Police Buildings: 13th Precinct Station, 8003 Superior, ca 1901

At the turn of the 20th century, the population of Cleveland continued to grow, moving east along Superior Avenue.  With the increased population came the need for an increased police presence with a new station house nearby.  “Patrolmen making an arrest in that part of the town sometimes needed as much as three hours to take their prisoner to the nearest station and get back on their beats.”

In early 1901, the City of Cleveland advertised for bids “for a patrol station and barn” on Superior, near Woolsey (now E. 79th). This “entirely new station” served the recently created Thirteenth District. Land for the new station was purchased in April that year, but construction was delayed for several months. In the meantime, the officers of the Thirteenth worked out of rented rooms, formerly used as a store, just down the road, on Superior at East Madison (now Addison) next to the Superior Bank.

Cuyahoga County Atlas, 1927-1937
July 9, 1901 Plain Dealer

Architect William R. Watterson drew up plans for the new station and Safety Director Lapp fielded numerous bids for the construction, which was estimated to cost $16,000.  The cost of the prison cells alone were more than $4,000. The station, located at 8016 Superior Street, was opened by Director Barrett on March 29, 1901. Lieutenants Daniel “DG” Stanton and James “JJ” Martin were assigned to duty In Charge of the new station. The boundaries, which took parts of the Fourth and Eleventh Precincts, are the lake to the city limits on the east, to Hazel Street, to Wade Park Avenue, to Norwood Avenue and Munich Street (East 62nd) and to the lake.  In the 1920s and 1930s, Mobile Patrol 591 was kept in the garage (converted from the original stables), “awaiting emergency ambulance or prisoner runs instigated by zone cars, namely 534, 535, 536, 537 or by a central or radio dispatcher.”

Thirteenth Precinct station house, 1940
Thirteenth Precinct station garages, 1940.
Patrolman James Fousek #886 and Ambulanceman Jack F. Delaney #59 (on right)

The building remained in service as a police station until the Eliot Ness’s major departmental reorganization in 1938, when he closed a number of precinct station houses. At that time, the Thirteen Precinct building was turned over to the city’s recreation Department and became the home of the Dudley S. Blossom Boystown Center. Organized to combat juvenile delinquency, Boys Towns provided a variety of services and support centered on crime prevention to boys aged 8-18. The Dudley S. Blossom Boystown Center operated at least until 1967, when a fire broke out in the building. The Thirteenth Precinct station was torn down shortly thereafter.

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