Since the demise of the Ginney Block, many changes have occurred in the old Hay Market District of the city of Cleveland. Progress and the ravages of time have taken their toll. Race Street has disappeared.

The Rolling Road disappeared around about the time that Race Street was excavated out of existence for the building of the railway approach to the Terminal Tower. The Old Market House once located across from the Rolling Road as an island between Ontario Street and East Fourth Street was destroyed by fire in the late forties. It was never rebuilt. The newer Sheriff Street Market northward on East 4th Street replaced it as the neighborhood market.

In short what was once the city's earliest settlement of Italian immigrants, with its distinctive shops and grocery stores such as Palmisanos, Zannonis and Galluccis, which except for Galluccis are now mere memories in that area. What was once one of the city's busiest market areas, filled almost daily with crowds of people of all nationalities who sought the popular imported and domestic Italian staples and delicacies, has been demolished, and paved over with traffic islands and freeway interchanges. The old Hay Market is gone! In recent time, there has been talk around the City of Cleveland and articles in the Plain Dealer about building a Domed Stadium on the site of the Old Central Market House. It is hard for me to visualize such a structure on that site.




Terminal Tower circa 1928 with the Old Market House in the foreground. From set of Etchings by Louis Conrad Rosenberg. Commissioned by the Van Sweringen Brothers.
From the collection of Frank Gerlak. Reproduced with his permission.




Will the last vestiges of the remaining landmarks of the area be wiped out by the wrecking ball as the Ginney Block was, so long ago? Will every last memory of the existence of one of Cleveland's most colorful areas be superceded by the Domed Stadium? Should that be the case, I hope that the reminiscences that make up this little book will help those who read them realize that once upon a time there was a Hay Market district settled by a group of hard working Italian Immigrants, who lived, loved, and raised families in a place known as The Ginney Block.