Coventry Village

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

Taking advantage of electric streetcar traffic, Coventry Village emerged along Coventry Road in 1919 after the original Euclid Heights allotment collapsed and filled with more and more large apartment buildings. With the migration of Jews between the 1920s and 1950s, Coventry became a largely Jewish community until the late 1960s, when the neighborhood became the epicenter of Cleveland's growing counterculture. As University Circle redevelopment uprooted Cleveland's counterculture and as Jews continued to migrate farther eastward, Coventry Village emerged by 1967 as Cleveland's Haight-Ashbury. Record stores, head shops, and restaurants that catered to the younger crowds soon replaced the Jewish-owned businesses. For the next three decades Coventry sheltered both hippies-at-heart and adherents of the punk and progressive music movement before morphing yet again into the diverse district that it is today: one part offbeat destination, one part college-town hangout, and one part neighborhood meeting place.

Locations for Tour

Cleveland's industry and population grew rapidly during the last quarter of the 19th Century. As a result, the city's affluent population began looking beyond the city limits for respite from the dirt and bustle of urban living. The area…

Coventry P.E.A.C.E. Park carries on a piece of the tradition of the closed Coventry School next door. The park, now almost twenty years old, originated when neighborhood residents became concerned that the school's playground had seen better…

Stand just to the left of the P.E.A.C.E. Arch where Coventry Road intersects with Euclid Heights Boulevard. Then look east toward the slope with the playground on the left. That's where the "real" Coventry School stood for nearly 60…

Harry Potter and his friends would feel right at home in the Coventry Village Library, a brick Tudor Revival and Jacobean-style building that sits on a gentle grassy slope near the intersection of Coventry Road and Euclid Heights Boulevard. The…

The four residential buildings (16 total units) that occupy the block bounded by Mornington Lane and East Overlook, Coventry and Edgehill Roads are a significant departure from the architectural flavor most people associate with Cleveland Heights.…

Grant Wilson Deming, born in Sarnia, Ontario, at the southern tip of Lake Huron, moved to Cleveland with his brothers in the 1890s and became swept up in real-estate development. The Demings built upper-middle-class residential districts in…

For over a century, the beautiful tree-shaded community once known as "Mayfield Heights" has stood as a fine example of an early 20th-century American suburban development. No, we're not speaking of the suburb that is located way out…

On August 16, 1979, bulldozers leveled three homes on Rock Court to make room for a parking lot and expansion of the Pick-N-Pay supermarket. In what was probably a last act of defiance by those seeking to save the buildings, someone concealed the…

Among the many mom-and-pop businesses that graced Coventry Village during the 1960s and 1970s, Pee Wee's Bike Shop often stands out. Although it is a part of Coventry's history, the shop did not have its beginnings there. Pee Wee (real name…

Late on the evening of Halloween 1971, as the children of Cleveland Heights slept with bellies full of candy, a blast shook the Coventry neighborhood. Police raced to Swan's Auto Service at the southwest corner of Mayfield and Coventry Roads…

Near the northern edge of Coventry Village, surrounded by vintage, hip clothing stores, stands one of Cleveland Heights' oldest businesses. Operated by Tom and Andy Gathy, a father-son team, Heights Hardware is in some ways timeless: Oak…

For decades, Irv's Deli, on the corner of Coventry and Hampshire Roads, was the place to wallow in Coventry Village’s eclectic edginess. The delicatessen and adjoining bar opened in 1959, when the street was mainly a commercial district serving the…

On April Fools Day 1991, people discovered Big Fun in Coventry Village. Awed by the colorful decorations, circus-like atmosphere, and thousands of vintage toys, those patrons surely thought that the store's owners, Marvin Presser and his son…

Walk down Coventry in the mid-1970s and you’d probably see a large yellow sign—Tommy’s—on a wood-paneled storefront where Coventry Road intersects with Euclid Heights Boulevard. Inside this unique restaurant, all 27 seats would likely be…

As the well-dressed young adults sit on the patio of Panini's Bar and Grill, sipping their drinks and watching the game on TV, few probably realize that their trendy warm-weather hangout was once the site of a slaughterhouse. From 1946 until…

Those who reminisce about the Coventry Street Fair often recall an uncountable amount of people interspersed with local business owners and outside vendors selling unique merchandise, clowns, magicians, fire eaters, musicians, and, most of all, fun. …

Nearing its 80th anniversary, Diamond's Flowers is the second oldest business in Coventry Village, second only to Heights Hardware. Diamond’s is also the oldest business to originate on the street. Although many years have passed since the…

A dramatic police raid. A community up in arms. A man taking his fight for justice all the way to the Supreme Court. These events sound like the plot of a Hollywood movie, but they actually in Cleveland Heights. Cleveland Heights police raided a…

Nearing its 25th anniversary (September 22, 2017), the Grog Shop is a fixture of both the Coventry business district and the local independent music scene. The club is also a reminder of Coventry's re-birth in the 1990s. Some twenty years prior…

The opening of the CoventrYard Mall in 1977 signaled a new era for the Coventry business district in Cleveland Heights. Controversy over the actions and intentions of real estate developer Lewis A. Zipkin sparked a public discussion about the impact…
comments powered by Disqus