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'…

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…

“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…

Gathering at the Lincoln Statue in front of the Board of Education building, members of WELCOME (West-East Siders Let’s Come Together) rallied to promote a safe and peaceful start of busing to achieve racial balance in the Cleveland Schools. The…

The Mayfield Triangle: The former street address 11339 Mayfield Road is now 11400 Euclid Avenue. And although official street numbering changes over the years for one reason or another (zoning requirements, city planning, urban renewal, or real…

The frequently recited story of the Elysium has been expertly told for decades. The traditional story is one of Cleveland lore, heavily laden with adjectives that conjure images of firsts, greatness, and business-genius. Missing from the Elysium…

Soaring above a surfeit of drugstores, convenient marts and fast-food eateries a bell tower stands. The tower looms above the modern conveniences on Euclid Avenue, as testament to a different time. The tower once belonged to the parish of St. Agnes,…

Cleveland at the end of the 1960s saw entire neighborhoods change radically in only a few years. Collinwood is a neighborhood that went through such a transition. Collinwood, like much of Cleveland, as ethnic communities and whites left for the…

The vacant lot at 8127 Superior Avenue N.E. sits quietly in the midst of an East Side neighborhood that has seen a great deal of upheaval and civic unrest. In the late sixties, the lot was the home of the Afro Set Black Nationalist Party for Self…

To answer the need of the expanding Catholic population, Bishop Ignatius F. Horstmann, the bishop of Cleveland, appointed Reverend Thomas F. Mahon as pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish on June 26, 1898. In 1905, construction finished on the grand…

On April 6, 1953, Dr. John Bruere, pastor of Calvary Presbyterian Church, mentioned that a "certain colored woman has been attending our services frequently of late." The appearance of an African American woman in the church's congregation "raised in…

It was, in the first place, road and bridge improvements that created the park--almost as an afterthought. For much of the first two decades of the twentieth century, the city of Cleveland had planned and then constructed Bulkley Boulevard (today,…

Boxing in the Old Angle, an historic Irish neighborhood located on Cleveland's near west side, has deep roots, reaching back at least as far as the year 1894 when Brother Salpicious of the Christian Brothers of the La Salle Order founded the La…

Since the establishment of the Cleveland Metroparks in 1917, many a sojourn in the wilderness has been highlighted by the warmth, flickering light, and crackles of a campfire.  "I…remember one night when youngsters who had been toasting marshmallows…

In 2008, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, making him the first African American to hold the office. President Obama was a Democratic candidate, which is not surprising. Because of the Democratic policies of the New Deal and…

During the Great Depression, Cleveland struggled like many other cities. It went from being the second largest industrial center in the country, trailing only Detroit, to experiencing an exodus of citizens. Cleveland lost close to half of its jobs…

Chester K. Gillespie, who moved from Cincinnati to Cleveland as a young boy with his family, often said, "I do not take cases I don't believe in." Gillespie, an African American attorney who would be subjected to numerous incidents of racial…

In August 1940, residents on East 85th Street on Cleveland's east side decided to organize their efforts for the betterment of the their block and Mrs. Beatrice Beasley, a citizen of the street, founded the E. 85th Street Club. In its beginning…

Glenville High School opened in 1892 on Parkwood Drive in Cleveland's east side village of Glenville. The student body grew so rapidly that even a series of early additions soon proved incapable of holding it, so a new Glenville High School building…

Before Hot Sauce Williams and Beckham's B&M Bar-B-Que ruled the east side, Scatter's Barbecue was Glenville's home for ribs, shoulder sandwiches, fries soaked in Scatter's notable barbecue sauce. Herman "Scatter" Stephens, born in Birmingham, Alabama…

From about 1915 to 1935, Cleveland's Glenville neighborhood became a major area of settlement for second-generation Jewish immigrants. By 1936, more than 70 percent of the total neighborhood population was Jewish. New immigrants and relocated…

The integration of Cleveland suburbs was a long and controversial process. However, with the influence of the Cuyahoga Plan, many African American families were welcomed into predominantly white neighborhoods. In Bay Village, a black family was…

The Heights Community Congress was a fair housing organization which formed in Cleveland Heights in 1972 in response to racial discrimination practices in the Cleveland real estate and lending markets. After East Cleveland endured a dramatic upheaval…

Shiny windows, clean floors and new furniture. All are part of a new office and a new opportunity. This is what African American entrepreneur Isaac Haggins imagined for his realty business. Haggins, whose new office in Cleveland Heights in 1968…

Robert P. Madison was a young and eager man who returned from the Second World War in 1946 looking forward to a new beginning. Passionate about architecture since childhood, Madison knocked on the door of the Western Reserve University's School of…

"Urban renewal is black removal." So said 24th Ward Councilman Leo Jackson, a fiery African American politician who advocated for the advancement of his ward. This short but poignant quote summarized his feelings about urban renewal projects in…

The Jewish Community Federation collaborated with the Cleveland Board of Education to organize the Glenville Summer Tutoring Program in the summer of 1970. This program was designed to assist Glenville High School students, as the Call and Post…

Beginning in 1907, the Majestic Hotel served as Cleveland's primary African American hotel, a role it played until integration eased the need for hotels catering primarily to a black clientele. Before it was widely known as the Majestic Hotel, the…

From 1949 to 1959, the Chatterbox Musical Bar and Grill, located at 5123 Woodland Avenue, was a place to be and be seen. Owned by John (Chin) Ballard, the colorful spot featured soft lighting, swank decorations, and a glowing atmosphere. Ballard and…