The Kokoon Arts Klub was anything but konservative. Online sources describe it as a “Bohemian artists group.” The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History highlights its “unconventional activities and espousal of ‘new art.’” In 1923, the Bishop of Cleveland…

Throughout most of 19th and 20th Century, Tremont was a multi-ethnic stew. Settled in the 1840s by New England Puritans, the neighborhood soon became home to immigrant Germans, Greeks, Irish, Poles, Ruthenians, Slovaks and Syrians. Most of these…

It is widely believed that the house at 5611 Lexington Avenue was built in 1854 by pioneer Cleveland ship builder, Luther Moses. However, the house, which was originally designed in a vernacular style exhibiting elements of Gothic, Greek Revival…

The beginning of Cleveland's Playhouse Square is almost universally acknowledged to be February 5, 1921, when Loew's State Theater opened, showing the photo play (silent film) Polly with a Past. According to an article which appeared in the Plain…

In 1934, during the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt commissioned the Civil Works Administration (CWA) to conduct a special census of American cities in the hope of gathering information that would be helpful in aiding the…

Albert Fairchild Holden (1866-1913) found wealth and inspiration in the ground. His roles as founder of the Island Creek Coal Company and managing director of the United States Mining and Smelting Company made him millions. But his lifelong passion…

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 debate…

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…

Convening in Chelton Park during the first week of August, 2016, bands of volunteers joined artists Gary Williams and Robin Robinson to take part in the final stage of a community art endeavor that aspired to beautify the public space. A bleak…

In November, 1970, officers of Shaker-Lee Synagogue presented an $11,500 gift to the Jewish Welfare Fund Appeal for donation to the Israel Emergency Fund.  The substantial gift fulfilled a pledge made by the congregation to its recently deceased…

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…

Will all Cleveland-raised residents who have never visited Squire’s Castle please raise your hands! Not too many? We thought so. After all, Squire’s Castle isn’t just one of the Cleveland area’s most picturesque locations; for generations it’s also…

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 Vans'…

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…

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…

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 become…

A brick building stands askew from the right-angled corner of Euclid Avenue and East 75th Street. This building is the Cleveland mosque Masjid Bilal, which was built to face Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Masjid Bilal takes its name from the Arabic word for…

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…

Visitors to University Circle are often struck by the area’s grandeur. Magnificent museums. Huge hospital systems. A sprawling college campus interspersed with innovative new structures, iconic old buildings and well-preserved mansions. Yet…

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…

The Hanna Building was named after the famous U.S. senator from Ohio and oil and coal baron Marcus Alonzo Hanna and built by his son Daniel Rhodes Hanna. Hanna is perhaps best known for having endorsed William McKinley for president in 1896, spending…

More than century before Elon Musk's Tesla Roadster was launched into space, the first crude electric carriage was produced by the Scottish inventor Robert Anderson in 1832. In 1891 the first successful electric automobile in the United States was…

“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…

On September 15, 1964, the Beatles descended upon Cleveland Public Hall. A horde of approximately 11,000 screaming fans piled into Cleveland Public Hall to see the Fab Four perform their particular brand of musical magic. At first glance, the aging…

The son of Dewitt and Sarah Dimmick Drury, Francis Edson Drury was born on August 20, 1850, in Pittsfield, Michigan. After receiving a public-school education, he entered the hardware business where he invented the first internal gear lawnmower.…

Did you know that Abraham Lincoln visited Bedford, Ohio, via train? In February of 1861, the president-elect journeyed through Bedford on the Cleveland and Pittsburgh Railroad (C&P) while on his way from Springfield, Illinois, his hometown, to…