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Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

HARRIS, ALFRED WILSON

HARRIS, ALFRED WILSON

HARRIS, ALFRED WILSON (18 Aug. 1884-19 Mar. 1932), architect active in Cleveland from 1917-32, was born in Tremont, Ill., to William H. and Francis F. (Fenner) Harris. He attended the University of Illinois, then lived in Peoria several years, serving in the Air Force during WORLD WAR I. Harris began practicing architecture in Cleveland in 1917, considered a most competent designer of English-style houses, several of which were built in SHAKER HTS. He is best known for the design of Moreland Courts, a $30 million apartment and commercial development including MORELAND COURTS APARTMENTS, terrace homes on Van Aken Blvd., business buildings, stores, a theater, market house, central heating plant, and parking garage. Harris spent 14 months on the preliminary planning for the JOSIAH KIRBY development. When Kirby's plans failed in 1923, less than a year after they were announced, the VAN SWERINGEN brothers employed Harris to prepare a scheme developing Shaker Blvd. west to E. 93rd St. However, the Harris plan was never carried out, and PHILIP L. SMALL and Carl B. Rowley (see CHARLES B. ROWLEY) were engaged by the Van Sweringens to complete Moreland Courts and plan Shaker Square. Although Harris's scheme was not completely realized, the block of smaller apartments south of Shaker Square were nearly all designed by Harris although built by different developers. Harris also painted and sculpted. Aviation was a lifelong pursuit, and he was a charter member of the Cleveland Aviation Club, founded in 1919.

Harris married Mary E. Harris, and had 2 sons, Alfred, Jr., and Thomas. He died in Cleveland and was buried in Highland Park Cemetery.