Cleveland: Whiskey Island Coast Guard Station

1954 postcard from the Michael Schwartz Library at Cleveland State University

There’s been some fantastic news for the Cleveland Coast Guard Station.  Built in 1940, this gem of Art Deco architecture is only one of its kind, and among very few Art Deco structures in Cleveland.  It was designed in 1940 to look like a ship by J. Milton Dyer, who also built Cleveland’s City Hall.  Fleetingly, it was a disco in the ’80s or ’90s, only reachable by boat, but has been considered abandoned since the coast guard left in 1976…until this year. [x]


It was meant to be copied for more new coast guard stations across the country, but World War II interrupted those plans.  The city replaced the roof in 2009, essentially rescuing the structure from certain ruin.  Last year, Great Lakes Brewery owner Pat Conway spearheaded a movement to restore the station, and the Cleveland Metroparks announced in February that it will be working with him toward a full renovation and historic preservation of the building, although they aren’t sure what it will be used for, yet.  They plan to finish the exterior by summer, and are hoping it will be done by the park’s centennial celebration next year. [x]

29 thoughts on “Cleveland: Whiskey Island Coast Guard Station

  1. I have always been really interested in abandoned buildings and the history behind them. I want to tell you that I love how you depict these amazing buildings and explain the history of them. I live in Ohio too, so it’s really chilling to see all of these buildings I drive past everyday in a whole new light.
    Great Job!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am quite the newbie here, not having even posted anything as yet, but I plan to follow you and come back here often. Your topic (old run down buildings) tugs at my very heartstrings! In particular, I have an affection for old mental institutions and hospitals of any type. This, however, is SO interesting to me because my husband was in the Coast Guard and stationed in Ohio, though I don’t think it was Cleveland. (we hadn’t met yet) Thanks for being here!


    1. Thank you! 🙂 I love the hospitals too, they were my first few adventures and they’ve always got the most fascinating histories. Also, welcome to WordPress! I haven’t been here that long myself but I am enjoying it a lot.


  3. What an amazing blog! I love the way the coast guard building actually looks like a ship. Being a European we tend to forget that the War impacted on America too, but completely different ways. For us buildings got destroyed. For this building – it’s potential as a trend setter was stifled. Tell me: how do you find out about these buildings?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like your photos and stories of the old buildings. I have always thought they had more character than today’s structures. I grew up in a small town just outside of Cleveland. I live in Florida now, but I know the building.

    I like to take photos of the details inside the buildings and use them as inspiration for some of my quilts. Tile and stone work that often is over looked.

    another great forgotten place in Cleveland is an old wooden roller coaster that collapsed along the cliffs of the valley. Puritas Spring Park. We played in the area as kids and my parents always drove the roadway up the cliff before it collapsed.

    Liked by 1 person

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