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From James Wattenmaker
April 28, 2012
105th & Euclid – from 1850 on

All this touched deeply into my own boyhood memories . . . starting with Grandfather/mother Corday’s home on E.79th Street, a few blocks northwest and my father’s role in making E. 105th & Euclid come alive as the city’s first ‘suburban’ shopping/entertainment center.-, just after WW1. I remembered Berkowitz’s big delicatessen, going to movies in Grandpa’s big Packard, later listening to great jazz at Lindsay’s and Cedar Road’s black-and-tan clubs . . .and 20 years later hearing Cannonball Adderley & other Jazz greats with Kay White in the Alhambra’s basement, walking down the hill in Little Italy with my feisty friend Joe Miller, and pulling him away from a challenge from tough locals . . .

My long-ago memories reached into connections my grown-up years . . . working with Berkowtiz’s grandson (who gained fame by putting serious restaurants in the Hyatt Hotels), Shondor Birns (the numbers king who finally met his fate), Fenway Hall,(where we had Sunday family dinners), CMA (most memorably El Greco’s Christ on the Cross & knights in armor), (first, in Halle Brothers box Severance Hall (sitting in the Halle Bros. box with a friend who worked there, my (mother fussing about a not-white shirt), Little Italy, skating on Doan Creek, frozen on its way to Lake Erie and the world, the Elysium (where we ice-skated regularly in high school), Cedar Hill. It referenced the 19th century center of Jewish life in Cleveland, Glenville & 105, just a few blocks north . . . the still extant Tennis Courts where my Mother and her brother won most of the tennis titles just before and after 1920. We saw Magnolia Drive, then and now, where Cleveland’s elite lived and still charming with its large mansions mostly intact.

My great Grandfather Solomon Kohn created S. Kohn & Sons in Glenville, and the 5-story furniture store became a focal landmark. I have photos of my mother and her family motoring along Rockefeller Park and East Boulevard in one of Grandfather’s large Packards. My father managed the first Bailey Co. department store at 10th & Euclid (til The Depression hit hard), and he played a lead role in establishing the area as the first entertainment & shopping area outside Downtown, including the push to finish Chester Avenue from Downtown to ‘the circle’ and re-create Cedar Hill as the gateway to and from the ‘Heights’ from the city.

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Nina Freedlander Gibans
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13800 Shaker Boulevard #1108
Cleveland, OH 44120-1585
Phone & fax: 216-561-0404