The LAKE ERIE BUILDING in LAKEWOOD was built in the early twentieth century to house manufacturing for the Templar Motor Cars Corporation. Members of the Knights Templar – Arthur M. Dean, J.E. Mathews, and Matthew F. Bramley – founded the company in 1917 to design and manufacture “small cars” (the equivalent of modern sports cars).

Bramley, the president of the company, was also the founder of Cleveland Trinidad Paving Co., the first to pave asphalt streets in Cleveland. The logo that branded the cars was the Maltese Cross, matching Masonic iconography. The engines were manufactured at the Lakewood factory at 4000 Halstead Street, while other features were outsourced to affiliated corporations. Templar Motor Cars ended business in 1924, and ownership of the factory went to Bramley Storage.

Today, the building hosts the Screw Factory Artists’ studios. The Screw Factory Artists are a maker collective based in Lakewood. Three artists from the AMERICAN GREETINGS CORP. founded the organization in 1994.  The collective repurpose the Lake Erie Building as not only a studio, but also a marketplace for their pieces. Currently (2023), over sixty artists are members of the Screw Factory Artists organization. During events such as the annual Fall Art Show or Holiday Market, visitors can support local artists and small businesses by purchasing ceramics, prints, woodwork, and jewelry. 

Margaret Yuna Kim

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