Winslow Road Historic District

In the late 1920s, Winslow Road was referred to as "the street of the brides" by the Cleveland Plain Dealer, as it "attracts more newly married couples of social prominence than any other street in Greater Cleveland." A 1929 article about life on Winslow Road described the weekday routine: a "light brigade of husbands" going to catch the Rapid train at 8, a gathering of women in the market at Kinsman and Lee Roads around 11, and an "influx of wives in their homes at 4:30" just in time to start dinner before their husbands arrived home. After living on Winslow Road for a couple of years though, most couples moved elsewhere in Shaker Heights. They did this so that they could "take an entire house" and "join the nabob class," while leaving behind the younger "bobs" and their two-family homes on Winslow.

Winslow Road is one of the more unique streets in Shaker Heights. It was designated a Historic District in 2007. The first house on Winslow was constructed there in 1924, and nearly 73% of the homes on the street were built by 1929. In total, the Winslow Road Historic District contains 170 two-family homes, three churches, and a city park. It is the only street in Shaker Heights that consists entirely of two-family houses. This was no accident -- the Van Sweringen Company carefully zoned Shaker Heights to control the suburb's development. Therefore, palatial homes on spacious lots would be able to coexist in Shaker Heights with more tightly packed-in duplexes, though the locations for these different types of lots would be carefully defined.

The two-family houses on Winslow Road, like all other houses in Shaker Heights, met high standards of construction and were designed by professional architects in either the English, French, or Colonial style. It is believed that no home on Winslow Road has ever been demolished in the street's nearly 90 years of existence.

Though all of the street's structures are two-family houses, each home on Winslow Road has only a single front entrance, giving it the appearance of a single-family home. The street features houses designed by prominent architects such as Charles Schneider (who designed Shaker Heights City Hall and Plymouth Church), the firm of Fox, Duthie, and Foose (designers of a series of "Master Model Homes" on Scottsdale Boulevard), and George Burrows. Burrows designed 43 houses on Winslow Road, the most of any architect.

Images

Winslow Road, 2012

Winslow Road, 2012

As with all the houses on Winslow Road, these duplexes have only one front entrance, giving them the appearance of single-family homes. Image courtesy of the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities View File Details Page

"Shaker Village Standards," 1928

"Shaker Village Standards," 1928

This photograph of Winslow Road appeared in the second edition of the "Shaker Village Standards," published by the Van Sweringen Company in 1928. The illustrated booklet laid out the architectural styles permitted in Shaker Heights, and also provided specific guidelines for things such as lot sizes, color schemes, and garage locations. The Van Sweringen Company enforced these design restrictions to ensure Shaker Heights's harmonious development. "The ugly residence," the booklet states, "injures surrounding property values." A well-built home, on the other hand, "shows harmony of style and construction" in all its features, just as "the well-groomed man looks to becoming details in things such as hats, shoes, hose and neckties." Image courtesy of the Shaker Historical Society View File Details Page

17620 Winslow Road

17620 Winslow Road

A May 1927 newspaper advertisement for the house at 17620 Winslow Road referred to the street as "Shaker's finest two-family section." The ad also described the house as "an unusually good investment," since its owner could easily rent out half of the duplex. Historic image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Division of Special Collections. 2012 photograph courtesy of the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities View File Details Page

St. Peters Lutheran Church

St. Peters Lutheran Church

There are three churches on Winslow Road. St. Peter's Lutheran Church moved to this Late Gothic Revival-style church in 1938. The congregation, founded in 1883, had earlier churches in Cleveland at East 69th Street and Quincy Avenue, and later at East 79th Street and Sherman Avenue. Image courtesy of the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities View File Details Page

18707 Winslow Road

18707 Winslow Road

This English Tudor home appeared in a May 1928 newspaper advertisement that touted its "Steam Heat," as well as the two-family home's upper suite, which a prospective owner could expect to rent out for $125 a month. Historic image courtesy of Cleveland State University. Michael Schwartz Library. Division of Special Collections 2012 image courtesy of the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities View File Details Page

18509 Winslow -- Charles Schneider

18509 Winslow -- Charles Schneider

A number of prominent architects designed houses on Winslow Road. Charles Schneider designed this Colonial, Federal-style house at 18509 Winslow Road in 1926. Schneider designed several prominent buildings in Shaker Heights during the 1910s and 1920s, including Plymouth Church, Malvern School, Fenway School, Ludlow School, Lomond School, Shaker Heights City Hall, as well as nearly 30 houses. Image courtesy of the Center for Public History + Digital Humanities View File Details Page

Audio

Not A Typical Duplex

Susan Zimmerman describes the physical peculiarities of the duplex houses on Winslow Road. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Michael Rotman, “Winslow Road Historic District,” Cleveland Historical, accessed June 27, 2017, https://clevelandhistorical.org/items/show/429.
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