Visitors to the Moreland neighborhood in Shaker Heights are greeted with picturesque sights of an idealized inner ring suburban community. Attractive tree lawns line its residential streets, which lead past rows of well-maintained Cleveland Doubles,…

Standing before a crowd of 200 community members in the fall of 1968, City of Shaker Heights Mayor Paul K. Jones offered his assurances to constituents gathered at Shaker Heights High School Auditorium. An urban renewal plan had sparked public…

The northeast quadrant of the Chagrin Boulevard and Lee Road intersection sat empty in the winter of 1990. The only remaining structures along Chagrin Boulevard between Lee and Avalon Roads were Shaker Hardware and Heinen’s Grocery Store at the…

In 1913, a Van Sweringen “Group Plan” was beginning to take form in the young village of Shaker Heights. Construction of a stately school on Southington Road was nearing completion.  Borrowing from the neighboring City of Cleveland’s ambitious…

On July 29, 1951, more than 500 guests of Temple Beth-El convened at the Hotel Hollenden ballroom in downtown Cleveland to witness the dedication of the congregation’s Sefer Torah. Speakers at the ceremony included Rabbi David L. Genuth of Temple…

The Van Sweringen brothers knew that a premier suburb required a premier public school system. So, it was not surprising that, in 1913, just one year after the incorporation of Shaker Heights, its Board of Education began implementing the…

The history of commercial activity at the intersection of Chagrin Boulevard and Lee Road goes back more than 150 years to when the area was still part of Warrensville Township. In or about 1866, at the northeast corner of the intersection--where…

As you drive east on Kinsman Road today through Cleveland's Mount Pleasant neighborhood and approach East 154th Street, you come upon and notice it--almost before you notice anything else. You see it before you see that Kinsman Road has now…

Benjamin McClane Spock (1903-1998) was born to an upper-class Connecticut family. He attended private schools and Ivy League colleges, along the way capturing a gold medal in rowing for his Yale team in the 1924 Olympics. He graduated first in his…

Derrell Max Ellis (later known simply as Max Ellis) was born on March 10, 1914, in Wellington, Kansas. The youngest of four children, Max grew up in Iowa and studied theater at the University of Iowa, performing in plays in the 1930s written by…

“Entering Apartheid Shaker: Home of Barricades” was the message commuters read as they drove under a large banner while entering Shaker Heights along the Cleveland border in September of 1990. The banner was put up by Cleveland city councilman…

In 1811 Jacob Russell moved his family from their home in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, into the wilderness of the Connecticut Western Reserve. Upon his arrival, Russell purchased 475 acres in Warrensville Township, founded by the Daniel Warren family…

The settlement of the Heights on Cleveland's east side was dependent upon electric streetcars with sufficient power to ascend the Portage Escarpment at Cedar Glen in the 1890s. From there, streetcars opened heights land for development…

In 1956, an explosion disturbed the usually quiet suburban neighborhood of Ludlow. Someone had planted a bomb in the garage of John G. Pegg, an African American lawyer who was building a new house on Corby Road. The racial attack sparked a biracial…

The famed Van Sweringen brothers, known for developing Shaker Heights, envisioned an architect-designed neighborhood rubbing shoulders with three grand estates in the countryside of Cleveland Heights. The resulting neighborhood, now the Inglewood…

While most Clevelanders have never heard of the architect Philip Small, it is very likely that they have seen his work around town. In the 1920s, Small and his associate Charles Rowley became favorites of the Van Sweringen brothers, who commissioned…

The construction of the Scottsdale Boulevard Master Model Homes was part of a nationwide effort to improve the quality of homes in the nation during the 1920s. The Better Homes Movement, launched in 1922 by a women's household magazine, viewed…

In the late 1920s, Winslow Road was referred to as "the street of the brides" by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as it "attracts more newly married couples of social prominence than any other street in Greater Cleveland." A 1929…

Shaker Square is neither located in Shaker Heights nor shaped like a square, but ask for directions to the coffee shop at "Cleveland Octagon" and you'll most likely receive only confused looks in return. Shaker Square has always been…

On a July night in 1921, a group of "Cleveland hoodlums" fought with members of the Shaker Heights Police Department after being ordered out of Lower Shaker Lake. The young men were not happy about being told that they could not swim in…

In 1852, the North Union Shakers dammed Doan Brook for the second time, generating power for a new woolen mill and creating what would later become known as Horseshoe Lake. The new dam symbolized the continued growth of the North Union community,…

Located at 2701 Park Drive, the Salmon Halle Mansion is one of the most elegantly designed houses in Shaker Heights. Its design reflects the same elegance and sense of style which Salmon P. Halle, co-founder of the Halle Brothers department store,…

On the north side of South Park Boulevard, just east of Lee Road, there is a solitary grave which is the final resting place of an American Revolutionary War soldier--Jacob Russell. Next to the grave is a large stone with a bronze plaque…

Many residents of Shaker Heights know that the Van Sweringen brothers built the Shaker Rapid Transit in the early twentieth century to provide Shaker residents with quick and efficient public transportation service between their suburb and downtown…

In January 1925, the Van Sweringen Company conveyed 113 acres of land to the University Realty Company. The land conveyed was located in in the villages of Shaker Heights and Idlewood--in the vicinity of the intersection of Fairmount Boulevard and…

Accompanied by a photograph of the recently constructed home at what is now 17400 South Park Boulevard, a 1910 Cleveland Plain Dealer article muses: "Shakers Would Be Surprised Were They To Return and See The Van Sweringen Home". The image…

The path followed by the Van Sweringen brothers in developing a rapid transit system led to the creation of a vast railroad empire. While their foray into the railroad business may have begun half-hazard, it was a natural extension of their…