City Hall was caught, midbath.
As a crew sprayed down the granite facade, the building at the center of Cleveland’s civic life was celebrating its 60th birthday.
Dedicated in 1916, City Hall was conceived as part of the 1903 Group Plan. The beaux-arts structure designed by J. Milton Dyer, who also crafted the First Methodist Church on Euclid Avenue, was a vast improvement over Cleveland’s first government building — the cabin of early settler James Kingsbury.
When Dyer handed the hall’s key to Mayor Harry L. Davis July 4, Plain Dealer columnist W. R. Rose philosophized: “An important progressive step in every municipality is the establishment of a permanent abiding place for its city government — our new city hall looks permanent.”
While planning finishing touches such as the City Council chamber mural, Dyer echoed that sentiment in a 1917 article for The American Architect. “When finally completed [City Hall] will have solved the problem of the central points from which the city’s future growth will radiate,” wrote Dyer, “but will also present in its architectural development one of the most important and dignified undertakings by any American city.”
City Hall was last cleaned in late June and early July this year — 100 years after its dedication. Here’s to the next 100.