Euclid Beach Park opened in 1895, incorporated under The Euclid Beach Park Co. They were losing twenty thousand dollars a season, but if they sold the land they would lose more than half of their investment. They leased the park to the Humphrey Family and it opened in 1901 under their management. The first "Arch" was constructed entirely of wood. It stood about a quarter of a mile east of where the existing main entrance gate arch stands.
The main entrance gate arch was constructed circa 1921. It was constructed entirely of wood and designed to resemble a large letter "H" as in Humphrey. The sign in the crosspiece originally said "Park". The public referred to the park as "Euclid Beach Park" rather than "Humphrey Park" and the sign in the crosspiece was changed.
The foundations for The Arch are octagonal in shape, each side is approximately 36" long. The distance between parallel sides is approximately 96". Both towers have a door on their back side. Permanent wooden ladders are along one wall of each tower which pass through an opening in the first floor ceiling to allow access to the interior of the centerpiece. Originally a number of incandescent bulbs were used to illuminate the letters spelling out "Euclid Beach Park" in the crosspiece. They were later converted to neon; the wiring insulators are still inside the crosspiece. Around 1942, a contractor was hired to install stone covering called "Permastone" to the outside of the arch. The Arch is a designated city landmark as authorized by the Cleveland Landmarks Commission.
On January 11, 2007, an SUV crashed into the east tower of the arch. The impact tore out about a third of the first story walls of the east tower and caused the tower to shift partially off its foundation, about six inches toward the main street in front of the arch and two inches to its right. There was damage at the crosspiece where it connects to the east tower. Force of the impact was transferred through the centerpiece and to the west tower causing it to rotate slightly on its base. The City of Cleveland Building Department and Landmarks Commission responded immediately that day. Due to the severe damage, they called in a company specializing in structual damage who temporarily installed scaffolding bracing under the crosspiece to prevent a collapse.
At first it was unclear as who may be responsible for The Arch, and it was feared it would be demolished. The late Frank Brodnick, President of Euclid Beach Park Now, urged City of Cleveland Ward 11 Councilman Michael D. Polensek and Northeast Shores Development Corporation to save The Arch. The City of Cleveland demanded a more comprehensive structural analysis and recommendations. The driver of the vehicle was insured. The insurance company has one adjuster who specializes in damage to historic structures and that person flew into Cleveland and made an inspection. The damage was covered up to the $25,000 limit of the policy. Associated Estates Realty Corporation, the owner of the adjacent apartment complex came forward to cover the balance required to restore The Arch.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was held at the Euclid Beach Arch on Tuesday, June 12, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.
AWARD OF MERIT
The restoration of The Arch was nominated for the 2008 preservation awards presented by the Cleveland Restoration Society and AIA Cleveland. The awards ceremony was held on May 6, 2008, at The Ohio Theatre, part of Cleveland's Playhouse Square complex. An Award of Merit was presented to:
- Associated Estates
- Euclid Beach Park Now
- Northeast Shores Development Corporation
- City of Cleveland Councilman Michael D. Polensek, Ward 11.
Frank J. Brodnick (1949-2007)