Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Picturesque South Brooklyn Village

Charles H. Miller residence

Recently, I came across a wonderful little book, published in 1903 by the South Brooklyn Improvement Association, promoting real estate in the the village. Picturesque South Brooklyn Village has numerous high quality illustrations, so I scanned the vast majority of them, knowing that they'd be useful at some future date. The only ones that I've omitted are small, nondescript landscapes and portraits.

At first, my intent was to drive around and photograph all the extant structures illustrated in the book. A lack of available time has made this impossible. Through the use of this map, I've been able to identify the current names of the streets. For the structures that are still standing, I've used the Cleveland GIS to identify the addresses.

John L. Johnson residence

The biggest surprise has been how many of the buildings pictured in 1903 are no longer standing. More than 75% of the strutcures appear to have been demolished. Many were residences on Pearl Road and Broadview Road, which were demolished to make way for commercial structures. Many of the commercial structures appear to have been removed to make way for new buildings as well. The Italianate style residence of John L. Johnson, on Pearl, was one.

Charles Gates residence

This Second Empire style residence of Charles Gates, also on Pearl, is another example.

Howard C. Gates residence

The Howard C. Gates residence, at 4248 West 35th Street, may be more well known than some of the other houses, due to its location next to the Jeremiah Gates residence, thought to be the oldest house in the city of Cleveland.

Dr. H.H. Webster residence

This house, the residence of Dr. H.H. Webster, is another one of my favorites. It, too, alas, has been lost. Note the presence of a windmill in the back yard, presumably to pump water.

William C. Buchwald residence

The William C. Buchwald residence, at 4112 Bucyrus Avenue, is one of my favorites of the lot that is still standing.

Charles A. Dainz residence

Some of the houses, like the Charles A. Dainz residence, at 3816 Bucyrus Avenue, have been so extensively remodeled that they are hard to identify. Perhaps these photos will be useful for future inhabitants looking to return the buildings to their original glory.

I've identified these photos to the best of my ability. Take a look at the set. Check out the book from your local Cleveland Public Library branch. If you know of one that I've missed, I'd love to hear about it. I'd also love to see current photos of any of the buildings, if you have them.


  1. Thanks for posting these--this is my neighborhood, and I'm glad to see some of its history.

  2. Thanks Christopher--please visit for more info.

  3. I grew up on Bucyrus and did much historical research on the houses of the Cityview Allotment. The Dainz house originally faced Pearl Road. When the Allotment was drawn up originally the curve on Bucyrus (than McArthur) was not in the plans. The street was to be straight, the Dainz house was so big and in the way. The curve was than made to accomadate the Dainz house, but the Dainz house was still in the way, so the Dainz house was than cut into two houses, the blue/gray house next to the Dainz house is actually the other half of the Dainz house. Also the house that stood at the mouth of Ardmore (than Bratten) was also in the way of the proposed street. That house was moved to 4018 Bucyrus-- it is originally the George Dietz house. George Dietz was the president of the South Brooklyn/Parma Plank Plank Road Company.