Police Buildings: Second Precinct, ca 1869

The original Second Precinct Station, completed in 1869 on the corner of Oregon and Oliver Streets (present day Rockwell and East 24th) served as the base for ten patrolman and their supervisor, Sergeant Goodrich. These men patrolled the second district, whose boundaries ran “on the north by the lake; on the east by the city limits; on the south by Euclid Avenue; and on the west by Erle Street.” At the time of it’s opening on February 13, 1869, the Second Precinct Station was one of five station houses occupied by the Cleveland Police force. 

Immediately after the station house opened, The Cleveland Daily Herald enthused that “rowdyism and crime there has fallen off more than one half. The idea of being locked up there all night and then marched down town to the central station in the morning is not pleasing to the fifth ward bummers, and hence they keep pretty straight.”

Cleveland Daily Herald, 2/13/1869
Second Precinct Station House, ca 1869

Improvements to the building started just a few short months after it’s opening, including the addition of a window and a clothes closet. By 1871, the city requested “plans, specifications and estimates of cost of the proposed addition to the Station House in the Second Police Precinct.”  Architect L.P. Eldridge supervised the additions and improvements, which were completed in the fall of 1872 for a total cost of $2740.

Cleveland Daily Herald 12/4/1871

The two-story brick building included ten prison cells, offices, an armory, a lunch room, and bath rooms.  At the time, it was described as being “of creditable appearance and…is an honor to the city” but just two years later the Cleveland Daily Herald declared “the work…of a very inferior order” with low quality materials, inferior workmanship, a leaking roof, cracked sidewalks and more.  Despite the complaints, the police used the building for several more decades.

Cuyahoga County Atlas, 1874
Atlas of Cleveland, 1881
Atlas of Cleveland, 1898
Cuyahoga County Atlas, 1927-1937

In 1889, the department extended the patrol system into the Second Precinct, a project that required “thirty-eight poles, seven miles of wire, 100 connections and twenty boxes for $466.47” as well as a new patrol barn next to the precinct station and a patrol wagon.  By the end of that year, Patrol Station 3 was “equipped with horses, wagons and harness.”

Permit for construction of Patrol Station 3
Patrol Station 3 on the left, Second Precinct Station on the right

In 1925, Chief of Police Graul sought the “construction of a building, after consolidation of the first and second precincts, on the site of Oregon Avenue and E. 24th Street, now occupied by the second precinct station, where stolen automobiles by police could be stored.”  The precinct station and patrol station were abandoned the following year. Eventually, a Super Service Station was built on the site, which served the City of Cleveland’s Streets Division.

Second Precinct, 1921/22
Back Row: Ronald Dwyer #972, Galyord Stotts #840, Harold Knecht #1063, Harry BeLonge #346, Peter P. Vargo #944,
Felix Stonski #907, Al Fahenrich #549, Clarence Stratton #1070, William Jordan #959
Third Row: George Williams #1058, James MacNamara, Martin Malloy #411, Fran Simek #942, Unidentified, Unidentified,

George Desch #996, Berger, Elwood Drumm #287,
Second Row: Kurt Gleockner #634, Clarence Wandt #345, Eigner Buhl #1051, Clarence Wandt #345, Otto Diskowski #570,

Walter Schuld #47, Peter Vargo #190, James Lowery #686, William Dempsey #949,
First Row: Sergeant Frank Koeski, Lieutenant Adolph Lenahan, Captain Frank Hoenig, Lieutenant Thomas Duffy,

Sergeant Frank Jackson, Sergeant Burton Vasbinder