm trees and houses of the New York apartment style.

BvPwLvXIQAAo25b.jpg:large


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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W28th where did find that last picture of a late-1960s New York Central RR 'Chicagoan' passing the West 25th CTS Rapid station? And do you have a larger, higher-res version of it?

 

BTW, that same train was photographed a lot in the late 1960s-early 1970s when it became apparent that Cleveland Union Terminal's days as a railroad station were numbered. The westbound Chicagoan (Train #63) was one of the few daytime New York Central passenger trains remaining in those final years, so it was often photographed:

 

pc4068js.jpg

 

New York Central RR Chicago-New York City/Boston train schedules from 1965, after major cutbacks in service with more to come

(How to read: read down as that is the direction of travel; each column of times is a train and each time says when that train is scheduled to serve the station shown for that row):

 

WESTBOUND LARGE: https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3863/15093755942_aa2b70d82c_b.jpg

14907536417_343aac6eb7_b.jpg

 

EASTBOUND LARGE: https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5583/14907536128_b68b3d3228_b.jpg

15093757072_62027a5b42_b.jpg

 

In happier times (before 1954) when the passenger trains were pulled by electric locomotives in and out of Cleveland Union Terminal:

 

14907634380_a2114ea33a_b.jpg

 

15094296485_cb2555dff3_b.jpg

 

14907710567_32442865a8_b.jpg

 

 


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Thanks!


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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That last photo looks like the Terminal Tower is flying the Japanese flag.

 

It does. Since that pic was shot in 1930, it's pretty unlikely -- unless it was part of an attempt to reverse declining relations with Japan!


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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In 1960 Architect I. M. Pei authored a master plan which featured groups of low-rise buildings contrasted with taller towers. Erieview Tower was to serve as the hub of the project and was to feature a plaza and reflecting pool in the area stretching from the tower west to East 9th Street.

 

And although not a vintage photo, here is a piece from the NewYorkTimes circa 1987 about Cleveland's downtown boom. It is interesting comparing the numbers and the quotes with today as you read it.

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/11/15/realestate/focus-cleveland-downtown-making-a-comeback.html

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In 1960 Architect I. M. Pei authored a master plan which featured groups of low-rise buildings contrasted with taller towers. Erieview Tower was to serve as the hub of the project and was to feature a plaza and reflecting pool in the area stretching from the tower west to East 9th Street.

 

And although not a vintage photo, here is a piece from the NewYorkTimes circa 1987 about Cleveland's downtown boom. It is interesting comparing the numbers and the quotes with today as you read it.

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/11/15/realestate/focus-cleveland-downtown-making-a-comeback.html

 

I.M. Pei still gets work after designs like this?? 

 

The ny times article is interesting - the title and claims of boom and rebirth, amount to hyperbole for the most part.  I think this kind of stuff gets repeated so much that people start to believe it.  People still think Voinovich was some kind of savior that "turned around" Cleveland.  The part of the article that rings true in retrospect is the counter point

 

'In fact, some urban experts here argue there has been little real growth but rather a shift from the older buildings to the new. There is concern that overbuilding on the edges of downtown will leave a vacant core area.

 

''Our market is not growing,'' said Norman Krumholz, a former city planning director and now an urban affairs specialist at Cleveland State University. ''The big users just want this year's location.'''

 

The BP building which the NY Times article points at as being part of the downtown rebirth now sits mainly vacant - as can be seen in this 2011 video at the 8 minute mark on urban decline - focused on Cleveland:

http://youtu.be/KpWS4_YtkUg

 

The BP building is no longer the new/desired place to setup office evidently.  Maybe Wolsteins new Ernst & Young tower is the new BP building?

 

It's evident to me that political leaders nor the big money powers in Cleveland really have had a plan on stemming urban decline.  As can be seen at the 11 minute mark - city officials responded to the flight to the suburbs with plans to wholesale tear down of vacant buildings in order to create parking.  Ostensibly this was done in an attempt to compete with retail suburban Malls with huge parking lots.  Cleveland is not alone here - this template played out in many industrial Midwest cities across the country.  Sad.  The medicine was to tear down downtown to save downtown.  I think tearing down buildings is and has been an easy way to show "progress" during any given politicians tenure.  Any plan that could of stemmed urban decline would of been a long term 10-20 yr plan which I just don't think our political system at the local level is capable of. 

 

And let's not forget what the BP building replaced - with Voinovich's blessing, and to the cheers of the public who viewed this as progress.  I guess when the media is telling you this is progress, the politicians are saying this is progress, it just becomes conventional wisdom to talk about this as "progress"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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greyrat[/member], I realize this thread is about Cleveland history, but I didn't realize it was possible to write something while still in the past and post in the future -- like 2014??

