Cedar Fairmount: Gateway to the Heights

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

Cedar Fairmount has long served as a gateway to Cleveland Heights. This village center developed in response to the meteoric rise in population as thousands of Clevelanders followed the lead of wealthy families who left Millionaires' Row mansions for the crisp, clear air on the Heights.

Fully a decade before the Van Sweringens set their sights on the idyllic woodlands and meadows tended by the North Union Shakers to the south, the so-called Overlook was transforming in the 1890s from lands denuded by years of timbering into master-planned "garden city" allotments that anticipated Shaker Heights. Imposing estates soon perched on the bluffs, offering commanding views.

By the 1910s Cedar Fairmount, with its English-influenced buildings and street names, emerged along the main streetcar line leading eastward from Cleveland. Concurrently, the Euclid Golf allotment unfolded along Fairmount Boulevard, dubbed the "Euclid Avenue of the Heights," on land formerly occupied by the fairways of the Euclid Golf Club. Yet the Cedar Fairmount area quickly became a diverse mix of both large and modest homes.

Surrounded by historic landmarks, including large stone churches, grand apartments, and elegant homes, Cedar Fairmount continues to set the tone for Cleveland Heights.

Locations for Tour

Until the late 1800s, looking down from atop Cedar Hill you would have seen little more than a countryside landscape divided by an unkempt dirt road. The hillside known as Cedar Glen hosted few travellers aside from farm wagons and, later, visitors…

The Euclid Heights Allotment was the first major real estate subdivision up on Cleveland's "Heights" above University Circle and Euclid Avenue. Early, on, Euclid Heights’ developers sought to attract wealthy Millionaires’ Row…

When John Barr opened Nighttown on February 5, 1965, it was a one-room bar. Constructed in 1920, the building had previously housed the Cedar Hill Diner, a deli, Sam’s Beauty Parlor and Stock's Candies. The Silhouette Lounge, which was run by…

The Alcazar Hotel was built in the Spanish-Moorish style in 1923 and mimicked the architecture of two hotels in St. Augustine, Florida. The Alcazar (which translates as "home in a fortress") is built in the shape of an irregular pentagon,…

Many Cleveland-area residents are familiar with Fairmount Boulevard, the beautiful, winding thoroughfare that treks east from near the top of Cedar Hill in Cleveland Heights. The turreted, half-timbered French Eclectic mansion that sits on an…

Canadian-born Cleveland real estate developer Barton Roy Deming was smitten with the verdant beauty of a craggy knoll just south of the recently closed Euclid Golf Club, which stood near the intersection of what are now Norfolk and Derbyshire Roads.…

In ninety years, three prominent Cleveland families have called 2540 Fairmount Boulevard home. The story of this house mirrors that of Euclid Golf, an early planned suburban development that benefited from the eastward spread of Cleveland's…

2675 Fairmount was the site of the Barton R. Deming Company's Euclid Golf Allotment sales office. John D. Rockefeller owned the 141-acre former timber farm in 1901 when neighboring property owner, Patrick Calhoun, asked if he could lease the…

St. Paul's Episcopal Church emerged in 1846, beginning in rented space until its first dedicated building opened in 1848 at the corner of Sheriff Street (now East 4th) and Euclid Avenue on the site of the present-day House of Blues. Following a…

Today the Roxboro campus in Cleveland Heights houses an elementary and middle school with the same name, but at one time a third school building stood on the current footprint of the schools's auditorium. The Cleveland Heights - University…

Trees have always been planted as symbolic gestures. Greater Cleveland - and Cleveland Heights particularly - is an excellent example. In fact, this was one of the very first regions to coordinate a living memorial to soldiers who gave their lives in…
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