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Cleveland, Ohio - abandoned Superior Avenue subway (broadband recommended)

Dan

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Veterans Memorial Bridge and Subway Tour

Cleveland --- On Saturday, May 29, 2004, the Office of Robert C. Klaiber, Jr., P.E., P.S., Cuyahoga County Engineer, will host walking tours of the Veterans Memorial Bridge and subway. A second tour will be held the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend, September 4, 2004. As in past tours, these are self-guided and require no reservations. All are encouraged to visit between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. and are welcome to stay as long as they wish to fully enjoy a piece of Cleveland’s history.
Seeing this press release, I knew right away it was an event I could not miss. Around noon, I parked my car at the Green Avenue station, took the Shaker Heights light rail line to Tower City, walked across the upper deck of the Veterans Memorial Bridge into Ohio City, and dove into a seldom-seen part of Cleveland with many other intrepid urban explorers.

For larger images, visit the Cyburbia Gallery.

Cleveland Subway open house, Saturday 29 May 2004


Lower level of Veterans Memorial Bridge looking east towards downtown


Superior Avenue tunnel, looking east


Superior Avenue tunnel, looking west


West 25th Street station, old westbound platform


Mockup of streetcar coming north on West 25th Street, turning east under Superior Avenue


Standing on West 25th Street station eastbound platform, looking north


Mockup of streetcar


West 25th Street station westbound platform


West 25th Street eastbound platform, looking west


Ramp from West 25th Street eastbound platform, looking west


Lower level of Veterans Memorial Bridge, looking north at new loft construction


Lower level of Veterans Memorial Bridge, looking east towards downtown


Lower level of Veterans Memorial Bridge, looking east towards downtown


Lower level of Veterans Memorial Bridge, looking east towards downtown


Superior Avenue tunnel, trolley wire guard


West 25th Street station, westbound platform


West 25th Street station, stairway to ???


West 25th Street station, entrance to Forest City Savings and Trust Building
 

Dan

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West 25th Street station, exit to surface from westbound platform


West 25th Street station, stairway from surface to westbound platform


West 25th Street station, pedestrian tunnel to westbound platform


West 25th Street station, westbound platform, stairs to crossunder tunnel.


West 25th Street station, stalactites


West 25th Street ststation,ation, eastbound platform, stairs to crossunder tunnel leading to westbound platform


West 25th Street station, eastbound platform


West 25th Street station, eastbound platform


Superior Street tunnel, original sign on north tunnel wall


Superior Street tunnel looking west


Portion of the Superior Street tunnel turned into a theater for streetcar enthusiasts


Streetcar tracks exposed by road reconstruction just north of the Cuyahoga County Engineer's Office, north of the Subway tour entrance.
 

Gedunker

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Interesting pics, Dan. What is the status of light rail transit in Cleveland -- is there any? Seems at least some of the r-o-w is in place if they ever want to re-start it. Any talk along those lines?
 

Dan

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Gedunker said:
Interesting pics, Dan. What is the status of light rail transit in Cleveland -- is there any? Seems at least some of the r-o-w is in place if they ever want to re-start it. Any talk along those lines?
There's two light rail lines; both being the Shaker Heights lines (Blue and Green) built by the Ven Sweringen brothers in the 1910s. There is extensive right-of-way beyond the end of the Green Line, down the middle of Shaker Boulevard and Gates Mills Boulevard several miles east of the current teminus at Green Road. However, the Depression bankrupted the Van Sweringens, and the proposed extension was never built; the right-of-way has stood empty since the 1920s, even though it's still mostly graded and cleared. (Check out topozone.com; you'll see the ROW and grading contours.)

The Shaker Heights development was originally supposed to extend far east of where it ends now, but again the Depression killed the original plans. The area that was supposed to be Shaker Village, following the never-built eastern extension of the Green Line, was developed from the 1950s through the 1970s; today it's the cities of Beachwood, Pepper Pike and Gates Mills.

There is an overhead-powered heavy rail line, the Red Line, running from Cleveland Hopkins Airport to East Cleveland. It was another line started by the Van Sweringens, partially built but not operated in the 1920s, abandoned in the Depression, and finally completed with service starting in the 1950s.

No talk of reusing the lower level of the Veterans Memorial Bridge for transit. The Red Line runs just south of the bridge.
 

Miles Ignatius

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Fascinating Shots!

Thanks for posting these - I had no idea that this line existed. Folly of course, but I can't help wonder what Cleveland would be like today if resources were devoted to this project instead of say, building the Shoreway and all of the other roads that sucked the life out of the place.
 
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