 

The former BP building is about 84% full (http://www.crainscleveland.com/article/20130630/FREE/307019979/200-public-square-to-undergo-westlake-reed-atrium-makeover)

 

And in case you haven't heard (and judging by your posting you haven't!), population downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods have grown faster than the suburbs (http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/04/clevelands_inner_city_is_gorn.html)

 

It is true that some office users have left downtown for the suburbs -- but that has been offset by the square footage of office users relocating from the suburbs to downtown. (http://www.cleveland.com/business/index.ssf/2012/05/post_100.html)

 

Everyone here knows what a history buff I am, but you can't change history. You can only change the future and there's a lot to look forward to. So please join us here in 2014 and enjoy the ride!


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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In the video - which is recent, they show a security guard going from vacant floor to vacant floor of the BP building.  I guess it was implied that the building was vacant.  Certainly looked like it.

 

I'm not looking to change history.  If the BP building has little to no vacancy - then I'm wrong and was making an assumption based on the Urban decline video.

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I have never heard a local politician claim tearing down buildings was a measure of progress.  Tearing down buildings in the CBD in the 70s & 80s was an unfortunate and hasty way to free up parking and get rid of blight.  It would have been much better to restore than destroy but given that the private office market was interested in sprawl and the residential use of the CBD was an alien concept at

that point...there wasn't really an answer to the vacancy in the center city.  Also, given the disintest by the private market of "saving" the CBD at that time what would this long term government plan you speak of have looked like?

 

Also, the shift of office use from old buildings to new has proven to be a huge blessing!  This has allowed massive, outdated office building that qualify for historic tax credits to be repurposed for apartments...at a project cost lower than new construction.  The decline of our center city indeed.

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Watch the video(or not).  It's not a hatchet job on Cleveland though.  For nothing else it has some interesting video of the city that you may not have seen.  I think many northern industrial cities in the 60's and 70's and even 80's were feeling pressure to "do something" to revitalize their city cores - and the issues facing these cities were not simple issues.  Almost a perfect storm of loss of manufacturing jobs, urban renewal planning, racial issues.  One thing that I get out of the "Making Sense of Place - Cleveland: Confronting Decline in an American City" video - that I believe in, is that it's the smaller local grass roots groups and entrepreneurs that have a lasting positive impact on the city and it's landscape as opposed to the big ticket plans, with big ticket money and big ticket backing.

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In 1960 Architect I. M. Pei authored a master plan which featured groups of low-rise buildings contrasted with taller towers. Erieview Tower was to serve as the hub of the project and was to feature a plaza and reflecting pool in the area stretching from the tower west to East 9th Street.

 

And although not a vintage photo, here is a piece from the NewYorkTimes circa 1987 about Cleveland's downtown boom. It is interesting comparing the numbers and the quotes with today as you read it.

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/11/15/realestate/focus-cleveland-downtown-making-a-comeback.html

 

That is a very interesting article, good find!  You can almost remove the dates and switch around a few names and be fooled that it is a recent article.  The office market shifting to new updated buildings, the city not being dead after work, the life that is in playhouse square, millions of dollars of public investment, and even Trammell Crow was mentioned!  Very ironic.  I have been recently pondering the idea of market cycles and wondering if the residential resurgence downtown is a generational thing and if it will reverse once again toward the suburbs.  All things do come and go in cycles so it may be a matter of time but lets hope that we continue the momentum downtown!!!

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^The BP building "sits mainly vacate"....where the hell did you get that from?

 

That was my first reaction.  Isn't it at least 80%, with lots of Huntington offices?

 

One of the more confusing things about downtown Cleveland to an outsider can be that one of the three most prominent buildings has a "Huntington" sign, but the Huntington Building is something else entirely.

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''Our market is not growing,'' said Norman Krumholz, a former city planning director and now an urban affairs specialist at Cleveland State University. ''The big users just want this year's location.'''

 

 

This is the guy who led the charge to convert the newly merged RTA from a pretty comprehensive transit system into a social program on wheels.  He can be called the Paul Ehrlich of NE Ohio, or Roldo Bartimole with a degree.

 

Take his views with a grain of salt.

