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Showplace of America: Cleveland's Euclid Avenue, 1850-1910.

Gigliano, Jan

10 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0873384458 / ISBN 13: 9780873384452
Published by Kent University Press, Kent, OH, 1990
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398p, illustrations, indexed, bibliography. 26cm. First edition. Purple cloth; dust jacket. A fine copy with a superficial scratch to the bottom panel of the jacket. Bookseller Inventory # 10043

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Showplace of America: Cleveland's Euclid ...

Publisher: Kent University Press, Kent, OH

Publication Date: 1990

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


In cooperation with Western Reserve Historical Society

Euclid Avenue, which runs through the heart of downtown Cleveland, was for 60 years one of the finest residential streets of any city in 19th century America.  Showplace of America is the fascinating account of the rise and fall of this elegant promenade, including portrayals of the eminent architects who created its opulent residences and colorful details about the lives of the wealthy people who occupied them.

The families who resided within this linear, four-mile neighborhood epitomized Midwestern grandeur in the second half of the 19th century.  The 1893 Baedeker’s travel guide to the United States labeled it “one of the most beautiful residence-streets in America,” as others hailed it “Millionaires’ Row,” the finest avenue in the west, and the most beautiful street in the world.”

Modeled after the grand boulevards of Europe, this magnificent neighborhood was distinguished for the prominence of its architects as well as the families who lived there.  Local architects Jonathan Goldsmith, Charles W. Heard, Levi T. Scofield, Charles F. Schweinfurth, and Coburn & Barnum and national firms Peabody & Stearns and McKim, Mead & White created houses that were stunning monuments to Cleveland and America’s growing prosperity.

Ironically, the tremendous success of Cleveland’s industry and commerce, which had nurtured the rise of this grand avenue, fostered its fall.  Downtown commerce expanded along the avenue at the sacrifice of its leading entrepreneurs’ residential have.  The houses were demolished as the avenue became what is today―a neglected urban thoroughfare.  Photographs and illustrations from the archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society and other repositories are published here for the first time, documenting both the glory and decline of the “showplace of America.”

From Library Journal:

Grand boulevards lined with elegant residences were found in many 19th-century American cities: none, however, was more exclusive than Cleveland's Euclid Avenue. Distinguished for its opulent architecture and the social caliber of its residents, Euclid Avenue was a very visible symbol of Cleveland's prosperity for over 50 years. The rarefied character of the street rapidly dissipated in the first decades of the 20th century, however, because of industrial pollution, traffic, and commercialism. Today the illustrious history of this urban thoroughfare has been all but forgotten. Cigliano's fascinating study brings the street back to life; the ambitions and tastes of those Clevelanders who built their houses along Euclid Avenue are examined objectively and in great detail. Numerous period photographs and illustrations complement the scholarly text and underscore the significance of Euclid Avenue not just to Cleveland but to the social and architectural history of the United States. Highly recommended.
- H. Ward Jandl, National Park Svce., Washington,
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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