The WAREHOUSE DISTRICT is an area north and west of Superior Ave. and W. 3rd St. which is the remnant of the late 19th century Victorian wholesale commercial area. Before 1850 the 8-block district was part of the original residential area of the city, but by the mid-1850s rows of commercial blocks began to dominate it. While the oldest of the remaining buildings are from the 1850s, the majority were built in the 1870s and 1880s. The post-Civil War buildings housed wholesale grocers and dry goods and tool suppliers. In the 1880s the offices of American Express, the Worthington Hardware Co., and the Cleveland Rolling Mill were located in the district. The area also housed the offices of Cleveland newspapers, several hotels, and one of Cleveland's earliest theaters, the ACADEMY OF MUSIC. Toward the end of the century, several major office buildings were erected for the iron, coal, oil, railroad, and shipping industries, including the PERRY-PAYNE, WESTERN RESERVE, and ROCKEFELLER BUILDINGS. Some of the buildings remaining in the 1990s are outstanding examples of architectural design, including the Hoyt Block (1875), the Root & McBride-Bradley Bldg. (1884), and the Bingham Co. Warehouse (1915). Since World War II, more than half of the district has been razed and replaced by surface parking lots. In 1982 the area was designated a Cleveland Landmark District by the city and a National Register District by the U.S. Interior Dept. The Historic Warehouse District Development Corp. was established the following year to coordinate neighborhood reinvestment. In the 1980s many of the buildings in the Warehouse District began to be rehabilitated for purposes ranging from residential loft use to professional offices, and by 1995 was home to many restaurants, nightclubs, specialty shops, businesses, and residential buildings.
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