The JOHN GILL & SONS CO. was one of Cleveland's most important families of builders. The first John Gill immigrated to the U.S. from the Isle of Man in 1854 to become one of the early masonry contractors in Cleveland. The first major structure undertaken by him was the Northern Ohio Lunatic Asylum (1875, demolished 1977). His son John T. Gill (1857-1927) learned his trade working as a stonemason's apprentice on the asylum. In 1881 he became a partner with his father, and the firm became John Gill & Sons. The firm built the Post Office building in Washington, DC, the Baltimore Courthouse, and the Missouri State Capitol. After his father's death in 1911, John T. Gill became vice-president of the company. Locally, the firm built the Leader-News Bldg. (1912), the Hanna Bldg. and Theater, the Bulkley Bldg., ALLEN THEATRE in PLAYHOUSE SQUARE (1921), the Federal Reserve Bank (1923), the Tifereth Israel Temple (1924), and the Terminal Tower (1927), probably the most important building of its career (see CLEVELAND UNION TERMINAL). After John T. Gill's death, his younger brother, Kermode F. Gill (b. 1866), became president; the firm went out of existence 2 years after his death in 1951. In 1975 the Isle of Man issued 4 commemorative stamps recognizing Manx pioneers of Cleveland, one of which portrayed the Terminal Tower and the firm of John Gill & Sons.


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