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

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Named Streets

THEN & NOW
Bellaire Road
Elmwood Avenue
Lorain Avenue (separate page)
Puritas Avenue
Triskett Road
Rockland Avenue
Rocky River Drive (separate page)
Warren Road
Wesley Avenue
Woodbury Avenue at W. 150th
Numbered Streets (separate page)

Corner Stores


Bellaire Road


  Photo c1960 

    
January 2006 (by Gary Swilik)

Radil's Drive In at 12133 Bellaire Road, at the corner of Matherson Avenue, was built in 1947 very likely making it the very first "drive-in" style diner in West Park, complete with car hops. This family business was planned and built by Frank and Mary Radil who lived almost next door at 12223 Matherson. Frank, an experienced ornamental iron worker, helped construct much of the building, particularly the rounded turret that makes the building so distinctive. At first they served only ice cream and frozen custard but soon added hamburgers, cheeseburgers, French fries and onion rings. They were open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week! Frank did much of the cooking himself with the help of wife Mary and his two daughters. The nearby Linndale Train Station created heavy traffic past the diner and kept the place very popular for many years. The closing of the train station, along with Frank and Mary's advancing age, brought Radil's to an end in about 1963. The building, however, continued to serve as a restaurant off and on for many years. In fact, from 1971 to 1975 this was one of the very first Mister Hero restaurants, personally run by Robert Coulson, founder of the popular sub sandwich empire. When Mister Hero moved to another location the building began a long series of different owners and names: Stratton's Rib Palace, c.1977-81, The Friendly Place, c.1983-84, and Chicken & Ribs Isle, c.1984-1987. In 1988 it began a new career as a used car office which it has been, under different names, ever since. The building still stands today and appears to be in excellent condition.


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Elmwood Avenue


Franz Restaurant
 12615 Elmwood Avenue

c1969
Photo c1969


2005 photograph by Gary Swilik

Click here to see the location, building now demolished, at Google Maps

Franz Restaurant, at 12615 Elmwood Avenue, between Berea Road and West 117th, is hidden away in an industrial area of West Park. In fact, when we first found an old photo of the eatery we assumed it had disappeared long ago. We were surprised to discover not only is the building still there but it had been an operating restaurant as recently as 2003!

It was built in 1929 by Lawrence Sr. & Elizabeth Franz who had living quarters in the back of the building. Operation of the restaurant was later taken over by Lawrence Franz Jr. and his wife, Margaret. Lawrence Jr. passed away in 1969 but his wife Margaret apparently continued to run the restaurant until shortly before her death at age 92 on November 17, 2004.

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Puritas Avenue


Franklin Ice Cream
Puritas Plaza at West 140th Street and Puritas Avenue


Photo c1960.

Built about 1959, Franklin's closed in the late 1980's and the building became the West Park Medical Center until about 2000 when it was demolished and a new chain drugstore, CVS/Pharmacy, building was constructed on the site. Notice the column emlazoned with "Puritas Park" was left standing complete with flags.

Click here to see the location on Google Maps

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Puritas Avenue at West 140th Street

Puritas at W150th
Photo 3 January 1931

Top: Southwest corner of Puritas Avenue and West 140th Street. Brick paved Puritas Avenue in foreground. Note the second house, at left, partially visible behind the home in the foreground.

Bottom:  The light blue house left of center is the same home partially seen in the 1931 photo.
It is located at 4464 West 140th Street.

Click here to see it at Google Maps
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Rockland Avenue


Charles Wood Memorial Hospital
18223 Rockland Avenue

18223 Rockland Avenue
Photograph 1961.

Now (2007) part of the Rae-Ann Center assisted living facility at 4650 Rocky River Drive.

Click here to see it at Google Maps

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Triskett Road


Zombek's
11939 Triskett

1193 Triskett
c 1955

photo 2005    Photo by Charles C. Chaney, April 2005

"This place is now boarded up and either empty or being used as a residence. The name of the place in the photo is "Zombek's" but so far I can't find out when it went by that name. I think the photo is circa the mid 1950's.

