Detroit Shoreway

Tour curated by: CSU Center for Public History + Digital Humanities

In recent years, the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood on Cleveland's West Side has become both a local and national model for responsible urban redevelopment. Efforts to revitalize the commercial district, historic churches, and residential neighborhoods have been balanced with an attentiveness to conserving the area's social diversity. The area was, and continues to be, home to an economically and ethnically diverse population, each of these communities inscribing their signatures into the neighborhood's physical landscape. Detroit Shoreway's colorful past provides insight into the creation, growth, decline, and redevelopment of urban neighborhoods. The history of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood speaks to the possibilities of Cleveland's future.

Locations for Tour

Detroit-Shoreway is a west-side community bounded by Edgewater State Park, Interstate 90, W 45th Street, and W 85th Street. The neighborhood emerged from the annexations of Brooklyn Township, the Village of West Cleveland, and Ohio City into the city…

Cleveland Public Theatre was founded in 1982 by Cleveland native James Levin. From its early years, CPT was instrumental in promoting, creating, and providing a home for experimental theater in the Cleveland area. Initially sparking interest in…

While gangsters, bootleggers and gamblers were among the cast of interesting characters drawn to the bustling Gordon Square business district during its heyday, the historic Four Corners intersection also has ties to one of the most infamous…

Located at the intersection of W. 65th Street and Detroit Avenue, Gordon Square is the historic commercial district of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. As residential construction and industry grew along and away from Detroit Avenue following the…

The Gordon Square Arcade opened to the public on April 8, 1921. The unique and massive structure quickly became the centerpiece of the Gordon Square commercial district, and a source of pride for the surrounding neighborhood. The monumental building…

On April 8, 1921, the Capitol Theatre opened its doors to the public at the dedication of the Gordon Square Arcade and Community Building. Developed by the West Side Amusement Co. and Canadian motion picture theater promoters Jule and J.J. Allen, the…

Located on West 65th Street near Detroit Avenue, St. Helena Romanian Catholic Church marks the site of Cleveland's largest Romanian enclave during the early 20th century. St. Helena's was built under the guidance of Father Epaminonda S.…

Opened in 2008, Stone Mad Pub is the latest in a long tradition of saloons and bars located at 1306 West 65th Street. The history of the building speaks to the importance of these establishments within a community, and reflects the changes that the…

Carved out of the Brooklyn Township territory, West Cleveland was incorporated as a village in 1871. The new suburb consisted of 1,500 acres of land and was bounded on the north by Lake Erie, on the east by the Cleveland corporation line near Gordon…

Many Cleveland moviegoers have seen Martin Scorsese's 2002 film "Gangs of New York," a story about the vicious street gangs that populated New York's notorious Five Points District around the time of the U.S. Civil War. Few…

Edgewater Park makes up the western-most grounds of the Cleveland Lakefront State Park. Running between the Memorial Shoreway and Lake Erie just to the west of downtown Cleveland, the park encompasses over 130 acres of land and overlooks 6,000 feet…

By the 1960s, Lake Erie had become extremely polluted, in part due to the heavy industry that lined its shores in Cleveland and other cities. Factories dumped pollutants into the lake and the waterways that flowed into it (like the Cuyahoga River)…

Battery Park is an urban redevelopment project in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood located on W. 73rd Street and W 76th Street. Laid out in a "U" shaped design, the $100 million development overlooks Edgewater State Park and is surrounded…

Upon entering Cleveland's west side "Little Italy", one is instantly met with a display of Italian colors on benches, fire hydrants, sidewalks, and telephone poles. Best known for its street processionals and annual church festival,…

A Romanian settlement grew and flourished along Detroit Avenue between West 45th Street and West 65th Street from the 1900s to the middle of the century. The self-contained neighborhood housed a variety of businesses both owned by and catering to…

St. Colman Catholic Church, located on W. 65th Street near Lorain Avenue, was founded in 1880 as a response to the rapidly growing Irish immigrant population on Cleveland's West Side. Father Eugene M. O'Callaghan, former pastor of the…

Cleveland's EcoVillage is an urban redevelopment project that aims to create an economically and ecologically sustainable community within the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. The project was conceived by environmental groups in the mid 1990s to…

Where a grocery store and parking lot now stand on the south side of Detroit Avenue just west of West 58th Street there once stood a mansion so large that neighbors called it "Castle Needham" after the man who built it. The castle was said…

He wasn't called "Black Jack" when, in 1912, he married Helen Mulgrew from West 67th Street and the two newly weds moved into a house at 1377 West 69th Street. In 1912, he was Tommy McGinty, and he was one of Cleveland's best…

The Cleveland Leader dubbed the west side neighborhood near Herman Avenue and West 74th Street "Kilbane Town," in honor of world featherweight boxing champion Johnny Kilbane. In March 1912, Kilbane Town was the end point of one of the…
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