The Seventh Police Precinct was established with the annexation of the Village of East Cleveland into the City of Cleveland in late 1872. In November, 1872, Roundsman William Tompkins was appointed Acting Sergeant was assigned to East Cleveland along with one Roundsman and six Patrolmen. Initially the police shared quarters with the Fire Department in a building that was formerly a church. The Officers were moved to a rented room in Hovey’s Block on Euclid Avenue near Doan Street.
In 1873, Sergeant Tompkins gave a light-hearted description of life in the 7th precinct to the Cleveland Daily Herald, explaining how the nationwide financial crisis of the Panic of 1873 had influenced crime in the area.
In 1878 they move to rented rooms in the J.H. Rhodes Block at the corner of Euclid Avenue and Wilson Street. In 1883 Precinct Boundaries were revamped and the Seventh Precinct took over The Wales Street Headquarters and the boundaries included Ackley Ave. to Union St, along Union to the city limits, along the limits to Fleet Street, along Fleet to Ackley to Union St.
Architects Fugman & Ulrjch won the contract to design and construct a new Seventh Precinct Headquarters building in 1900. In the professional magazine Ohio Architect they described the facility as follows:
“The structure promises to be one of the finest police stations in the city and well adapted to the modern methods of the department. It will be of pressed buff brick with stone trimmings, 105 x 40 and three stories. On the first floor of the main building will be the offices of the lieutenant and captain, roll call room, private office, vault and jail. The jail will contain eighteen cells and will be built of enameled brick with a steel roof interior. The second floor will contain sitting, dining, and report rooms, kitchen and baths for the patrolmen, and a large dormitory, while the top floor will contain a large drill room 40 x 40. The entire building will be finished after the most modern methods of construction.
Besides the station the same firm has finished plans for a new patrol barn which will be located on the same lot. This building will be two stories, will contain besides the wagon shed, toilet room. sitting room and kitchen for the patrolmen, harness room, seven stalls and on the second floor an immense hay loft.”
The new headquarters was opened to the public on August 29th, 1901 with a gala affair. According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “The ‘house-warming’ and formal opening of the new Seventh precinct police station on Broadway near Jones avenue was celebrated with regal style, last evening. The occasion was entered into with great spirit by the South Enders and by the police officials, and was long to be remembered.”
With the reorganization of the Division of Police by Public Safety Director Eliot Ness in October of 1938, the Seventh Precinct Headquarters became a satellite police station in the new Fourth Police District. It remained functional until the late 1970s or early 1980s.