1956 - Margie's Delicatessen
1960 - Anita's Delicatessen (Anita Jambor)
1965 - Ken's Korner Store Delicatessen
1968 - Ken's Korner Store Delicatessen
1970-71 Norman's Korner Store Delicatessen
1972 - Norman's Korner Store Delicatessen
1977 - Norman's Korner Store Delicatessen
1997-98 - Norman's Deli
1998 -99 - Norman's Deli"

---Gary Swilik

Click here to see it at Gooble Maps
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Manners Big Boy Restaurant
13101 Triskett Road

Manners 1961
 Photo c1961.   

Now George's Kitchen Family Restaurant.  The present structure incorporated the original building as it expanded.

Click here to see it at Google Maps

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Weber Family Home
14209 Triskett Road


Early 1900's


c2006
Both photographs provided by Daniel R. Weber

Ralph Weber was born in the 1890's and lived in this house as a child. Ralph told his son Dan that, in the early 1900's photo, Ralph is in the front row and the other three were brothers and pals.
The Weber Family of West Park
Compiled from recollections provided by Daniel R. Weber of Rancho Cordova, CA.
(Daniel R. Weber, son of Ralph Weber.)

Click here to see it at Google Maps
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14215 (or 14213) Triskett. Built 1927, razed 1962. Home of Clarence J. Webber.


14335 Triskett. Built 1906, razed 1962. Home of Wm & Esther Steinbrick.


Ed's Superette
15233 Triskett Road


c 1960    


Photo by Charles C. Chaney, April 2005

Ed's Superette (Edward J. Baizer,) 15233 Triskett Road, corner Tudor Rd, just east of intersection of Warren & Triskett. Photo 1960.  Built 1938.

Click here to see it at Google Maps


Dante Lavelli Furniture
15227 Triskett


c 1960

The building was built in 1953.  Dante Lavelli was a Cleveland Brown.  He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1975.

Click here to see it at Google Maps

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The Sherman House
15500 Triskett Road

Click here to see it at Google Maps 

The Sherman House was built in the Civil War period (one source reports 1849) by William Sixt who named the house in honor of General William Tecumseh Sherman.  A Greek Revival Italianate House, it is a two story building with a hip roof. It has elongated windows on the first floor, with remnants of stonehead moldings.  Today the structure serves as the West Park Masonic Temple.

For more information on the history of the Sherman House, click here

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Triskett Road & Lorain Avenue intersection (east)


1985


1971                                                                                                        2008        

1971 - Originally a branch of Pearl Street Saving & Trust Co., it became Poschke's Barbecue in 1939 and Jerry's Restaurant in the 1950s. In the 1960s it was home to Appliance Mart. (Photo 1971)

1985 - The original bank building was demolished in the 1970s to make way for the Sohio service station (Photo Oct. 1985)

Today -  The site is part of Ganley Chevrolet. (Photo 30 August 2008.

Click here to see it at Google Maps

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Warren Road


Marquard House
3260 Warren Road


Photo c1961.

Built as a moderate-sized, brick-and-frame farmhouse sometime before 1900, the place didn't develop growing pains until it was purchased by Philip Marquard in 1912. Father of twelve children, Mr. Marquard needed lots of space and began adding rooms and wings until the house reached a mansion-like 52 rooms! Click here for more information.

Click here to see it at Google Maps
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Wagenknecht Grocers & Meats
13330 West Avenue, on the northeast corner at West 134th Street


Photo c1961.

"Wagenknecht Grocers & Meats, at 13330 West Avenue, on the northeast corner at West 134th Street, was opened in about 1930 by Mrs. Emma Wagenknecht.  Emma, the widow of Harry Wagenknecht, was raising two children, Erwin and Diane. As the years passed Erwin took over the store,running it for many years after his mother, Emma, passed away in 1972.   Erwin, with the help of his wife Evelyn, operated the store for the rest of his life. All the way up to his death in December,1990. This family business survived for at least 60 years! Evelyn Wagenknecht survived her husband by 14 years, passing away in April, 2004.      Today, as with so many old neighborhood groceries, what used to be a store is now serving as an apartment."    ------Gary Swilik.

