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About the Photos

Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SUMMER IN ITALY, 1951

City Hall: 1905

City Hall: 1905

Circa 1905. "City Hall, Cleveland, Ohio." During the Golden Age of the Awning. 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.

 

Now THAT'S Architecture!

While it is still essentially "just a box" as noted below, what separates this box from the vile and ubiquitous boxes of today is the concept of "style."

Built in the French Second Empire style, the building was articulated with a nod to current fashion; incised detailing on 2nd and 3rd story corbels - as well as most principal facade mullions - convey the Eastlake aesthetic so popular in the 1870s.

This remarkable, and somewhat late, example of the style was truly a gift to the street. There is enough eye candy on this building to keep me riveted for hours.

Sadly, it graced Cleveland for only a short time. The main branch of the Cleveland Public Library was built on the site of the Case Block in 1919 and remains there today.

The Tops

Of all the horrific old buildings Shorpy has given us, this is the ne plus ultra. And isn't it just "a box" too?

At the Baths

"You must wear pants." Hm.

It's a rental.

Known as the Case Block Building.

What Is That?

What is the box on the corner that looks like a mailbox and has "Wilson" on the side? There's another one halfway down the block on the right.

[It's a trashcan. - Dave]

Ungh

What a horrid, ugly building. But not quite as obnoxious as some of our more modern inventions.

Grate Design

All those awnings make the building look like a giant cheese grater.

Gothic Palace

It is sometimes hard to believe building of this mass and detail were constructed during the horse and buggy era. They were meant to last. Sadly, most of the wonderful buildings like this were either abandoned or destroyed for the plain concrete square block buildings we endure looking at nowdays.

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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