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Citizens Savings: 1905

Citizens Savings: 1905

Cleveland, Ohio, circa 1905. "Citizens Savings and Trust Company building." Compared to the bulk of Detroit Publishing's glass negatives, this 8x10 plate has been heavily reworked, with the top corners masked out and buildings to either side subordinated under a layer of smudges and stipples. View full size.


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Greekified Skyscraper

Also known as the Citizens Building, 810-850 Euclid Ave. Its still there, sans Greek temple entrance, and now known as the City Club Building.

The Ohio Architect and Builder, Jan, 1904.

Cleveland. O., Dec. 28. — Citizens building, well under way. Marble, bronze and mahogany being used in interior. Bank fixtures, safes, etc., to be installed.

The American Skyscraper: 1850-1940,
Joseph J. Korom, 2008.

The Citizens Savings and Trust Company, established in 1868, constructed this fourteen-story skyscraper. Their home office building was a symmetrical U configuration, from the third floor up. No office was more than ten feet from natural sunlight and an operable window for fresh air. The steel skeleton, electric elevators, and streamlined facades bear witness to its desire for modernity. Its entrance pavilion says otherwise.

The architectural firm of Hubbell & Benes, founded in 1897, managed to blatantly "Greek-ify" what otherwise might have been a strong, but modern, architectural statement. A full Doric temple front announces the building's main entrance; there can be no mistake were the door is.

A change in building ownership deemed a remodeling necessary in 1924. The Bank's showcase lobby, two stories tall, was converted to stacked office space. The Doric columns, indeed the entire temple front, was erased and replaced with an exercise in design banality.

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Car talk

I believe the runabout on the left is an electric car.

re: High Advertising

My guess is that these people weren't advertising to the man on the steet, they were advertising to the guy in the office across the street. If you have a place on the 12th floor, your sign can't be read by the guy on the sidewalk but it can be read by the man in the seventh floor insurance office across the street or the man going to a lawyer in the tenth floor office down the street.

Building Is Still Going Strong

Now used by the Cleveland City Club.

Curved-dash Oldsmobile

The vehicle on the left is the first model of automobile ever to be mass-produced, predating the Model T by nearly a decade. It was immortalized in song as the merry car that Lucille was asked to come away in.

When I was a kid, our local Chevrolet/Oldsmobile dealer had one on display in the showroom. Whenever my dad would take our van there for service, I would spend about ten minutes looking over the new cars, and the remainder of the time admiring the antique Olds, with the words "non-skid" endlessly repeated on the tire treads.


The vehicle the horse is looking at (or not looking at) might be an Oldsmobile. To me it looks similar to the 1904 model shown here.

A different kind of animal

What is that rather odd-looking vehicle on the left? Looks like the horse has some disdain for it. (Perhaps because it knows that thing threatens to replace it?)

Little Big Horn Redux

Is this the closest that Custer has been to a scalp specialist since June 25, 1876?


Something about the horse's demeanor makes me think he's thinking "Don't look at the motorcar, don't look at the motorcar, don't look at the motorcar ... AAAACCCK! I LOOKED! ... don't look at the motorcar, don't look at the motorcar, don't look at the motorcar ..."

High Advertising

We've seen so many pictures of office buildings with the name of a firm 7 or 8 stories in the air; makes you wonder whether that was really affective. Did they think you'd glance up as you were meandering along and say, "Oh, I need a new suit, look, up there on the 12th floor"? It does save on having a display window.

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