Uncovering the decadent past of Euclid Avenue
Euclid Avenue was Millionaire’s Row, with some 250 mansions extending a 4-mile stretch. Some of the homes were as large as 50,000 square feet with lots consuming 6 acres of land in Cleveland. One of the grandest estates owned by Samuel Andrews employed 100 servants to keep the mansion running on a daily basis.
Today, there are just four original mansions left.
The Euclid Avenue we know is a main artery into downtown Cleveland. It’s the home of businesses, retail, restaurants, hotels, cultural institutions and one of the world’s top-ranked hospitals.
But, can you imagine the years 1870 to 1929 when Euclid Avenue was a prestigious address for executives and innovators that helped propel the industrial revolution? The Row was one of the most beautiful spots in the world to live because of the park-like setting, the churches and estates, the society parties. On Sundays, it was a marvelous spectacle of residents dressed their best, walking to church. The legendary sleigh races that took place on Euclid Avenue attracted thousands of bystanders who would line up between East 40th and East 9th Streets to watch the sport.
The Cleveland Storyteller, in partnership with Destination Cleveland, Discover My Cleveland and The American Bus Association (ABA), shared Euclid Avenue’s past during a tour of Millionaire’s Row. It included highlighting former mansions and sharing stories of the four still standing: The Stager Beckwith, Mather Mansion, The Drury and H.W. White Mansion.
Here’s a virtual ride down Euclid Avenue here…
2605 Euclid Ave.
The Mather was built in 1910, and the cost was said to be $3 million, which was significant for the time. It featured a third-floor ballroom, as many mansions did during that era. The Cleveland Orchestra occasionally entertained there during parties-and some of those gatherings had guest lists topping 500 people.
Sadly, Sam Mather’s wife, Flora Stone Mather, died of breast cancer before the mansion was completed. Their daughter, Constance, became the mistress of the house and coordinated all of the entertaining that took place there. The Mather’s summer home was in Bratenahl-what we know today as Shoreby Club.
The Stager Beckwith Mansion
3813 Euclid Ave.
The oldest mansion on Millionaire’s row, this home was built in the 1860s by the owners of Beckwith Sterling furniture store, also located on Euclid Avenue. It became the University Club, and today the Cleveland Children’s Museum is repurposing the mansion for its new home.
8625 Euclid Ave.
Located at the corner of Euclid Avenue and East 86th Street, this 52-room mansion was constructed in 1910. It was one of the last built on Millionaire’s Row by Francis Drury, who made a fortune selling kerosene stoves to John D. Rockefeller and Standard Oil. Drury also built a summer estate in Gates Mills that today is part of Gilmour Academy. That is a larger duplication of the Euclid Ave. mansion.
H.W. White Mansion
8937 Euclid Ave.
The owner of the White mansion was not associated with White Motor Company or White Sewing Machine, as many might expect. He actually worked for Baker Motor Vehicle Company, a premiere electric car producer in Cleveland during the turn of the century. Some folklore-in the coach house, there was work done to develop the atomic bomb.
>>Learn more about the mansions that made Millionaire’s Row a “showplace of America,” and a rich piece of Cleveland history. Book a private event with the Cleveland Storyteller at your business or organization, or attend one of the scheduled speaking engagements.