were planned for tract (called Prentiss Park) but
the institutions bought the segment instead. The stone fence along Mayfield
dates from the "Glenallen" period.
Further down Mayfield, a large stucco house at Cleveland Heights Boulevard
was razed about 1979 to make room for a condominium project. Another was
planned for the site of a large frame house at Edendale Street. After
a legal battle in 1984, the empty house was demolished, and the project
was completed in two stages. In this decade, an institutional dwelling
has replaced a house at the north end of the street. A house once stood
at the corner of Wilmar, near the present small office building, and a
few more structures are gone from the Mayfield-Warrensville area. There
was a double about where the Oakwood House Apartments stand.
The colorful Coventry Village neighborhood has surely had its share of
destruction. Coventry Yard is, of course, a vastly different building
than before the fire and previous recycling. One of the best known demolitions
in the Heights was that of the Charles Schweinfurth- and Charles Schneider-designed,
Jacobean Briggs mansion of 1906 (enlarged in 1920) bounded by East Overlook,
Coventry, Mornington Lane, and Edgehill. Despite strong opposition, it
was sacrificed in the late 1960s for a very beautiful condominium complex,
leaving the elegant masonry/iron fence, and fanciful Tudor-style garage/ballroom.
Five houses and two small apartment houses were demolished for the Musicians
Towers project between Hampshire and Lancashire Roads about 1970. Two
more neighboring houses went in the mid-1980s for additional neighborhood
parking. Previously, a single and a double had been demolished to allow
space for Coventry Commons.
The row of three houses on Euclid Heights Boulevard, past the Coventry
School and set far back in a wooded setting, once had several more houses
in their ranks. A mini-estate at 2860, with large house and auxiliary
buildings, went in 1958 for school property expansion, while another house,
a ‘40s bungalow and number 2882, was razed in 1973 for the present
The "Save Rock Court" campaign was a lively issue in the mid-1970s, when
most of the residences on this "country road" were slated to be demolished
for commercial parking expansion. Eight houses - including three small,
almost identical houses - were eventually razed. The row of three houses
on Euclid Heights Boulevard, past the Coventry School and set far back
in a wooded setting, once had several more houses in their ranks. A mini-estate
at 2860, with large house and auxiliary buildings, was in its last years
a retirement home but went in 1958 for school property expansion, while
a more modest house - a '40s bungalow and number 2882 - was razed in 1973
for the present school. Yet another Postwar house on Washington Boulevard
was sacrificed for the new school, situated to the east of the former
Euclid Heights Boulevard has lost quite a few other structures. Beginning
at Cedar the boulevard (which begins with an old stone wall at Overlook)
is now missing a double at 2360-2 (between two existing doubles). Three
houses between Lennox Road and the Excel Apartments were removed to make
room for a parking lot. Several small structures were also removed in
The north side of the boulevard was always more open, but there was a
small frame house about where the former Margaret Wagner House's auxiliary
building now stands. Historical documentation of this enclave is problematic
because the structures on what is presently called "Herrick Mews" had
addresses on three different streets in old directories.
Gone are a large brick home at Derbyshire - center entranced with side
porch, side gambrel roof, and early attached garage. Also taken were brick
homes at 2475 and 2493 Euclid Heights, similar to other ca. 1915 homes
on the boulevard; these were razed for a project that did not materialize
(though there are now condominiums on part of the site). Also lost were
a sizable V-shaped apartment house going around the curve onto Lancashire
(demolished about 1972) and a house up the hill at 2742 (due to a fire;
the driveway remains). Three more Euclid Heights houses were demolished
for the old Boulevard and Roosevelt Schools' campus; these schools have
since themselves been demolished.
Kenilworth once had large frame houses at 2505 and 2539, on either side
of Overlook Road, where there are parking lots. At least one dwelling
was a rooming house in its later years until destroyed by fire. Number
2493 Overlook was a residence turned college student co-op before its
demise. St. Alban's Episcopal Church (now demolished following a fire)
was actually moved to Euclid Heights and Edgehill from Little Italy about
1897, and its architectural style was Anglicized.
