Detroit Shoreway

Detroit Shoreway is a west-side community bounded by Edgewater State Park, Interstate 90, W 45th Street, and W 85th Street. The neighborhood emerged from the annexations of Brooklyn Township, the Village of West Cleveland, and Ohio City into the city of Cleveland during the latter half of the 19th century. With the development of Cleveland as a port city and its designation as a passage to western cities via railroad in the 1850s, the Detroit Shoreway area was shaped by the influences of industry, commerce, and immigration.

Always in a state of transition, the unique character of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood can be attributed to the preservation of its past in an era of redevelopment. The historic commercial center of the neighborhood was reestablished with the rehabilitation of the Gordon Square Arcade (c. 1980), while a cultural arts district has more recently been developed around the renovation of both the Cleveland Public Theatre (c. 2006) and Capitol Theatre (c. 2009). Numerous projects for the rehabilitation and creation of mixed-income residential properties were also undertaken by local organizations and churches. Newly constructed condominiums and eco-friendly townhouses now mingle with the architecture of churches, homes, theaters, and storefronts that reflect the neighborhood's days as one of Cleveland's manufacturing and commercial centers.


Detroit Shoreway Neighborhood: "A shift in the choices people make..." William Merriman describes the changing face of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Source: CSU Center for Public History + Digital Humanities


Ghost Town Anthony Anzalone describes the decline of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood during the 1970's and 1980's. Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection


Diner on Detroit Avenue and W. 65th Street The area surrounding the intersection of Detroit Avenue and W. 65th Street was the commercial center and social hub of what is now know as the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Referred to as Gordon Square, this commercial district emerged to meet the retail, service, and recreational needs of the surrounding community. The intersection continues to act as a commercial district. The buildings on all four corners dating back to the early 20th century. Source: Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization
American Greetings Publishers Art Department, 1946 Industry grew along railroad lines on the northern and southern edge of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. One of American Greetings Corp.'s nine Cleveland plants was located on W. 78th Street and Lake Avenue. Source: Cleveland Public Library Photograph Collection
Arab Community Center The character of Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood was influenced by the many ethnic communities that settled the area and maintain a presence to this day. German (1830s), Irish (1850s), Italian (1890s), and Romanian (1890s) immigrants were the first of many groups to establish ethnic enclaves. Following WWII, ethnic groups such as Appalachian Americans, African Americans, immigrants from Southeast Asia, Asian Americans, and Puerto Ricans developed communities within the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood. The influence of the community's ethnic makeup is reflected in the diversity of the neighborhood's religious, social, cultural, and commercial life. Source: Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization
The Gordon Square Arcade, 1978 As with much of Cleveland, the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood was deeply affected by suburbanization and an exodus of residents and businesses following WWII. With this loss of a strong commercial center, the Gordon Square Arcade fell into disrepair, so much so that the eastern wall of the arcade collapsed onto W. 65th Street in 1978. Scheduled for demolition, the historic building was saved and rehabilitated through the efforts of community leaders and the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. The collapse and rehabilitation of the Gordon Square Arcade was a turning point for the redevelopment of the neighborhood and its commercial center. Similar efforts to revitalize the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood were undertaken by businesses, churches, community organizations, and citizen-based activist groups. Their efforts emphasized the preservation of the neighborhood's historic buildings and ethnic communities while simultaneously focusing on its economic redevelopment. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Detroit Avenue and W. 58th Street, 1947 Residential and commercial structures developed outward from Detroit Avenue following the turn of the 19th century, shaping and giving life to what is now know as the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. This road connected outlying communities and the city of Cleveland by horse, trolley lines, and later by streetcars. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
EcoVillage Townhomes The construction of upscale residential properties and the rehabilitation of Detroit Shoreway's older housing stock has been utilized by local development organizations to draw people back into the city and revitalize the neighborhood. The development of Cleveland's EcoVillage, rooted in the concept of creating an environmentally friendly urban landscape within walking distance of a mass transit system, has prompted the construction of "green" townhouses and single family homes on lots previously inhabited by deteriorating structures. Source: Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization


Detroit Ave at W 65th St, Cleveland, OH


Richard Raponi, “Detroit Shoreway,” Cleveland Historical, accessed October 4, 2023,