Monday, November 23, 2009

East 89th Street Historic District

1834 East 89th Street

East 89th Street in Cleveland, between Chester and Hough, is a National Register of Historic Places District as well as a Cleveland Landmark District. It includes many grand old houses, including this one at 1834 E. 89.

Here are most, though not all, of the houses in the district. The photos are in order - first we have the west side of the street, from north to south, then the east side, from south to north.

1856 East 89th Street

1856 East 89th Street. I appreciate the work that they've put into painting the trim on this house, especially the details on the tower. I can only imagine how much time it must have taken to paint the dentil moulding around the porch. Note the similar wreath theme on the front doors. The state of the chimney is a bit of a concern - hopefully it will be addressed soon.

I wish I could have seen the house before the windows were replaced. The rear tower appears to retain a few original leaded glass windows.

1848 East 89th Street

1848 East 89th Street. It's so nice to a house with built with dark sandstone that hasn't been painted "to brighten it up". Note the buttresses near the back, which help, if only visually, to hold up the massive shape. The sandstone in the chimney helps, visually, to tie the house together - it wouldn't be the same if the sandstone on the first floor had been painted.

I'm curious as to the configuration of the windows on the rear gable. I also wonder what the uppermost one in the tower used to look like.

1834 East 89th Street

1834 East 89th Street. The level of detail in this house is truly impressive. Take a minute and look at the larger version of the photograph. I like the repetition of shapes in the arch over the first floor bay window, the front entryway, and the bay window on the second floor. I'd say more, but the house tells the story itself better than I can.

Dr. James Bell house

1822 East 89th Street. This house, built in 1901 for Dr. James Bell, was designed by architect George Hardway. It is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places for the merits of its architecture. It is also a Cleveland landmark. The Cleveland Restoration Society uses this house as the example of Romanesque Revival in the publication Architecture Styles Found in Northeast Ohio.

I'd assume that the windows were originally double hung, 6 over 6, though they might have been 6 over 1. The original configuration of the front porch is a more difficult question. My best guess is that there was originally some sort of canvas awning on the left side of the porch.

1814 East 89th Street

1814 East 89th Street. This house is an excellent example of early 20th century Colonial Revival. The present state of the chimney makes me wonder whether that was the original height, or if the row of sandstone that we see now was a ring of trim where it either broke off or was disassembled to.

1796 East 89th Street

1796 East 89th Street. Try to imagine the first floor of this house with the same color sandstone that is visible in the chimney. The windows stuck out a bit more before the vinyl siding was added, but they've been trimmed decently. Based on the small spot on the side of the house where the siding is slipping off, it seems that the house is covered with shingles. The two columns on the edges of the porch probably used to match the two in the center.

1809 East 89th Street

1809 East 89th Street. This house and the couple that follow are on the east side of the street. While the detail over the entryway is a bit busy, the rest of it is relatively understated. Note the beautiful lines of the porch railings and the slight arch above them, for instance.

This house does not appear to currently be used as a residence. It is owned by one Melvin Pye of 99 Nantucket Court, Bratenahl, Ohio. He has not paid property taxes on it since 2006. He also owns several other properties in the area.

1843 East 89th Street

1843 East 89th Street. I really like the level of detail in the trim on this Italianate style house and the care that the owners have put into painting it. These houses normally have much simpler trim and it's a pain in the neck to paint all that detail.

1849 East 89th Street

1849 East 89th Street. This Queen Anne style house has a wonderful presence. You might notice that instead of slate, the bottom edge of the roof is tarpaper. This house was probably built with a "Yankee gutter". A Yankee gutter is formed by installing a board, 4-6 inches wide, perpendicular to the sheathing of the roof. It is lined with copper and functions much the same way as the gutters we use now. In this case, it was probably removed when the copper eventually rusted away. Note the second floor windows that appear to be glazed with curved glass - I'd hate to think about dealing with one of those if it broke.

1849 East 89th Street


  1. What is it with wrought iron(?) columns a la 1796 East 89th Street? I was able to visit the house (a double decker) I grew up in when it went on sale recently, and on one floor the owners had replaced the columns dividing the living room from the dining room by a wrought iron disaster.

  2. Great post. Just drove down nearby Newton Avenue today to get that good feeling. What a great neighborhood!

  3. I'm not sure what it is about wrought iron. I'd imagine it's a matter of taste.

    Newton Avenue is nice. It should be on my list to shoot, if it isn't already.

  4. i walk past these lovely homes everyday and never realized the history and detail...THANKS! Newton Avenue is next on my walking list.

  5. 1814 E 89th street was once owned by Antoine B. duPont in the early 20th century

  6. I lived at 1781 E89th as a boy in the late fifties and early sixties. It was a grand looking apartment building in it's day. I recall most of the houses shown on this post with deja vu effect. Thanks for the memories.

  7. hey! truly loved this piece. wish more historical gems would be displayed with such detailed appreciation. thank you for sharing