Lee Road between Cedar and Mayfield lost a house for Johnny's Service,
Inc. Also gone from the area are a long, one-floor commercial structure
at the southeast corner of Euclid Heights and Lee Road (now the site of
a gas station), three house/businesses on land now occupied by the Cain
Park Apartments, and another house adjacent to Cain Park. There was also
a large shingle house southeast of the Superior Road corner which had
become a Jewish Community Center branch. Two houses went for the former
Chrysler dealer (site of the current Rite-Aid Pharmacy) at Lee and Berkshire.
A restaurant stood at 2092 (now a service station).
An impressive early Colonial Revival house - one of Euclid Heights'
residences - once stood at 2708 Berkshire Road. There are currently two
newer homes on that site, plus a residence to the south assumably remodeled
from the demolished house's carriage house or garage.
South of Cedar about 23 houses on Cedarbrook and Tullamore Roads were
removed in the 1960s for a large parking lot and paved pedestrian link
to the street! Near the southwest corner of Lee and Cedar was the tall hulk of City Ice and Fuel Company, which was actually a complex. The brick McDonald's of 1979 (now Lemongrass) replaced
the legendary Mawby's - a restaurant with an almost identical facade.
Cedarbrook was closed off to Lee altogether. The site of one of the recent
city-owned parking lots at 2200 Lee Road was that of an auto dealer and
later a body shop. A small commercial structure stood at 2219-21 Lee.
An early fast food take-out outlet also once stood on the west side of
Lee, near Meadowbrook.
In the 1960s and early 1970s, the Heights Main Library bought and demolished
(for expansion and added parking space) single and double homes on Lee
Road south of the existing building, two homes on Dellwood, and two on
Ormond. Two singles on Corydon and a single and double on Coleridge were
demolished for YMCA construction.
South Taylor has lost some houses but also a few commercial buildings
- for example, the small restaurant at 2104 and the buildings at 1901-39,
demolished for Taylor Commons Plaza. Several houses were razed for Hebrew
Academy expansion, and others for parking lots and new commercial buildings.
Heights Furniture and Toy (in what is now the Vanderbrook Florist building)
demolished a house on South Taylor for store expansion and later, about
1970, two homes on Blanche Avenue for parking lot expansion. The front
lawns of these homes remain as "landscaping." A house on South Taylor
was demolished for Taylor Road Synagogue expansion.
Several North Park Boulevard mansions are also lost to the ages. A house
by Denton Drive was destroyed, and five smaller homes, decades later,
built in its place on Denton and North Park.
The center-entrance, shingle Bourne home of 1903 was constructed at North
Park and Harcourt. After a fire, the house's foundation was used as a
swimming pool for another house, amid a formal garden, but about 1980
two houses were built on the lot, with addresses on Harcourt. One or both
incorporate architectural features from the original house.
Around and Along Fairmount Boulevard
The sprawling, half-timbered and brick Allyn mansion, designed by Harlan
Shimmin, stood to the east of the intersection of North Park and North
Woodland. A modern home was built in the '60s which incorporated segments
of the original structure, and another house was constructed on the property
in 1986. Another large home stood at North Park and Shelburne, to be replaced
by newer homes.
The home of civic leader Harold T. Clark stood at 2919 Fairmount Boulevard
on the "historic mile," between Marlboro and Arlington. Imitating his
father-in-law's will, which requested his Euclid Avenue mansion be razed
upon his death, Clark requested his Fairmount house be destroyed. The
large, white New England Colonial Revival manse with glistening, white
picket fence was popular and neighborhood opposition was fierce. Nevertheless
the house was razed and only a lawn is there today. The present Fairfax
School building cost large brick homes on Wellington and Fairfax Roads
- one on each - and two houses on Lee. Fairfax Road was also closed off
from Lee. Still another impressive home, once gracing a highly visible
site, was the 18-room, 1910s, brick Allen mansion, for only about twenty
years; it stood at what is affectionately referred to as the "Fairfax
triangle" - at Fairfax and Lamberton Roads. Its loss may well be
due to fire but, in any case, five homes from the '40s and '50s now occupy
this sizable piece of property.
