History of the  West Park
Neighborhood
Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio

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THEN & NOW


Lorain Avenue
West 117th west to West 150th

(Note:  in some cases, information from early Cleveland directories may appear.)

 West 117th to 130th Streets

 
West 130th to West 150th Streets

 
West 150th Street to Rocky River Drive

  Rocky River Drive and westward


West 117th to 130th Streets



Lorain Avenue & West 117th Street
(view to the southwest corner)

The Brighton Building at 11711 Lorain Avenue


7 July 1937                    (Gary Swilik Collection)

Brighton Building 1937
7 July 1937                    (Gary Swilik Collection)

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Guardian Trust Bank Building
Lorain-West 117th Street Branch
11718-26 Lorain Avenue

Guardian Trust Bank Building
Photo c1961

Built in 1930, architect, Rowland M. Johnson. Sun Finance & Loan Company (Branch), 111724 Lorain Avenue.  1961 photograph shows this section after it was remodeled in 1956: 1st floor: Sun Finance Company, Arnold Drug. 2nd Floor offices: Dr. McKay's office and a vacant office.

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1936:  11726  Sanford A. Neuman, dresses.
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The Variety Theater
11815 Lorain Avenue

Variey c1930
c1930

The Variety Theater is a Designated Cleveland Landmark
(c1927) Nicoli Petti, architect.

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Comments & memories

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Star Dry Cleaners
11926 Lorain Avenue

Star Cleaners c1961
c1961

Star Dry Cleaners was built about 1933. The star-shaped sign in the window consisted of bright neon that flashed repeatedly in sequence from the small star outward in bands of red, orange, and green, making this one of the brightest and most memorable storefronts on Lorain Avenue.

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Fong's Chinese Laundry
12655 Lorain Avenue

12655 Lorain Avenue c1961
Photo c1961

12655 Lorain Avenue c2005
Photograph by Charles C. Chaney. February 2005.

The building is now demolished.

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Roy Misener Auto Sales
12661 Lorain Avenue

1266 Lorain Avenue 1961
c1961

Used car office constructed c1940.  Photo 1961.  In 2005 it was Mreb Auto Sales.  It is now a parking lot.

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Loyda's Cafe
12703 Lorain Avenue

John P. Covano Real Estate
12705 Lorain Avenue

12703-05 Lorain Avenue
c1961

The building was constructed in 1922.

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 1936:  12703-12705  Rudolph J. Lyda, beer

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French Dry Cleaning and Tailoring
12740 Lorain Avenue
garage and storage, to the right


Photo c1961


Photograph by Charles C. Chaney. February 2005.

In 2005, the building was occupied by Assad's Bakery.  Building constructed circa 1924.
The garage/storage building to the right was built in 1957.

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1936:  12740 Lorain Avenue was occuped by George W. Evenden's restaurant.

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Lunte Drug Store
12743 Lorain Avenue
The left half of the building, 12739, appears to have been occupied by a HiFi equipment business.

12740 Lorain 1961
Photo c1961



Photograph by Charles C. Chaney. February 2005.

In 2005, both store fronts were occupied by Dr. David R. Glynn's The Cleveland Animal Hospital.
His offices were in the eastern half while the former drugstore area held the kennels.

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1936:  12743  Frank Bolles, drugs

 

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Flecktein's Deli, West Park Bowling Lanes,
Meister's Hardware
12815-12831 Lorain Avenue


Photo c1960

1n 2005, Fleckstein’s Deli at 12815 Lorain, on the corner, was West Park Lawn Mower & Snow Blower. West Park Bowling Lanes and Meister Hardware Company housed Holy Land Imported Goods at 12831 Lorain.

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1936:   12815  Palmer Markets, meat
             12817  Great A&P Tea Co., gros.
             12825-12827  Raymond Wilson, beer
             12831  Meister Hardware & Elec. Company

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M & J McCafferty Jewelry & Appliances
12845 Lorain Avenue


Photo c1961

Constructed in 1922.

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1936:  John J. Perna, confectioner

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Mather Auto Sales used cars
12921 Lorain Avenue

 
                             Photo c1961.                                               Photograph by Charles C. Chaney. February 2005.

Used car office constructed in 1946.

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1936:  Thomas J. Spilker, filling station

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West 130th to West 150th Streets


Lorain Grill
13000 Lorain Avenue
Sun-Lite Laundromat
13002 Lorain Avenue
Jacob's Bakery
13004 Lorain Avenue


Photo 1961

The building was constructed c1922.

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Spencer Beauty Shoppe
13320 Lorain Avenue

John M. Allen Co. Hardware
13322 Lorain Avenue


Photo cNovember 1961

The building, constructed about 1951, now houses the Living Water Church of Christ at 13320 Lorain Avenue.

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Nick & Emma's Candy Shoppe
13334 Lorain Avenue


 Photo March 1951


Photograph by Gary Swilik.   June 2008.

Nick & Emma's Candy Shoppe, as it looked in 1951, with the West Park Bakery next door to the west. In June 2008, Nick & Emma's Shoppe was the Blarney Stone tavern. The West Park Bakery was part of DiFiore's Music House.  The facade of the building housing DiFiore's Music has since been completely redone eliminating any resemblance to the original.

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Reliable Drug Store
13437 Lorain Avenue


Photo c1961
Reliable Drug, one of the few stores in the area that stayed open to midnight.
As a result, it was quite a busy place, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.

1936:  Fisher Bros. Co., groceries

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Windy's Beverage
13531 Lorain Avenue


 

Today this site is Vinny's Beverage although the appearance is quite different because
the building was replaced with a new structure in 1963.

