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Lower Prospect--Huron Historic District
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Lower Prospect--Huron Historic District
Courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, photo by Veronica Glashauckas

The Lower Prospect--Huron Historic District illustrates Cleveland's rapid economic development as a transportation and industrial hub from 1890 to 1930, a period when Cleveland was the sixth largest city in the country. As Cleveland's economy boomed, downtown business outgrew the Public Square area creating a need for another district. "The New Center" for business developed at the intersection of Prospect, Erie and Huron.

The district's sense of place derives from its street plan. Three streets--Prospect Avenue, Huron Road and East 9th Street--intersect, creating a six-point star street plan, unusual vistas and irregular building plans. Buildings range in height from one story to 22 stories and the majority are architect designed. The Neoclassical style predominates and terra cotta is a dominant façade material used in numerous decorative cornices and portals.

[photo] Historic postcard view of the Lower Prospect--Huron Historic District, c. 1913
Courtesy of the Cleveland Press Collection, Cleveland State University Library

Among the notable buildings within the seven-block district is the 1900 Beaux Arts style Rose Building, one of the oldest buildings in the district. The Rose Building was the largest building in the state at the time of its construction and contained its own electric plant. Other landmark buildings include the 1900 Caxton Building, built to house the city's printing and graphic arts trades. The intricate Sullivanesque organic cartouches and column capitals set off the building's buff colored masonry. The white glazed terra cotta Halle Brothers Co. Department Store was designed by New York City architect Henry Bacon in 1910. Bacon doubled the size of the building with a 1914 addition, and in 1947 Walker & Weeks designed another addition that continued the use of white terra cotta and the style of Bacon's original construction. The modernist Ohio Bell Telephone Co. Building was built in 1927 with Indiana Limestone and a set-back skyscraper design with strong vertical piers and recessed spandrels. Designed by noted architectural firm Hubbell & Benes; at 22 stories it was Cleveland's tallest building until the completion of Terminal Tower.

The Lower Prospect--Huron Historic District is located in Downtown Cleveland, centered around Prospect Ave., Huron Rd. and E. 9th St. Shops and restaurants in the district are open during normal business hours. Visit the Historic Gateway Neighborhood website for further information.

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