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Issue Date: December 2007 Issue

Knock Three Times:

We did — and found a place that keeps on surprising us

Lisa Wakeland
Ardell Quinn, Cleveland’s most infamous madam, moved her Hollywood Royal Club to 1728 Donwell Drive 70 years ago. She counted the city’s prominent leaders among her clientele and sent an elaborate invitation announcing her new location in South Euclid. But last call for Quinn and her girls came in 1936 when the feds raided the place.

Cleveland Magazine writer George E. Condon revisted her story in our January 1974 issue, noting that J. Edgar Hoover gave the event his official seal of approval.

A photo of the house accompanied Condon’s story — which ran in Sandra and Leonard Becker’s first issue of their new subscription. They discovered the photo just a few days after signing the deed to their new home: 1728 Donwell Drive.

Sandra called it “bashert,” a Yiddish expression roughly translating to fate, since the Beckers often hosted large groups of visitors curious about the ultra-Orthodox Judaism of the Chabad that Sandra and Leonard followed.

“In other words, where once the pleasures of the flesh were entertained,” Gary W. Diedrichs wrote in our December 1974 issue, “the Beckers would concentrate on the needs of the spirit.”

Kevin and Susan Devers knew about the former bordello before they moved in; the longtime South Euclid residents had a copy of the original article.

They brought their four children to live at 1728 Donwell Drive in 1999. “Every once in a while someone will stop by and tell you about your house,” says Kevin. Once, Susan adds, someone even dropped by to let them know Al Capone had been a houseguest.

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