Monday, November 8, 2010

Lemko Hall

Built in 1911, this recognizable Cleveland landmark is an unusually shaped building, resting as it does at the intersection of West 11th, Kenilworth and the diagonal cross-street of Literary in the Tremont. It once featured a saloon, gambling salon and a spacious ballroom. In 1936 it was owned by the Lemko Assn. Home Branch No. 6, a social club for Slavic people of Lemkovina (I kid you not) located in the Carpathian Mountains.

The Lemko Association of the USA and Canada was the largest social and cultural organization among Lemko immigrants in North America.


During 1936 it was officially a pro-Communist, supporting a plan to relocate the Lemko peoples from their Carpathian homeland to the Soviet Union to resolve socioeconomic and nationalist difficulties. They adopted an anti-fascist platform, and advocated a Carpatho-Rusyn Section within the International Workers' Order.

In 1939 the headquarters moved to Yonkers.

During my heyday in Tremont, the main corner space was a floral boutique named Wildflower, and the lower-level was the home of exotic art-and-water installations and impromptu "happenings." This video from 1993 features neighborhood legend Robert Richie and his penis.

UPDATE: And oh look - there's Daniel Thompson!

Tremont History Project
Encyclopedia of Cleveland History
Encyclopedia of Rusyn history and culture (Paul R. Magocsi, Ivan Ivanovich Pop)

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