A major fire swept through the block in 1857, destroying the all of the wooden structures located here. Within eight years of the fire, most of the commercial and professional buildings that occupy the block today were built. They reflect the growth of the city that was happening as a result the shift from “maritime” to “manufacturing.” City dwellers and visitors alike flocked to West Park Place because of diversity of goods and services available here. Clothes, groceries, hardware, imported food, silverware, paintings, books, real estate and insurance could be purchased from stores located within the block, and so too could the services of lawyers, doctors, engineers, pharmacists and dentists. West Park Place also included a bank, a ticket office selling tickets on the Erie and Pittsburgh Railroads, and one of the grandest entertainment venues in the city.
All of the original thirteen main structures still remain, with one exception. The grand Park Opera House was torn down to make space for the new Greyhound Bus Terminal in the 1920s. The entire square block is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.