Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Movin' through the Cleveland Heat

Vern Morrison has been doing some extra legwork on the "Precious"/Cleveland Agora question. (See "Agoraphobia".) After reminding us that the verse in question begins:

East 55th and Euclid Avenue was real precious
Hotel Sterling coming into view how precious

Vern writes:

I work for the Cleveland State University Library. Part of my duties involve working at Special Collections, which, among many other things, hosts Cleveland city directories throughout the years. I checked the street directory for 1977 (we don't have one for '78 or '79). The Hotel Sterling was located at 3000 Prospect, one block south and about 25 blocks west of the Euclid/E. 55th intersection. It was, by the late 1970s, a haven for prostitution, gambling, and other illegal activities. It was torn down in 1986 and is a parking lot today. See this article for more information.

The only noteworthy things at or near that intersection during that time were The Hotel Pennsylvania at 5521 Euclid, a State Dept. of Liquor Control Store (no. 137) at 1979 E. 55th, A & A Beverage at 1981 E. 55th, and the Barbary Coast Barber Shop at 2010 E. 55th. This knowledge perhaps muddies the waters more than clears them, but at any rate I don't think [Hynde] was name-checking the Agora in this song.