Police Buildings: Eighth Precinct, 2885 Detroit, ca 1892

The Eighth Precinct began life as the “West Side Watch House” in 1855 with the annexation of Ohio City Village.  The site was rented space in an old schoolhouse on Vermont Street, which was “fitted up…at the expense of $856.13.”  Named the Fourth Precinct it was most frequently called the “West Side” Precinct.  In 1882 precinct boundaries were changed and the “west side” precinct was renumbered to the Eighth Precinct.

In June of 1887 a new Patrol Barn was constructed on the corner of Vermont and Hanover Streets.  By 1892, the Eight Precinct Headquarters had deteriorated so much that the Officers were moved into the Patrol Barn. 

January 18, 1855 Plain Dealer
Blue circle is Vermont and Hanover intersection; Red circle is 8th precinct 1898

February 2, 1892 Plain Dealer

February 2, 1892 Plain Dealer

A new headquarters was proposed for the corner of Detroit and Church Streets in 1891 on property that formerly belonged to the historic First Congressional Church that was founded in 1834.

The new headquarters was opened to the public on February 3rd, 1892.  The 1898 History of the Cleveland Police Department said of the Eighth Precinct that “…the Station is second in importance to Central Station and is an imposing structure, which rears its towers at the corner of Detroit and State streets.” 

Basement plan
First Floor plan
Second Floor plan
Third Floor plan

8th Precinct building costs
8th Precinct building costs

It was described in the Cleveland Plain Dealer as “Infinitely superior to any public building in the city is the new West Side Police Station which was formerly opened by a banquet, reception and ball last night.  There were nearly 500 of the best people of the city present.  The spacious drill hall and court rooms were lavishly decorated and lighted with incandescent lights.  The building faces Detroit street and has a frontage also on State and Church streets.  Lehman & Schmitt are the architects.  There has been paid for the structure so far $46,490.21, leaving $13,871.65 still to be paid.  The Structure complete will cost the city $60,361.86.  The Patrol Barn has provision for three wagons if necessary.”

Eighth Precinct Station, 1898
Invitation to the opening reception of the Eighth Precinct Station in February, 1892. Courtesy of Cleveland Public Library History Division

8th Precinct, looking south, 1940
8th Precinct barn, 1940

In 1938 when Safety Director Eliot Ness established five police districts and reorganized patrol boundaries, the Eight Precinct became the Headquarters of the Second District.  This location remained headquarters until a new building was constructed on the corner of Fulton Road and Daisy Avenue in 1954.

Office in the Second District, 2885 Detroit, 1950s
Office in the Second District, 2885 Detroit, 1950s
Patrolman Robert Shankland #1040 outside of the Second District, 2885 Detroit, 1953
Second District, 2885 Detroit, 1953