Click here for history of Windy's Beverage & Vinny's Beverage

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Fairwood Shopping  Center
13600 block of Lorain Avenue (south side)



The original stores, from east to west, were Swift's Dry Cleaning, Wagenman's Paint Store, Fisher Brothers grocery, Skall's Haberdasher (men's clothes), Irwin's Store for Children, Hough Bakery, Red Robin (women's clothes), Carter Lee Shoes, Woolworth's, Kroger's grocery, and Gray's Drugs.

 

Gray's Drug's included a lunch counter with tables and a counter with stools. It was a popular place for high school kids to hang out. The ceiling in the lunch room was always festooned with drinking straw wrappers. The technique, as anyone who was a teenager at the time can tell you, was to dip the end of the straw wrapper in something sticky like ice cream, then shoot it toward the ceiling by blowing on one end of the straw, like a blowgun.

 

The gooey straw wrapper would stick to the ceiling, hanging down like an icicle.

 

The straw manufacturers finally figured out how to stop this by placing small air holes in the straw wrapper preventing it being turned into a missile – to the relief of the poor lunch counter employees who constantly had to clean wrappers off the ceiling.----by Gary Swilik

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Rustic Bar
13813 Lorain Avenue


Photo c1960

In this 1960 photo, looking south toward the southwest corner of W. 138th Street & Lorain Avenue, Christ Methodist Church is visible at the left edge of the photo behind the trees. Next to the church, is a glimpse of the huge Moses Cleaveland Tree that stood there for so long.  The Rustic Bar was built in the 1930s.  In October 2004, the building housed The Closing Room bar.

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1936:  Mrs. Marion Templeton, restaurant

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Frank Naegele Real Estate and Insurance
Southwest corner at Lorain Avenue and West 140th Street


February 1938


c1960

Frank Naegele insurance office a SW corner of Lorain Avenue & West 140th Street. Built circa 1932. It was originally a diner run by Mrs. Ethel McKee. In the early 1940s it was the real estate office of Henry Riedthaler.  By 1950 it was Frank Naegele's insurance office. The little store at the side of the building, on West 140th, was a shoe repair shop, a pipe shop, and a pet shop at various times. Note the corner step of the building is an old grind stone. The building was demolished circa 1969 and became the site of a gas station.  Today, the site is part of the Wendy's parking lot.

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Dailey's Bar & Grill
14222 Lorain Avenue      


 photo c1960

Built 1928.

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New York Central Railroad Crossing
near West 143rd Street and Lorain Avenue



NYCRR crossing near W. 143rd & Lorain as it looked in May, 1936, before the underpass was built.  Traffic crossed the tracks at street level.  The view is to the south and slightly west.  The cars are on Lorain Avenue traveling east.  At left is the Lorain Street Lumber Company at 14335 Lorain Avenue.



The same scene in June, 2008, just south of the West Park Rapid Station.  The tracks are at the same level but Lorain Avenue now passes below them.  A bridge, barely visible, carries the tracks over Lorain.  The Lorain Street Lumber Company, long vacant, burned down in a spectacular blaze in the 1960s.  The West Terrace apartment building, visible to the left just beyond the "Magic 105.7" sign, now stands on the former lumber company site.  From this angle it is hard to believe that busy Lorain Avenue is just out of side below the tracks.




RR crossing at Lorain Avenue near West 143rd Street.  Looking east down Lorain Avenue.  This crossing was eliminated by the construction of the an underpass at this location.  May 1936.


Road crews contruct a railroad underpass on Lorain Avenue to eliminate the dangerous crossing at West 143rd.  Photo 1938.  Looking west along Lorain Avenue.

All photographs from the Gary Swilik Collection.

Click here to see the West 143rd and Lorain underpass at Google Maps

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14550 Lorain Avenue


This residence was moved to 15100 Lorain in 1946.


Bartter Family houses, farm, and greenhouse
14574, 14600, 14616, 14638, & 14648 Lorain Avenue
3631 West 147th Street

The Bartter family owned the houses at 14374, 14600, 14616, 14638 and 14648 Lorain Avenue. The house at 3631 West 147th Street was also on the Bartter property but just around the corner and behind all the other Bartter houses on Lorain Avenue.  All were razed in 196


14574 Lorain  

14600 Lorain   

14616 Lorain  

14638 Lorain     

14648 Lorain  

 3631 W. 147th  

The site where the houses, farm, and greenhouse were once located is now occupied by the Kamden Village apartment complex which was built in 1963. Bartter Avenue, running behind the apartment buildings parallel to Lorain Avenue, is the only reminder this busy section of Lorain Avenue was once a family far

 
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Marquard Apartments
14741 Lorain Avenue.

 
                   Photo taken in March 1939.                                 Photograph by Charles C. Chaney. November 2004.

Philip Marquard, owner of the Marquard Sash and Door Manufacturing Company that was founded in about 1890, the company operated for many years at 14735 Lorain Avenue.  Nearby, Mr. Marquard constructed the Marquard Apartments building.

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1936:  Marquard Apartments

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Corrigan-DiCicco Funeral Home
(The Kinkelaar Farm)
14768 Lorain Avenue



Circa early 1920s photo courtesy of Raymond J. Kinkelaar

For many years the former Kinkelaar farmhouse has served as the Corrigan-DiCicco Funeral Home. The original house is hidden beneath many additions.

Go to an article by Gary Swilik about the history of the Kinkelaar Farm.

Click here to see it at Google Maps

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Go to West 150th Street to Rocky River Drive


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Updated 29 June 2014