Other Losses Around the Heights
To make room for a Union 76 station, a house was removed at Lee and Essex
Roads. Compton Road lost a house to the parking lot of Sts. Constantine
and Helen Greek Orthodox Church. Bradford and East Monmouth Roads each
lost two houses, and three houses on Lee went for Church of the Savior
parking. Church of the Redeemer on South Taylor demolished its former
sanctuary, about 1981.
A whole row of houses, including a double, around Noble and Glenwood
were demolished for the Pick-N-Pay (now Medic). Five houses stood on the
site of Warrensville Center Synagogue (Kehillat Yaakov) and neighboring
Several houses were in the way of Noble School expansion and were consequently
moved to either end of Montevista Road. They appear older than the street
- a "giveaway." This is also true of an 1880-ish house moved to Crest
Road. In 1997, one of the Montevista houses was demolished, with another
home, for library parking.
A house on Maple road was demolished due to a fire in 1983. A house at
3171 Washington Blvd., just west of Lee Rd., was demolished for restaurant
parking. Three University Heights houses were removed and Washington Boulevard
cut off so that the Taylor School yard could be expanded. Yorkshire Rd.
lost two houses near Lee for commercial parking. Several houses were lost
for Monticello Middle School and its athletic field, and a Yellowstone
Road house was raised for a sewer right-of-way.
A house was torn down for Superior School Park and two houses demolished
to add land to Forest Hill Park. A house on Redwood Road and a commercial/apartment
building on Lee Road were torn down for the True Sisters Day Nursery.
Noble Rd. has lost a few houses and small commercial structures in favor
of new apartments, shops, offices, and parking. The two strips that had
disastrous fires in the early 1980s were in East Cleveland, but doubles
and singles on three border streets were eliminated for construction of
the Noble Nela lot. Demolition has continued in the 1990s to create new
Houses also have been demolished for expansion of the First Church of
Christ Scientist (on Lee), the Carmelite Convent, Fairmount Presbyterian
Church, Congregation Beth Am, Grace Mount Gospel Church, Church of the
Redeemer, and Sinai Synagogue. In the past ten years, demolition has continued,
with fine houses removed for the religious complex at South Taylor and
Euclid Heights Blvd. Commercial buildings on Coventry Road have been replaced
by the new garage/shopping complex and the new Coventry Courtyard (following
another fire). New pharmacy outlets - two on Lee Rd and one on Mayfield
Road - have replaced aging auto dealership structures.
Is this dizzying rundown complete? Of course not! Existing buildings
are threatened every year. The period of heaviest demolition in Cleveland
Heights was 1960-72, when the suburb had reached its maximum density and
businesses were thriving. At that point, Cleveland Heights reached a fully
developed state, and the preservation movement had not yet made much headway.
Had the planned Clark, Central, and Lee freeways actually slashed the
Heights (as backers favored in the 1960s), destruction would have been
even more enormous, with hundreds more structures lost and dozens of cut-off
streets. A Heights Rapid Transit Extension, also planned in the 1960s,
would also have eliminated buildings.
Virtually every demolition represents some loss of human stability. In
most cases they reflect important decisions made by those with power,
rather than by those whom the result would most affect. At least one can
say that, although buildings are still lost to what is often dubious "progress,"
there is now more thought - and occasionally a legal battle - behind each
final decision. Cleveland Heights may have been "physically mature" 30
years ago, but as a community it only matured in the 1980s, as more knowledge
was acquired about zoning impact and the value of neighborhood continuity.
As many levels of urban woes have spread to the suburbs, so has positive
activity, such as the preservation movement. Several years ago a group
of neighbors on Ormond successfully argued at a Zoning Board against demolition
of a third house on that street for a planned parking lot expansion. Hopefully,
this victory signifies an enlightened trend for the future.