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On The Avenue
 

Jan Cigliano's The Grand Avenue: 1850-1920, of 1994, describes the history of selective prestigious thoroughfares in large American cities, including Cleveland. Ah . . . Paris' Avenue des Champs-Elysees and the grand avenues of other major capitals: Fifth, Michigan and Pennsylvania Avenues . . . The term 'Avenue' may bring to mind a wide street of cosmopolitan, stylish architecture.

In our mother city, Cleveland, virtually all east-west streets - no matter how minor - have been named 'Avenue' since 1906. Indeed, most of Cleveland's minor streets - which happen to also radiate from its central business district - are Avenues.

Our suburban Avenues are concentrated in inner-ring suburbs; few streets constructed after World War II were named as such. Cleveland Heights' older cousins, East Cleveland and Lakewood, are filled with Avenues, while our younger neighbor, Shaker Heights, has none (the Van Sweringens loved the 'boulevard' image instead). So how does Cleveland Heights stack up? What sort of streets are labeled 'Avenues' here? The 'Avenue' designation within our fair community seems to have more to do with a street's age and in what tract the street is situated than in its physical characteristics.

The two main streets forming one of our oldest tracts, Cedar Heights & Bellfield and Grandview-are Avenues; they are near Cleveland, but running north-south; if in Cleveland, they would have been called 'Streets' and numbered. Cadwell Avenue is another pre-1900 street in a pre-1900 tract-'Mayfield Heights' Preyer Avenue is still another old street in an early tract, and the original name of Somerton Road.

Woodward is an Avenue cutting through a series of east-west Roads in what was originally Rockefeller land. Cottage Grove is another cut-through Avenue, at times labeled 'Drive.' (Cottage Grove Avenue is a major street in Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood.)

Our largest concentration of Avenues lies in the Lee Road/South Taylor Road neighborhoods. The section west of Taylor, basically developed first, includes stand-alone Hyde Park Avenue and the series of Beechwood, Altamont, DeSota and Berkeley Avenues. Blanche, to the south, is a slightly newer Avenue and features tree lawns and setbacks.

Blanche continues east of Taylor - officially still an Avenue, but often called 'Road' like the streets to its north. Anchored by Blanche Avenue and Antisdale Avenue (sometimes called 'Road') are Powell and Janette Avenues.

There is, finally, our one Avenue north of Mayfield & Caledonia. But then, it's partially in East Cleveland, a suburb of primarily Avenues. So concludes our parade of Avenues-all residential and graciously platted in only a few cases. But surely all serve as addresses to at least some of us with grand pretensions.

 
 
 
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For easy access, the following list of stories will appear at the end of each story page.
   
  • A City Of Few Streets
    Have you ever wondered how your street got its name? Perhaps Cleveland Heights' bright new street signs will heighten awareness of your street names.
  • Hollywood Boulevard?
    How many readers know of streets in Cleveland Heights that actually are called "Street?"
  • National Origins
    That most Cleveland Heights streets sport the name of English towns or London streets or are derived from words in the English language is well agreed, but we have many street names originating from other nationalities gracing our community.
  • Neighbor Names
    Some of our Cleveland Heights streets take their names from thoroughfares they are near.
  • North Suburb
    Some hear the word “north” and start to shiver. Some label “northern Cleveland Heights” what is north of Mayfield, which for many years was lucky to be closer to Euclid Beach amusement park.
  • On The Avenue
    Jan Cigliano's The Grand Avenue: 1850-1920, of 1994, describes the history of selective prestigious thoroughfares in large American cities, including Cleveland.
  • On The Boulevard
    Officially naming a street 'Boulevard' was popular in the Cleveland of 1900-30.
  • Our London Connection
    Images of England were important to early Cleveland Heights developers, residents and would-be residents.
  • Our Wood Streets
    Our Cleveland Heights streets can boast no fewer than 16 streets with names ending in 'wood.'
  • Quirky Street Spellings
    The quirky spellings of some of our street names have long perplexed even excellent spellers.
  • Rocky Roads
    Cleveland Heights has several streets which honor the area's 19th-century quarries, including Quarry Road itself.
  • Royalty Among Us
    Cleveland Heights' 'royal streets'-Queenston, Kingston, Princeton and Canterbury Roads-were named with the English aristocratic imagery generally favored in the time of their development, about 1910.
  • Shorties
    Cleveland Heights has its turn-of-the-century 'country lanes,' but also has its very short streets-cut-throughs not found in the newer suburban areas of highways, winding drives and cul-de-sacs. Most of our short streets are by-ways connecting two to four streets.
  • Take A Drive
    What image does 'Drive' in a street name evoke to you?
  • Threes And Twos
    Our community is flush with streets grouped in trios and pairs.
  • The Name's (Almost) The Same
    Cleveland Heights, with most of its streets named within a 25-year period many years ago, has a number of street names so similar that they have confounded the public since first platted.
  • We're Flattered!
    If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, Cleveland Heights must be appealing to residents elsewhere because some of our street names have been conscientiously copied in other communities.
  • What's In A Name?
    Sometimes the name of a street is influenced by that of a more major street nearby.
 
 
 
 

Cleveland Heights and The National Register of Historic Places

Lost Cleveland Heights

Researching Your House

Temple on the Heights Versus the Rockefellers

The Euclid Avenue of the Heights
(Separate browser window)

Household Names from the Heights

The Streets of Cleveland Heights

When Bad Ideas Happen to Good Suburbs

Sears Catalog Homes: The Cleveland Heights Connection

Drive By History:  Dean's Dairy

National Art Treasures in Cleveland Heights

The Firemen's "Clubhouses" of Cleveland Heights

The Kelvin Home: Cleveland Heights Leads the Way to "A New And Better Way of Living"

Local People and Local Memories: The Cleveland Heights Oral History Project

Cleveland Heights and the National Preservation Movement

Obscene History in the Heights: The Case of Nico Jacobellis and Les Amants

Cleveland Heights: A Restful Place to "Take the Cure"

The Struggle for Fair Housing in Cleveland Heights: The St. Ann Audit

Discovering Change: Cleveland Heights Congregations

Remembering Cumberland Park

Get Comfortable with the Bungalows of Cleveland Heights

   
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