[graphic] Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
[graphic] Link to Canal Home  [graphic] Link to List of Sites  [graphic] Link to Maps  [graphic] Link to Essays  [graphic] Link to Learn More  [graphic] Link to Itineraries Home Page  [graphic] Link to National Register of Historic Places Home Page
[graphic] Previous Site
May Company
[graphic] Next Site

May Company
Courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, photo by Veronica Glashauckas

The May Company, a landmark building on Cleveland's Public Square, is a characteristic example of the commercial style fostered by the Chicago School of architects. It is one of four Cleveland buildings designed by renowned architect and planner Daniel H. Burnham. Burnham's most prominent achievement was the pivotal 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, also known as the White City. Burnham's design for the fair--Beaux Arts Classical architecture in a grand and ordered civic space--launched the City Beautiful Movement. His design for the white glazed terra cotta May Company building expresses similar characteristics. Burnham was also responsible for Cleveland's Mall Plan, which still remains intact.

[photo] Historic view of the May Company
Courtesy of the Cleveland Press Collection, Cleveland State University Library

The Cleveland May Company was established in 1899 as a part of a national company founded in Denver, Colorado, a decade earlier. The May Company began operating at this location, on Euclid Avenue facing Public Square, in 1901 and underwent several expansions. The present building was constructed from 1913 to 1914. The façade contains nine bays of three part Chicago windows. A two-story addition was constructed from 1930 to 1931 without interrupting business at the department store. The addition was designed by Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, who also designed the Terminal Tower Complex. By 1931, the May Company was the largest department store in Ohio, containing a million square feet of interior space. The addition mimicked the proportions and detailing of the original top story, with a band of smaller rectangular windows, and details such as a series of acroteria, a scrolled pediment, and clock in the Renaissance Revival style were reused from the original roofline.  

The May Company is located at 158 Euclid Ave. at Cleveland's Public Square. It is currently vacant and not open to the public.

 [graphic] Rotating Postcard Images
 [graphic] Link to Transportation Essay  [graphic] Link to Industry Essay
 [graphic] Link to Preservation  Essay
 [graphic] Link to Ethnicity Essay

Canal Home | List of Sites | Maps| Learn More | Itineraries | NR Home | Next Site
Essays: Transportation | Ethnicity| Industry| Preservation

Comments or Questions


[graphic] National Park Service Arrowhead and link to nps.gov