Old Images of Cleveland, Ohio

Categorised as Ohio
Old photo of the Central Viaduct bridge at The Flats, Cleveland, Ohio, taken between 1890 and 1901
Old photo of the Central Viaduct bridge at The Flats, Cleveland, Ohio. Taken between 1890 and 1901. From the Detroit Publishing Company photograph collection, at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Glimpse history through fascinating old images of Cleveland, Ohio.

Cleveland’s Central Viaduct

At the top of this page is a picture of the Jennings-Central span of the Central Viaduct, which was opened in 1888 and had a turntable section to allow ships to pass when it was pivoted horizontally.

On January 5, 1888, a large water-carrying machine ran off the end of a temporary wooden trestle, crashed into the bridge still under construction, and caused two sections to collapse on top of the workers, several of whom died.

Then on November 16, 1895, a streetcar travelled across the bridge on a foggy evening, passengers unaware that the bridge had been pivoted open for a tugboat in the waters beneath, or that the motorman had reset the power cutoff switch, which should have stopped the vehicle working when the bridge was opened.

The motorman and three passengers jumped out just before the streetcar went careering over the edge. 17 passengers and staff died when Railcar 642 plummeted 100 feet into the Cuyahoga River, and it took two days to recover their bodies. Just one passenger survied the fall, but traumatized Patrick Looney was left with life long injuries and returned to his native County Clare in Ireland.

Old postcard of The Viaduct and Flats Cleveland Ohio, postmarked 1908
Old postcard of The Viaduct and Flats Cleveland Ohio, postmarked 1908. From the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library

A high-level truss bridge replaced the span in 1912. But the lumber yards remained underneath, one of which caught fire in 1914 and destroyed 300 yards of the bridge.

With the continuous sinking of land at the western end of the bridge, the Central Viaduct was closed in 1941 and demolished just after the end of World War II.

The Arcade Cleveland

America’s first indoor shopping centre, the Arcade Cleveland opened in May 1890 at a cost of $875,000.

The two nine-story towers with a skylight were constructed by Detroit Bridge Co, designed by John Eisenmann and George H.Smith, and financed by a group of local wealthy businessmen, including John D. Rockefeller, Marcus Hanna, and Charles F. Brush.

Old photo of the Arcade Cleveland, Ohio, America's first indoor shopping centre taken between 1890 and 1910
Old photo of the Arcade Cleveland, Ohio, America’s first indoor shopping centre. Taken between 1890 and 1910. From the Detroit Publishing Company photograph collection, at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Colonial Hotel

The Colonial Hotel and Colonial Arcade was a large project designed by the architect George H. Smith, who had previously worked on The Arcade.

Colonial Hotel was opened on October 21,1898. A 100-room wing was added the following year, and a further expansion to room and restaurant facilities was completed in 1901.

In 1911, the Euclid Arcade linked the hotel with the William and Rodgers buildings on Euclid Avenue, offering marble floors and a barrel-vaulted ceiling.

Old photo of the Colonial Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio taken between 1898 and 1910
Old photo of the Colonial Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio. Taken sometime between 1898 and 1910. From the Detroit Publishing Company photograph collection, at the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Old Photos of Cleveland

Each of the old photos of Cleveland showcased in the video were taken between 1895 and 1915.

The titles show the location and date of each image.

You’ll notice the absence of old people in these old photos. According to The University of California, Berkeley, even as average life expectancy in the US grew in the early years of the twentieth century, by 1915 average life expectancy for women was 56.8 and for men it was just 52.5.

Old photos of Cleveland(Ohio)1895-1915 – oldstuff4all on YouTube

Cleveland Ohio in the 1980s

Enjoy a quick selection of photos showing some of the events and entertainments on offer to Cleveland’s residents during the 1980s.

How Cleveland had fun in the 80s – cleveland.com on Youtube

1998 Drive Through Cleveland

This is a home movie of a drive through many of Cleveland’s main streets and areas in 1998. Memphis Avenue, the Flats, and downtown Cleveland are all included.

Cleveland Drive 1998 – Yoda1268 on YouTube

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Categorised as Ohio