The small, two and half story, red brick building lying in the shadow of the long-abandoned Richmond Bros. complex on East 55th Street is not exactly welcoming. The building sits on a weed-filled lawn behind a small parking lot, surrounded by a…

In 1938, Ben Stefanski and his wife Gerome started Third Federal Savings and Loan, with the promise of helping those in the community achieve the dream of home ownership and financial security. In addition to offering mortgage loans, Third Federal…

Long before John Patton, one of the victims in the 1916 waterworks tunnel disaster, had ever thought about coming to Cleveland, the city had been digging water intake tunnels under Lake Erie. In the post-Civil War era, pollution of the Cuyahoga…

Imagine leaving work in downtown Cleveland on a cold, early winter evening in 1887. Though that winter would go on record as one of the warmest in Cleveland’s history, and it was in the upper 60’s just days before, November 29th was a bitterly cold…

Cleveland, Ohio's northeast corner grew from a railroad stop in the mid 1800's to a vibrant community by the turn of the century. Few people resided in the area until the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad developed a line to Painesville and…

Well into the 20th century, waves of immigrants swelled Cleveland's ranks. Among them was a Greek native by the name of Chris Mitchell. Rather than contenting himself with a factory job, however, Mitchell tried his hand in business. Unfortunately, it…

The Shrine of Saint Stanislaus is dedicated to St. Stanislaus, the bishop, martyr, and patron of Poland. It represents the history of the Polish community in Cleveland, Ohio since the mid 1800s. Cleveland's Bishop asked the Pastor of St. Adalbert in…

The Friendly Inn Social Settlement was founded in 1874 to provide a liquor-free gathering place for the residents of poor neighborhoods. Originally called the "Temperance Coffee House and Lunchroom," it eventually evolved into one of the city's first…

The Goodrich House was erected in 1897 and was founded by Flora Stone Mather. Mrs. Mather can be described as a pious women who was influenced by the establishment of other settlement houses in Cleveland, most notably the Hiram House. She named the…

Kingsbury Run refers to an area along the east side of Cleveland near Shaker Heights that stretched westward through Kinsman Avenue and down to the Cuyahoga River. It also included a natural watershed that runs through East 79th Street in Cleveland…

In 1907, Hedwig Kosbab, a Hungarian immigrant's daughter, began teaching English to children on her porch. Four years later her organization was incorporated and became the East End Neighborhood House. The organization served the Buckeye, Woodland,…

While much of Tremont's Ukrainian population moved to the suburbs in the decades following World War II, the Ukrainian-Museum Archives remains a presence—drawing international recognition for its extensive collections. The museum started in 1952 when…

Slovenian migrants have built National Homes at the center of their communities wherever they have moved throughout the world. Cleveland's Slovenian National Home is the cultural center for Cleveland's Slovenian community and the largest facility of…

In 1891 the National Carbon Company (now GrafTech) occupied the corner of Madison Avenue and West 117th Street at the Cleveland-Lakewood border. It manufactured batteries and developed the carbon filtered gas mask. The company employed recent…

The construction of city-run public bathhouses in Cleveland began around the turn of the twentieth-century as municipal leaders became concerned about health and sanitation in the city’s teeming immigrant neighborhoods. Many of Cleveland’s poorest…

Located along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and opposite the Greek Garden, the Ukrainian Garden was inaugurated in 1940. The garden is composed of a series of brick and stone courts connected by paved walks. The South Court of this formal place…

Originally named the Yugoslav Cultural Garden, the Slovenian Garden is located near the intersection of St. Clair Avenue and East Boulevard, adjacent to the Polish Garden. Over 100,000 people paraded in support of the Yugoslav Garden's dedication…

Dedicated on October 5, 2008, the Serbian Cultural Garden features a central plaza with a marble cube and circular concrete seating. The plaza also contatins the garden's message: "Only Unity Saves The Serbs". A pebble mosaic surrounds the cube. It…

The plot of land that makes up the Rusin Cultural Garden is located along East Boulevard. It was dedicated in June, 1939. Most Rusins immigrated to Cleveland in the period from 1880 to World War I. The Rusins are an Eastern Slavic ethnic group who…

Not in the original chain of gardens, the Romanian Cultural Garden was inaugurated in 1967. This wide expanse of green space, surrounded by evergreens and maples, is home to a life-size bronze statue of twentieth century musician and composer George…

Located at the corner of St. Clair and East Boulevard, the Polish Cultural Garden was dedicated in 1934 with the planting of an elm tree from Poland. Originally designed as a sunken, hexagonal court, the Polish Garden was designed with organic…

Dedicated in October 1936, the Lithuanian Cultural Garden extends from East Boulevard down three levels to Martin Luther King Boulevard. Designed by Professor Dubinecras in Lithuania, the garden was adjusted by the City Plan Commission of Cleveland…

The Latvian Cultural Garden was dedicated on October 8, 2006. The garden was designed by landscape architect Albert Park and assisted by local architect Kalvis Kampe. An unusually colored flagstone walk leads visitors past a number of sculpturs. The…

The Hebrew Garden was designed by T. Ashburton Tripp. It was the first garden to be built after the Shakespeare Garden and signaled the formal beginning of the Cultural Gardens. Dedicated in 1926, it is a monument to the Zionist movement, as well as…

In the 19th and 20th centuries Germans formed one of Cleveland's largest nationality groups. They began arriving here in substantial numbers during the 1830s, after the canals were built. The first German settlements were built along Lorain Street in…

In 1966, the city's Estonian community unveiled a symbolic flame to Estonia--then a state within the USSR. Designed by Oberlin graduate and prominent architect Herk Visnapuu, the Estonian Garden features an abstract sculpture, an inscribed flame, at…

The Azerbaijan Garden was dedicated on May 12, 2008. Khanlar Gasimov's sculpture, "Hearth," stands at the center of the Garden. Made of polished stainless steel, the bowl-shaped sculpture allows viewers to see the reflection of the earth and sky in…

Dedicated September 19th, 2010, the Armenian Cultural Garden celebrates the distinctive identity of the Armenian people. Designed by architect Berj A. Shakarian, the site plan is devised in the form of the "vesica piscis", a sacred geometric symbol…

The first Irish immigrants arrived in Cleveland in the early 1820s, with approximately 500 Irishmen and women residing in the city by 1826. Within two decades, the number had doubled, reaching 1,024 by the late 1840s. The passing of another twenty…

With the dedication of a bust of the poet Virgil, the Italian Cultural Garden was opened on October 12, 1930 before a crowd of 3000 local Italians celebrating Columbus Day and the 2000th anniversary of Virgil's birth. Over the next decade, the…