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East Fourth Street Historic District
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Historic view of the East Fourth Street Historic District, c. 1920
Courtesy of the Cleveland Press Collection, Cleveland State University Library

In 1936 the Cleveland Press newspaper called East Fourth Street "the liveliest, gayest block in Cleveland." A constellation of theaters, cafes, retail shops, music and art schools characterized this dense urban block, which remains the only intact early 20th-century solid block of buildings in downtown Cleveland.

Ranging in date from 1876 to 1935, these 13 buildings are a diverse representation of architectural styles, with a strong emphasis on the 20th-century commercial or Chicago style. Key buildings in the district include the Buckeye Building (1906), a massive five-story brick building with Romanesque stylistic elements and a rounded corner bay. The six-story Krause Building is articulated by brick lintels and piers and housed William Krause's theatrical costume business. The Windsor Buildings at Euclid are the oldest and most richly decorated with variously sized windows, a narrowly arcaded top story, broad relieving arches on the fourth story and contrasting brick and stone. A 1933 cast stone Art Deco building featuring a band of saw-tooth geometric ornament is located at 2038 East Fourth Street.

[photo] Windsor Buildings at Euclid and East Fourth Street
Photo from National Register collection

The buildings collectively define a narrow space that is dominated by pedestrian rather than vehicular traffic. The façade-mounted and overhanging signs add to the visual character of the street. Many of the windows on upper floors retain old painted graphics and advertisements of the tenants. Now a part of the Historic Gateway Redevelopment District, Cleveland's East Fourth Street Historic District is becoming part of the expanding urban living , entertainment and restaurant district.

The East Fourth Street Historic District extends along E. Fourth St. from Euclid Ave. to Prospect Ave., in Cleveland. 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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