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Cleveland Warehouse District
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Typical buildings of the Cleveland Warehouse District
Courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, photo by Veronica Glashauckas
The warehouse district was developed after the Civil War in an area that was originally a residential district lying between the town green and valley's river flats. Cleveland's great post-war commercial and industrial growth was influenced by many factors including the traffic of the Ohio and Erie Canal, steamship commerce on Lake Erie and development as the railroad crossroads between lines from New York to St. Louis and Baltimore to Chicago.

The historic district, a Victorian-era commercial cityscape, contains 70 buildings and covers nearly 55 acres. Large warehouses were used for hardware distributors, marine suppliers and garment manufacturers. Smaller wholesale and retail establishments housed dry goods, grocers, tool suppliers and ship handlers. Other buildings supplied office space for the iron, coal, railroad and shipping industries. The development of the warehouse district mirrors 19th-century advances in building technology. Beginning with masonry-bearing walls, warehouse building construction evolved into cast-iron column supports and then steel-frame construction. Cleveland 's development kept pace with Chicago, the leader in urban building technology.

[photo] Historic view of the Cleveland Warehouse District, c. 1922
Courtesy of the Cleveland Press Collection, Cleveland State University Library

The district's oldest building is the 1850 Hilliard and Hayes Dry Goods and Grocery, a seven-bay masonry building with a stepped parapet. The Perry-Payne (1889) Building, designed by Cudell and Richardson, demonstrates the use of exterior and interior cast iron posts. The Rockefeller Building (1903), designed by Know and Elliot, features a steel frame design in the manner of a Louis Sullivan skyscraper. The unusually artistic Bingham Warehouse was built in 1915 and designed by the prominent Cleveland architecture firm of Walker & Weeks. The last large building to be constructed in the district was the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen Building, built in 1921. The Warehouse district is today a lively neighborhood of restaurants as well as home to a variety of loft unit apartments, many of which possess views of the river flats and Lake Erie.

The Cleveland Warehouse District is roughly bounded by Front and Superior aves., Railroad, Summit, 3rd and 10th sts. in Cleveland. Shops and restaurants in the district are open during normal business hours. Visit the neighborhood's website for further information.  

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