Police Buildings: Second Central Station and Patrol Station #1, 1895-1925

As the city’s population grew, so did the needs of the Cleveland Police for larger, more advanced facilities. The construction on the second Central Station building on Champlain Street started in 1893, but wasn’t completed for two years. Since the first Central Station had been demolished, the headquarters temporarily moved to the Eighth Precinct on the city’s west side.

Central Police Station and Patrol Station #1, March 16, 1922

Designed by architects Lehman and Schmitt, the new station was “as much in touch with the advances made in the last thirty years as was the old one at the time of its erection. All the skill of architect and workman are to be brought into play, and, when erected, it will be a living monument to the honor of those who devised and planned it.” (Plain Dealer, 9/18/1893)

The Cleveland Police moved into the second Central Station in August, 1894. The building was state-of-the-art and widely believed to be the finest in the state. Constructed of light colored brick and fronting on Champlain Street, the main building was three stories high, nearly square and included a large air shaft/open area in it’s center. The two-story prison wing extended off the back of the main building.

Central Station and Patrol Station #1, 1898

According to the Plain Dealer, “the interior of the building is as pleasing to the eye and as well planned and constructed as is the exterior. It is finished in oak with white walls, brass stair trimmings and brass gas and electric fixtures.” The basement included an officers’ dining room, sitting room and kitchen, bath rooms, the as well as a large electric fan to ventilate the building, the boiler room, a repair workshop and the “dynamo and battery rooms” to supply electricity for the telephone system.

The first floor featured the “police headquarters proper. Here are to be found the captain, lieutenant, sergeants, desk officers, turnkeys, matrons and detectives, not forgetting the reporters.” Down a long hall were the prisons, “designated as the male, female and children’s prisons and also a barred room of detention.” On the second floor were the court room, clerks office, private offices for the judge, prosecutor and clerks, prisons, and bullpens for the prisoners waiting to be taken into court. The third floor included a dormitory, a drill room for officers, private bedrooms for the captains, an operating and cell room for the police telephone exchange, the “photographic gallery for additions to the rogues’ gallery” and the entrance to police court gallery.

Next door to the new Central Station building, the new two story, dark brick Patrol Station #1 featured a large sitting room for officers, office for “electrical apparatus” and records, bath rooms and toilets, and a 76 foot tall tower with “lookout turret and 3 wrought iron clock faces.” Built at a time when the department still relied on horses but had started using automobiles, the patrol station featured both a garage and a barn. The patrol station service area housed an ambulance and two “wagons in readiness to answer alarms”. There was garage space for “vehicles belonging to the director, superintendent, captain and superintendent of telegraph” and the barn included stalls for fourteen horses and hospital stalls for sick horses.

Patrol Station #1 on the right

The second Central Station, along with Patrol Station #1, remained in use until 1925, when they were demolished to make way for the Terminal Tower.

Champlain runs east/west in the middle of this image. The Central Police Station and Patrol Station #1 are circled
The second Central Police Station and the Patrol Station #1 were just blocks away from Cleveland’s Public Square
Central Police Station and Patrol Station #1, March 16, 1922

Second Central Station and Patrol Station #1

Central Station and Patrol Station #1, 1898