Cedar Fairmount

Gateway to the Heights

Cedar Fairmount, the residential and commercial neighborhood where eastbound Cedar Road forks into Cedar to the left and Fairmount to the right, emerged as the "gateway to the Heights" as early as 1918 when the Tudor-style Heights Center Building opened on the north side of Cedar Road between Lennox and Surrey roads. Taking advantage of its streetcar connection to Cleveland via Cedar Glen, the district grew rapidly in the 1920s, with new storefronts and apartment buildings erected throughout the decade. For many years Heights Medical Building and Doctors' Hospital (which stood slightly southeast of the Buckingham Condominiums where Euclid Heights Boulevard intersects with Cedar Road) made the area a medical hub.

Cedar Fairmount's growth was further buoyed by Barton Deming's development of Euclid Golf, an upscale neighborhood bounded roughly by the Cedar-Fairmount intersection to the west, Cedar Road to the north, North Park Boulevard to the south, and Coventry Road to the east. A large percentage of Deming's development was previously occupied by the Euclid Golf Club, whose property (owned in part by John D. Rockefeller) also stretched west into the Cedar Heights neighborhood, whose streets include Grandview and Bellfield Avenues. Euclid Golf Club closed in 1912. Not surprisingly, Demington Drive takes its name from Barton Deming.

Concerns about the "aging" of Cleveland Heights led to plans for a massive redevelopment of Cedar Fairmount in 1969. The renewal's cornerstone was to be called Surrey Place, a combination of high-rise and garden-type apartments, connected to a proposed Cleveland Transit System (CTS) rapid transit spur to Severance Center. The plan failed, but a half century later, following lengthy public debate, the "Top of the Hill" project got underway in 2021.


Bygone Businesses John McDonald remembers some of the places he used to frequent in the Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood. Source: Courtesy of City of Cleveland Heights


"Rich Ladies With Electric Cars" William Moses Pierce describes the women driving around the Cedar-Fairmount area during his youth and remembers how these women were responsible for the integration of the Toddle House restaurant. Source: Courtesy of City of Cleveland Heights
"We Enjoyed a Lot of Things" Barrett Brown describes growing up in the Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood. Source: Courtesy of City of Cleveland Heights
Sarsaparilla at Miller Drug Clara Taplan Rankin remembers riding the streetcar down Fairmount to Miller Drug to enjoy sarsaparilla sodas. Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection
Cedar Fairmount in the Late '50s Dennis Coughlin describes Cedar Fairmount businesses he visited as a child. Source: Cleveland Regional Oral History Collection


Heights Center Building, ca. 1935 This Tudor-style landmark set the tone for Cedar Fairmount. As in many World War I-era suburban commercial districts, here the Tudor style meshed with an English tone also captured in nearby, British-influenced street names such as Derbyshire, Norfolk, and Surrey. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
Grandview Avenue, Looking South from Cedar Road, ca. 1920 Launched in the 1890s, this area, dubbed Cedar Heights, is considered Cleveland Heights' first residential neighborhood development-a still-vibrant blend of single- and multi-family dwellings. At right, the brick building under construction is now the home of Firestone Auto Care. Source: Cleveland Heights Historical Society
Cedar-Grandview Building, Circa 1935 The Cedar-Grandview Building, located on the south side of Cedar Road next to the Heights Medical Center Building, was constructed in 1932. In this image, its bottom floor is occupied by both a fruit & vegetable and a meat market. These small markets gave way to a Bruder's Dairy Center and a Standard Drug Company store by the 1940s, and then Russo's Supermarket took over the entire bottom floor of the Cedar-Grandview Building in the late 1960s. Today, Dave's Supermarket occupies the space where Russo's once was. The top floor continues to house professional offices. Source: Cleveland Heights Historical Society
Aerial View, October 1951 This aerial view of the Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood was taken on October 4, 1951. Cedar Road runs in the foreground of the image. Many of the buildings seen here remain standing today. Source: Cleveland Heights Historical Society
Cedar Glen, Circa 1920 This photograph, captured from a high window in the now-razed Doctors' Hospital, shows the intersection of Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard, only a short distance away from the Cedar Fairmount business district. The two roads meet at the top of a hill which is traversed by the road known as the Cedar Glen Parkway. Cedar Glen's steep grade carries vehicles in and out of Cleveland and is a major access point for east side suburban commuters. This nearby connection to Cleveland has ensured the growth of the Cedar Fairmount neighborhood and its many businesses for nearly a century. Source: Cleveland Heights Historical Society
Crafts Tire & Battery, Circa 1930 Crafts Tire & Battery Service was located at 2125 Lennox Road, behind the Heights Center Building. Today, this is the site of a parking garage. Source: Cleveland Heights Historical Society
Heights Center Building, 1971 Source: Cleveland Heights Historical Society
Heights Medical Center, Circa 1935 The Heights Medical Center Building was once a premier east side location for doctors and dentists to have their offices. The street-level spaces, as remains the case today, were occupied by retail establishments. In this view, circa 1935, one can see a Fairview Creamery and a Kroger's food market. Source: Cleveland Heights Historical Society
Doctors' Hospital, 1967 Shown here two years before its demolition in 1969, the eight-story, 299-bed Doctors' Hospital (right) loomed above Cedar Road a few blocks west of the intersection of Cedar and Fairmount. It was the predecessor to Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights, now affiliated with Cleveland Clinic. Source: Cleveland Memory Project, Cleveland State University Library Special Collections
"Surrey Place" Proposal This image is taken from a 1969 proposal for the redevelopment of a section of the Cedar-Fairmount neighborhood. "Surrey Place," seen here, would have been bounded by Surrey Road to the east and Cedar Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard to the north and south. High-rise apartment buildings, new office space, and a performing arts center were envisioned for the development. An extension of Cleveland's rapid transit line up Cedar Glen, through Euclid Heights Boulevard, past the Coventry area, and continuing on to Severance Center was also part of the ambitious plan, as was the entire redevelopment of Coventry Village. None of these proposals ever came to fruition. Source: Cleveland Heights Historical Society


Cleveland Heights, OH


Michael Rotman, “Cedar Fairmount,” Cleveland Historical, accessed December 4, 2023, https://clevelandhistorical.org/index.php/items/show/198.