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…

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…

In Benjamin S. Cogswell's 1908 obituary, the Cleveland Plain Dealer noted that, following his election in 1875 as Cuyahoga County Clerk of Courts, his wife "began one of the most vigorous liquor campaigns ever seen in this county. It resulted in the…

The mid- to late 1960s were a very turbulent time of demonstrations and uprisings in scores of major American cities. One such riot erupted in July 1966 in Hough, a troubled inner-city neighborhood on Cleveland’s East Side. In the year before the…

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 the early 1880s, an idea arose in the Lodge Bratri v Kruhu of the Czech Slovak Benevolent Association that people of Bohemian nationality needed a community building dedicated to their societies and culture. In August 1887, Bohemian…

The lazy days of summer took an industrious turn for attendees of the Young Men’s Christian Association River Road Camp at the Cleveland Metropolitan Park District's North Chagrin Reservation in 1943.  The camp’s forty-four temporary residents had…

According to legend, Prince Vlad III, the fifteenth century Wallachian prince who inspired Bram Stoker to create Dracula, once cruelly impaled a thousand Saxons on stakes in his bloody quest to conquer neighboring Transylvania. While Vlad the…

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…

The name of Harriett L. Keeler has mingled in the memories of Cleveland park users with impressions of Brecksville Reservation's rugged woodlands and colorful wildflowers. Since the dedication of the Harriet Keeler Memorial Woods over 90 years ago, a…

In the early 1940s, before he was even old enough to cross the street, young Joe Bachna gazed at Ceska Sin Sokol Hall from his father's photography studio at 4203 Clark Avenue. The three and one-half story building located down and across the…

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…

If you are driving south on East 55th Street near its intersection with Broadway Avenue, you will notice on the left at 3289 East 55th Street a beautiful art-deco style grey limestone building that seems oddly out of place with the single family…

In 1956, an explosion disturbed the usually quiet suburban neighborhood of Ludlow. Someone had planted a bomb in the garage of John G. Pegg, an African American lawyer who was building a new house on Corby Road. The racial attack sparked a biracial…

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 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…

The Cleveland Plain Dealer was founded as a weekly newspaper on January 7, 1842 by Joseph Gray. By 1845 it had transitioned to an evening daily. Joseph Gray died in 1862, and his paper was controlled by a series of editors until Liberty Holden…

On May 30, 1893, patriotic melodies of the Grand Army Band of Canton could be heard coming from the corner of Bolivar Street and Prospect Avenue as an exciting celebration was taking place - the laying of the new Grays Armory cornerstone. Grays…

The Soldiers' Aid Society of Northern Ohio grew out of Cleveland's Ladies Aid Society's efforts to assist soldiers serving in the Civil War. The parent organization of the Soldiers' Aid Society was the U.S. Sanitary Commission, which was established…

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…