Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cleveland in 1927, part 4

I recently obtained ten 4x5 glass plate negatives of Cleveland scenes, taken in 1927. Thanks to the assistance of Bill Barrow, Special Collections Librarian at Cleveland State University and Joanne Cornelius in the Digital Production Unit there I was able to get the negatives digitized at 1200 dpi. This provides a very high resolution look at these parts of Cleveland. Be sure to click through for the highest resolution versions of the files.

In the first post in this series, I shared a few scenes that were reasonably familiar - the Terminal Tower, the Arcade, and Public Auditorium. In the second post, I shared two views of Central Avenue (now Carnegie Avenue) at East 14th Street. In post three, I continued the journey west on Central Avenue. In this, the last post in the series, I share two more view of Central Avenue as well as one that provides a fitting close.

Central Avenue at Woodland Avenue, looking west

For this image, the photographer was looking southwest on Central Avenue (now Carnegie Avenue). In the foreground, to the right, is the intersection with Woodland Avenue. In the midground, Broadway Avenue crosses Central. In the background, Ontario Street intersects with Central. In the version of this image on Flickr, I've noted all these items.

Here we see, on the left, the building with the large awning, seen on the right in the last photograph of the last post. Behind it is the ornate Broadway Hotel, advertising steam heat and rooms at 50 cents, 75 cents, and $1.00.

Behind the Broadway Hotel, we can see several billboards. One advertises Cleveland Wallpaper Cleaner. Another, for a Studebaker, lists the price as $1335. A third is for Lucky Strike cigarettes.

In the background, at Ontario Street, we see an interesting almost-triangular building, which was demolished to make way for the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge.

On the right side of the street, at Woodland Avenue, stands the OK Hotel, advertising beds for 25, 30, and 35 cents. The sign noted that they had free shower baths. Note the building behind it that is three pairs of windows wide.

Central and Ontario (looking northeast)

In this photo, the building that is three pairs of windows wide, as noted above, is seen, from the opposite side. Here, the photographer is looking northeast down Central Avenue. Ontario Street intersects with Central in front of the aforementioned building. Behind it, Broadway Avenue intersects with Central. We can see a sign on the building advertising "the greatest Buick ever."

On the right side of the street, a billboard for the Cleveland Trust notes that it finances "Paint and Varnish, Cleveland's Leading Industries." What else can you see here?

Cleveland, as seen from the Gold Coast

At first, I had assumed that this was another unidentifiable view of Lake Erie. However, the presence of the Detroit-Superior Bridge in the distance (at the far left) helps show us exactly where the photographer was standing - on the Gold Goast, looking east at downtown Cleveland.

This view, probably at sunset, provides a fitting (if slightly cliché) end to this series. I hope to share other previously unseen sets of historic photographs of Cleveland in the near future, but I need your help - I can't afford to keep buying these photographs just for the sake of providing new and interesting content.

If you have such a set of historic photos of the Cleveland area, and are willing to share them, please contact clevelandareahistory@gmail.com. I will scan them and return the originals. I'm not just interested in pictures of buildings - photos of people and of daily life are great, especially if the individuals in the photographs are identified. Your loan of the materials will help better illustrate our local history.


  1. Thank you for sharing these, Christopher. I do have a quick request: for today's photos, would you make them public on Flickr? The larger versions are inaccessible.

    Thanks, and well done!

  2. Oops. It's fixed. Thank you for letting me know about that problem.

  3. There is nothing better than to have the glass negatives. I have 50 plus of my family. I have enjoyed your posts and giving us a glimpes at Cleveland...scratching beneath the surface. Wonderful work!

  4. Oxydol billboard is interesting, as is street lamp. Great pictures, thank you!