Saturday, September 27, 2008

US 20 in Ohio: Millionaire’s Row

Samuel Andrews Mansion

I just published an entry today in my blog, ”All Things Cleveland”, about Cleveland’s Millionaire’s Row, which I felt was also appropriate to share with fans of US Route 20. Millionaire’s Row was a stretch of US 20 (Euclid Avenue) in Cleveland where, in the later 1800s and early 1900s, some of the wealthiest people in the city and the nation took up residence. Mark Twain, in a 1868 letter, said about Euclid Avenue:

“Cleveland contains one of the finest streets in America -- Euclid avenue. Euclid is buried at one end of it -- the old original Euclid that invented the algebra, misfortune overtake him! It is devoted to dwelling-houses entirely and it costs you $100,000 to "come in." Therefore none of your poor white trash can live in that street. You have to be redolent of that odor of sanctity which comes with cash. The dwellings are very large, are often pretty pretentious in the matter of architecture, and the grassy and flowery "yards" they stand in are something marvellous -- being from one to three hundred feet front and nine hundred feet deep! -- a front on the avenue and another front on Lake Erie.”

Many rich industrialists lived on Euclid Avenue in Cleveland. The most notable was industrialist and philanthropist John D. Rockefeller. But Rockefeller made sure that his house was demolished after his death, preferring that to its eventual deterioration.

Due to over industrialization of the area and urban decay, only a few of the original mansions are still standing today.

One thing I didn’t include in my original blog entry was a link to a excerpt from a book “Showplace of America, Euclid Avenue 1850-1910” By Jan Cigliano which includes segments of the book which are available through Google Book Search. While the complete book isn’t online, there are many pages viewable which give a very interesting view, in both text and pictures, of how Euclid Avenue looked when lined with mansions. The book looks like a fitting tribute to a once grand stretch of the longest road in the United States.

If you’d like to see more information on Millionaire’s Row, check out the links below.

Additional reading
”All Things Cleveland: “Cleveland’s Bygone Millionaire’s Row” (includes links to pictures of some of the mansions and list of those still standing)

Euclid Avenue's Million-dollar Legacy

“Showplace of America, Euclid Avenue 1850-1910” By Jan Cigliano, book excerpts from Google Book Search

The US Route 20 Blog homepage can be found here.

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