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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

EUCLID AVE. - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

EUCLID AVE. follows the historic Lake Shore Trail of the Indians. It was laid out by Cleveland village trustees in 1815 and surveyed the following year. It takes its name from the small settlement of surveyors to the east in EUCLID, but as late as 1825 it was known as the Buffalo Rd. because it served as the major route to that city. It was recognized by the state legislature as a highway in 1832, and 2 years later it was covered with planks to the city limits.

Stately homes line "Millionaires' Row" on Euclid Ave., looking west from Erie St. (E. 9th), ca. 1870. Courtesy of the Plain Dealer.

Between Erie (E. 9th) St. and Willson Ave. (E. 55th St.), Cleveland's foremost men of wealth began to build mansions set in deep, spacious lawns. JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER† purchased a home there in 1868, where he lived until moving to New York City in 1884. The street gained the official status of an avenue in 1870, and no avenue in the world, it was claimed, presented such a "continuous succession of charming residences and such uniformly beautiful grounds." In the 1870s, fine residences began to fill the open spaces east of Willson Ave. Cleveland architect CHAS. F. SCHWEINFURTH† designed no fewer than 15 mansions there over the years, many in the Romanesque idiom that seemed to be an architectural equivalent for the ambitions of Cleveland's most prominent industrialists and financiers. It was still fashionable in the early 1900s to build a mansion on Euclid Ave.--those of Leonard C. Hanna (1904) and SAMUEL MATHER† (1910) were among the last--but Euclid Ave. was becoming increasingly important as a commercial and traffic artery. By 1937, of the 40 great houses that had formed "Millionaires Row," 7 remained standing. In 1994 the T. Sterling Beckwith House (ca. 1863), home of the UNIVERSITY CLUB, was the only 19th-century mansion still surviving.

Wilson, Ella G. Famous Old Euclid Ave. (1932).

Cigliano, Jan. Showplace of America: Cleveland's Euclid Avenue 1850-1910 (1991).

Last Modified: 20 Jan 2000 03:34:00 PM

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