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Cleveland's West Side Market

Updated on June 30, 2016
Cleveland's West Side Market
Cleveland's West Side Market

The golden brick clock tower depicted above nears its first full century of beckoning Clevelanders to the best selections of meats, cheeses, produce and prepared foods. Completed in 1912, the grand West Side Market, designed by the architectural firm of Hubbell & Benes, houses 100 different vendors in indoor sales stalls, while another 85 produce and incidentals vendors occupy the L-shaped exterior arcade.

Public market sales at this location actually preceded this fine structure by over seven decades, beginning in 1840 with the Pearl Road market of Josiah Barber and Richard Lord, in what was then Ohio City, a town separated from Cleveland by the Cuyahoga River. Over time, Cleveland and Ohio City merged, Pearl Road was renamed West 25th Street, and the Cuyahoga was spanned by a number of bridges, including the Lorain-Carnegie Bridge that provides immediate access to the Market for Eastsiders.

Designated a National Historical Landmark in 1973, the Market hall has many fine details, including its clerestory window daylighting, richly detailed barrel vault ceiling, and the many unique sculpted figures of animals and various food products adorning its pier capitals and set into walls as architectural accents. Vendor stalls are ringed with glass-fronted display cases offering the freshest of meats, poultry, seafood and cheeses, along with pastas, herbs, seasonings and related cooking and food products for homemaker or chef. Many local families plan their weekly menus around what The West Side Market has to offer.

In recent years, with the cooperation of the City of Cleveland administration, the West Side Market Tenants Association has undertaken a number of significant improvements including code upgrades, street and alley closures, a new and reconfigured parking area, new traffic signals, and seasonal enclosures for all of the exterior arcade stalls. The improvements were capped with a new merchandising and marketing plan that continues today. Soon a second Century of Clevelanders will be patronizing one of the finest public markets in the nation.

For more information, including a virtual tour and historic photographs, you can visit the West Side Market's website, or simply travel to rickzworld.

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