The CLEVELAND ENGINEERING SOCIETY, founded in 1880 as the Civil Engineers' Club, soon broadened both the membership and the goals of the organization to include representation from all branches of engineering. The society served as a forum to discuss current advances in the field; offered a means of continuing education for its members; provided a technical education center for the community at large; and maintained a student loan fund to aid students who sought technical education. In 1925 the organization donated over 14,000 technical books to the CLEVELAND PUBLIC LIBRARY for public use. The society had over 1,500 members until the Depression, when the number of dues-paying members declined as engineers lost their jobs.
After occupying many homes in the downtown area, in 1958 the Cleveland Engineering Society erected a permanent home at 3100 Chester Ave., site of the John Huntington estate and Polytechnic Institute. In the early 1970s, when engineers, especially those trained in aerospace, again faced mass layoffs, it tried to reorient the jobless to new specialties. Although the society had over 2,000 members, mounting economic pressures forced the organization to reduce its staff and sell the building in 1983. However, the society continued its educational and professional activities at the same location. Throughout its history, the engineering society has issued useful publications of its members; its journals, transactions, and bulletins also provide an exchange of information among the different subspecialties and keep members informed of local happenings.