Renaissance on Cleveland’s East 9th Street

Cleveland is definitely experiencing a come-back. The most recent, and perhaps the most significant step in this come back is the renovation of the former AmeriTrust property on the east side of East 9th Street between Euclid Avenue and Huron Road.

Historic Cleveland Trust Rotunda
Historic Cleveland Trust Rotunda

Founded in 1894, by 1905 the Cleveland Trust Co. had outgrown its series of rented offices, and embarked on the construction of a new headquarters building at Euclid Avenue and East 9th Street (above), which opened in 1908. By 1924 Cleveland Trust became the 6th largest bank in the country, reaching $1 billion in assets by 1945.

In order to establish affiliates throughout the state, the bank formed CleveTrust as a holding company in the early 1970s. CleveTrust then changed its name to the AmeriTrust Corp. in 1979 to reflect these new horizons, and exchanged its state charter for a national one in 1983, permitting AmeriTrust to expand outside the state of Ohio.

The collapse of the real estate market in the late 1980s substantially weakened AmeriTrust, which was burdened by too many high-risk real estate loans. On September 13, 1991, AmeriTrust was merged into Society National Bank (now Key Corp), consolidating two of the major banking establishments in the area.

Join me over the coming months as I photograph the renovation of the Rotunda, the former Swetland Building (just east of the Rotunda on Euclid Avenue), and the 28-story tower (just south of the Rotunda on East 9th Street), and the demolition of two other office buildings to make way for the new Cuyahoga County Administration Building.

10 thoughts on “Renaissance on Cleveland’s East 9th Street”

  1. Good luck with your project. I can relate to what you are going to do. I find it helpful to become friends with everyone on the crew; they will be helpful in so many ways. Oh and plan on making many trips to the job site; things change rapidly in construction.

    1. Welcome, Nick. Good to see you here. I agree with your comments. For the past two years I have documented the historic renovation of a hospital and its transformation into affordable senior living, and by summer, the home of a charter school and offices for non-profit organizations. A gallery of selected photographs can be seen at http://www.artographyonline.com/galleries/saintLukes. The success of that project so far has been due in large measure to the friends that I have made, and the frequency of my visits. I hope you will check back often as I post some of the images here.

      Best,
      Lauren

      1. I just visited the site you linked in your reply. What a transformation! I couldn’t help thinking what wonderful subject matter it would have been for HDR imagery. Good luck with your next project and of course I’ll follow along on your blog.

  2. I enjoyed the pictures and information on the Historic Cleveland Trust Rotunda, but when I saw your pictures of the old St. Luke’s Hospital, I was thrilled.
    I attended nursing school at St. Lukes in the mid 1960’s and this brought back many memories. I can still picture being in Prentiss Hall. Having lived there for three years, I am glad the building has been repurposed into senior living. It has certainly brought back it’s splendor. Thank you for the fond memories.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Sheri, and foryour very kind comments. I am so pleased that the Saint Luke’s gallery brought back some happy memories. I hope the (future) book will do the same!

      Best,
      Lauren

  3. I so enjoyed your article. I had no idea that Millet painted murals in Cleveland. He had a cousin, Cora Holden, who was a Cleveland resident and painted murals in the Federal Reserve Building and the Dittrick (?) Museum of Medicine (on the CWRU campus). I am sure there is a connection between his presence in CLeveland her life in CLeveland. She too ended up with a tragic death by drowning.

Please leave a comment! I am looking forward to your thoughts!