White City Beach

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White City Amusement Park, originally called Manhattan Beach, opened near Euclid Beach in 1900. The park caught fire in 1906 and was rebuilt, only to be destroyed by storms in 1907. (Cleveland Press)

Everyone’s heard of Euclid Beach. But what about White City Beach?

White City, an amusement park originally named Manhattan Beach, was for a half decade Euclid Beach’s neighbor and competitor, an amusement park with a roller coaster on Lake Erie. It was even operated by a former manager of Euclid Beach, William Ryan.

The park was built about 1900 but burned down in 1906. It was rebuilt and the following year was destroyed in a fire.

For decades after, though, the property at East 140th Street operated as a city beach, despite the wastewater treatment plant built nearby in 1922. (This was long before the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District launched Operation Clean Lake.)

Clevelanders flocked there on hot summer days.

“As teenagers the place to tan, swim, and meet young men was White City… It did not seem to bother anyone that the beach was right next to the sewer filtration plant,” wrote one Clevelander in Cleveland Remembers.

White City had a fishing area, bath house and yacht club.

In the 1960s, the beach was designated a national bird and wildlife preserve, but the area became a dumping ground for garbage.

In the 1970s, lifeguards poured chlorine in the water to try to make it safe for swimmers.

The beach closed in 1979, and now the property is part of NEORSD’s Easterly water treatment plant.

Do you remember White City? For more information, visit Cleveland Historical.

And if you’ve got an idea for some Lake Erie nostalgia photos, email me at [email protected]