Click here to see it at Google Maps

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Wesley Avenue


Wesley Food Market
13209 Wesley Avenue


                                                                                                           Photograph by Gary Swilik. 2006 (now demolished)

The Wesley Food Market is certainly not a terribly significant part of the history of West Park. Neither is there anything architecturally unique about the small wood-frame building which housed it. In fact, it's almost certain the market would have escaped the author's attention completely had he not come across an old photo of the place. Since it was close to the author's childhood home he became curious about it.

After a quick drive-by, the author concluded the building no longer existed. A conclusion which turned out to be wrong and illustrates why the study of neighborhood history can sometimes bring surprise and a sense of discovery at least for a bookish history fanatic!

The small grocery store which stood for so many years at 13209 Wesley Avenue was built in about 1927, in an era when small neighborhood grocery stores were scattered throughout the city and "supermarkets" did not yet exist. Wesley Avenue is three blocks long and runs from West 130th Street to West 134th. It is south of Lorain Avenue.

The grocery was originally owned and operated by Louis J. Jarolimek, Jr., who seems to have learned the business from his father, Louis Sr., who owned a grocery store on West 117th Street. Louis Jr. operated the Wesley Avenue grocery from 1927 to about 1930.

Then the property begins a long succession of owners and names changes, alternating with periods of vacancy, but always serving as a grocery or delicatessen:

1931 John & Margaret Fargo, meats
1932 William & Adda Holmes, grocery
1934 Sarkin Bros, grocery (John & Peth Sarkin)
1937 Marie Rabatory, grocery
1938-40 William Vassilaff, grocery
1942-54 Walter B. Washtock, grocery
1955-56 Wesley Foods, John Kornfeld
1957-63 Wesley Foods, Joseph E. & Francis As
1964 Wesley Food Market, Chester E. Gabel

 In 1965, John and Carrie "Wesley" became proprietors of the Wesley Food Market. In spite of their name, there does not seem to be any reason to believe John and Carrie were in any way connected with the street name other than by fortunate coincidence.

 The Wesley's kept the grocery open from 1965 to about 1973. By 1974 the building was vacant and had seen its last days as a commercial establishment.

 Since the author found no building with the address "13209 Wesley Avenue" he assumed the market had been demolished. A more careful inspection, however, revealed this is not the case. Carefully compare our photo of a garage currently standing (January, 2006) on Wesley Avenue with our circa 1959 photo of the Wesley Food Market, especially its position relative to the house on the right. A neighborhood historian loves little discoveries like this!

NOTE:  A few months after this article was written, the garage that had once been the Wesley Food Market was torn down and the site is now empty.

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Woodbury Avenue at West 15Oth Street
Parking lot area of the present Puritas Rapid Station at 4200 West 150th Street


View to the west in 1939

Click here to see it at Google Maps


View to the east in 1939
Click here to see it at Google Maps

Woodbury Avenue looking west (upper left photograph) toward the New York Central railroad tracks in 1939. Today this section of Woodbury Avenue is gone. Interstate 71 runs through the field on the far left. The West 150th Street Rapid Transit station now occupies the area along the tracks. The current entrance to the rapid station from West 150th runs a short distance to the right of this site.  Photograph courtesy of Robert E. Baus.

Woodbury Avenue looking east (lower Left photograph) toward West 150th Street in 1939. This part of Woodbury Avenue is gone. The spot from which the photograph was taken is now the parking lot for the West 150th Street Rapid Station. The current traffic light at the West 150th Street entrance to the rapid station is located about where the houses are seen at the left.  Photograph courtesy of Robert E. Baus.

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  Updated:  07 July 2014