Moreland Neighborhood

The Moreland neighborhood is located in the southwestern corner of Shaker Heights near the intersection of Chagrin Boulevard and Lee Road. The neighborhood is architecturally unique in Shaker Heights because it was developed apart from the Van Sweringen Company restriction that applied to most of the planned suburb. As a result, the neighborhood features an eclectic mix of bungalows and "Cleveland doubles" much like that of Cleveland's Mount Pleasant neighborhood to its west.


The neighborhood’s diversity in housing stock is paralleled by the myriad of religious and ethnic groups that inhabited its residences.

Successive waves of settlement into the region spurred the development of Manx, eastern and southern European, Jewish and African American communities.

Each demographic transition was accompanied by the creation of new cultural, religious and civic institutions.



Concerns over blockbusting and rapid demographic changes in the neighborhood during the early 1960s also precipitated a rise in community activism. Community groups advocated for racial integration and improved municipal services in an effort to stabilize the neighborhood. Aiding in these stabilization efforts, the City of Shaker Heights began taking an active role guiding the development of Moreland's residential and commercial districts. Efforts to promote racial integration were accompanied by municipal projects to revitalize the region's valuable commercial properties.

The pathway to stability, however, often put the City and community activists at odds with one another.


These efforts to guide neighborhood development reflect the dynamic and diverse character of the Moreland community. Exemplified by the stories of its churches, porches, stores, parks and civic institutions, the Moreland neighborhood's unique origins and development present an entry point for discovering a less-known side to the history of Shaker Heights.

Since the early 1960s, Moreland's community associations have helped guide the implementation and development of nearly every urban renewal and redevelopment project initiated by the City of Shaker Heights in their neighborhood. Learn how and why a group of community activists reshaped their community in pursuit of integration.
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Public library services in Shaker Heights grew from within the walls of the village's school system. By mid-century, the library had emerged as a valued civic institution. Culminating in the opening of a stately structure on Lee Road in 1951, learn how these early years shaped the identity of Shaker Heights Public Library.
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William J. Van Aken (1884-1950) served as Mayor of Shaker Heights from 1915 until his death in 1950, overseeing its transition from rural farmland to one of the nation's wealthiest and most well-regarded suburbs. The opening of a new city hall in 1930 symbolized a turning point in this…
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From its founding, Shaker Village was planned as a highly-regulated residential district. Promotional literature distributed by the Van Sweringen Co. offered prospective land buyers the security of a community that existed outside the influence of the urban environment. A strictly defined and…
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Heinen's Fine Foods grew from within the bustling Kinsman-Lee commercial district to become both a revered neighborhood institution and a thriving supermarket chain with stores located throughout the Greater Cleveland area. 
 With origins as a small storefront butcher shop in the Kinlee Building, the story of Heinen's Fine Foods is intertwined with the history of a flourishing commercial…
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Beginning in the late 1950s, the City of Shaker Heights took a number of actions designed to keep the Moreland neighborhood's historic shopping center at the intersection of Chagrin Boulevard and Lee Road vibrant and a favored place for Shaker Heights shoppers. Among these were renaming it Shaker Town Center in 1984 and promoting it as the city's downtown shopping district. But what…
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In July of 1964, motorists were greeted by the newest billboard from Shaker Heights auto dealer David L. Blaushild. Bold letters declared: “Let’s Stop Killing Lake Erie, have your council vote Anti-Pollution!" Learn how one car salesman helped initiate an environmental movement in Cleveland that pushed lawmakers to publicly recognize and respond to the lax enforcement of antipollution…
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The Lee-Scottsdale Building, located at 3756 Lee Road in Shaker Heights' Moreland neighborhood, is one of the oldest commercial buildings in that neighborhood of the city. Over the years, visitors to this four-story Romanesque and Renaissance motiffed building located near Shaker…
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The building currently occupied by Chapel of Hope Christian Fellowship at 3688 Lee Road has been used as a center for religious and cultural life for over 60 years. The history enshrined within its walls reveals the dynamic character of the Moreland neighborhood, and the diverse makeup of religious communities that have lived within its bounds.
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The creation of public spaces in the Moreland neighborhood has been both a point of collaboration and contention between local residents and the City of Shaker Heights since the 1960s. The efforts of Moreland Community Association in advocating for the development of Chelton Park set a precedent of community involvement in park building activities which lives on to this day.


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On September 15, 1957, the congregation of Temple Beth-El gathered to dedicate the first built synagogue in Shaker Heights. Despite the city's substantial Jewish population, the physical development of civic associations in the suburb had only recently begun to be realized. Under the spiritual leadership of Rabbi David L. Genuth, Temple Beth-El would become a refuge for modern Orthodox…
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On November 1, 1970, Reverend George Ramon Castillo and his wife were received into the membership of East View United Church of Christ. The ceremony marked the occasion of Reverend Castillo being installed as the first Black pastor of a Shaker Heights’ church. Presiding over the service, Reverend…
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In March 1963, Cosmopolitan Magazine ran a story about the "Good Life" in Shaker Heights, Ohio, the wealthiest city per capita in the United States. While nationally-recognized wealthy suburb was the public image of the city in the 1960s, a very different story about the city was unfolding in one of its southwestern neighborhoods. The siting and construction of the Service Center in…
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Following five years of land acquisitions, demolition and construction, the Sutton Place townhouse development opened for sale to the public in May of 1971. The experimental, aluminum-based housing project was designed to draw middle- and upper-class professionals into the Moreland neighborhood. The new housing emerged from a controversial urban renewal project headed by the City of Shaker…
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The Moreland neighborhood of Shaker Heights, like many neighborhoods, is rich in history, tradition, and legend. One of its most persistent legends involves the late Dr. Benjamin Spock, the world-famous twentieth century pediatrician, author and social activist, and a twins study he is said to have conducted decades ago in the neighborhood. There is historical basis for the legend but, as is…
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Stories sponsored by the City of Shaker Heights