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Yes Norman is one of the great minds in planning who I had the pleasure of being acquainted with. He contributed some wonderful theory to planning with his ideas on Equity Planning and was Planning Director in the 70s and early 80s involved in saving Cleveland Public Power, turning Cleveland Lakefront Park over to the State Park System, trying to mandate a fair share of affordable housing across the county. He believed in preferential treatment for the City's poor and disadvantaged which explains his hesitance for big business subsidy and investment without direct benefits to the poor. I certainly don't agree with all his viewpoints, but his ideas are worth reading and he has had a large impact on Cleveland.

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In the video - which is recent, they show a security guard going from vacant floor to vacant floor of the BP building.  I guess it was implied that the building was vacant.  Certainly looked like it.

 

I'm not looking to change history.  If the BP building has little to no vacancy - then I'm wrong and was making an assumption based on the Urban decline video.

 

At the rate of accelerating change and improvement downtown these days, if a piece of information is more than six months old, it is no longer recent. That's no exaggeration.

 

Consider All Aboard Ohio's inventory of development projects carrying a value of $10 million or more completed or announced since 2012 that are within 2,000 feet of a rail/bus rapid transit station. The total value of all these projects was $5.5 billion (http://allaboardohio.org/2014/08/22/5-5-billion-in-development-built-or-announced-since-2012-wwith-2000-feet-of-cleveland-railbrt-lines/). We conducted this inventory in July, had to update it before publication on Aug. 22 to include new projects, and it is out of date again by at least $500 million as it does not account for the Halle complex redevelopment, Stark's nuCLEus, the redevelopment of 925 Euclid, and the conversion of 75 Public Square!


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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In the video - which is recent, they show a security guard going from vacant floor to vacant floor of the BP building.  I guess it was implied that the building was vacant.  Certainly looked like it.

 

I'm not looking to change history.  If the BP building has little to no vacancy - then I'm wrong and was making an assumption based on the Urban decline video.

 

Your previous post states this video is from 2011.  Meaning they were probably filming as early as 2010, prior to Huntington's move into the building, so yes the data in that video is out of date.  I remember watching the Making Sense of Place video series, and I feel that the city has moved in the right direction since the short time that this was produced.  Yes many of the issues outlined still exists, they will take decades to fully eradicate, but the progress made since even 2010 in Cleveland cannot be overlooked.  And unlike previous "comebacks," momentum does not seem to be stopping but rather gathering steam.

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wow decaying the old aquarium is a strange sight. i remember there was a a big fish in the tank at the entrance that had a hairy wart on its face. i had nightmares about it.

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I actually like the BP Building. At least as far as 80's skyscrapers go, it's not half bad. It doesn't compare to Key Tower or Terminal Tower, but it is a huge, impressive skyscraper by Ohio standards.

 

With that said, I always lament the loss of historic buildings. Were those buildings structurally sound? Could they have been saved? It's a shame BP Tower wasn't built on a surface lot...

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As great as the Williamson building would have been as apartments, I would not trade it for the BP building.  You can't imagine the Cleveland skyline without it, and as cdawg says it's a great skyscraper, one of the few in town to break 500 feet, and lines up with the axis of the mall well.  IMO we have numerous older buildings that can still be converted into housing, and losing the warehouse district buildings to just parking was a much greater loss than the Williamson.

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I actually like the BP Building. At least as far as 80's skyscrapers go, it's not half bad. It doesn't compare to Key Tower or Terminal Tower, but it is a huge, impressive skyscraper by Ohio standards.

 

With that said, I always lament the loss of historic buildings. Were those buildings structurally sound? Could they have been saved? It's a shame BP Tower wasn't built on a surface lot...

 

IMO it was pretty close to the perfect counterpart to Terminal when it was built.  Approaching downtown from the west it embraces it, yet is slightly shorter.  Nice and underrated piece of design.

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Michelle J. McFee ‏mjarboe[/member]  20m

#tbt 1905 view of downtown #CLE's Public Square. Looking NW toward Old Stone Church, Lyceum Theater. via @Shorpy

 

ByYoLGJCYAEvZ61.jpg


"Most of us have been conditioned to regard military combat as exciting and glamorous -- an opportunity for men to prove their competence and courage. Since armies are legal, we feel that war is acceptable; in general, nobody feels that that war is criminal or that accepting it is a criminal attitude. In fact, we have been brainwashed. War is neither glamorous nor attractive. It is monstrous. Its very nature is one of tragedy and suffering" --Dalai Lama

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Michelle J. McFee ‏mjarboe[/member]  20m

#tbt 1905 view of downtown #CLE's Public Square. Looking NW toward Old Stone Church, Lyceum Theater. via @Shorpy

 

ByYoLGJCYAEvZ61.jpg

 

Love it.  People dressed up and looked great when they left their homes.  Appearance was important!  sigh

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