Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Views from a department store

When Cleveland had people shopping in the department stores of downtown, Higbee's was the top of the line. Its twelve floors were part of the Terminal Tower complex. The central tower, sat over trains, and once was the tallest building between New York City and Chicago.

The elevators were five on one side, and five across from them.  They were modeled after those in the transoceanic liners like the Normandie and the Titanic. Plastic jambs and lintels were formed to resemble marble. Handsome veneers on the outside door, with long vertical inlays where they met. On each door there were art nouveau stencils. These will remain when the lower floors are converted to a casino.

Now, I have pointed out, St. Michael's is visible from many points in the city. From the Higbee's building looking along W. 2nd, beyond the neon guitar, and the Lorain-Carnegie bridge, is the taller steeple of St. Michael's. The shorter one is directly in line and behind.

Daughters of St. Paul had a bookstore at Ontario Street, kitty corner from Higbee's, now there are lawyers' offices there, and the property has been sold in speculation to a parking lot magnate. The sisters left behind a statue of Paul [it must not have been on Lennon's inventory].
Postscriptum 2 November 2011: The building and the block, that had the bookstore, has been demolished.

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