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Thread: East Cleveland, Ohio - the other side of a suburban ghetto (broadband recommended)

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    East Cleveland, Ohio - the other side of a suburban ghetto (broadband recommended)

    East Cleveland, Ohio

    2000 population - 27,217.
    Black/African American - 93.4%.
    Median household income - $20,542 (compared to $41,994 nationwide)
    Median family income - $26,053 (compared to $50,046 nationwide)
    Families below poverty level - 28.0% (compared to 9.2% nationwide)
    Individuals below poverty level - 32.0% (compared to 12.4% nationwide)



    (sound of record screeching)

    Wait a minute ... this is suppsedly one of the most troubled communities in the United States; a mismanaged inner ring suburb that went from being a well-regarded working- and middle-class, primarily white community in 1960 to a primarily black, lower income city in 1970. It's a city usually mentioned in the same context at East St. Louis, Illinois and Camdem, New Jersey.

    Well, that part is true. Most of East Cleveland looks like this.














    However, I'm about to show you a little enclave among all that blight. It's East Cleveland's forgotten neighborhood, Forest Hill.



    While most of East Cleveland developed with "doubles" and small apartment buildings, Forest Hill was built on a portion of the former estate of John Rockefeller. While the area "down the hill" experienced socioeconomic upheaval in the 1960s and 1970s, Forest Hill remained an upscale enclave.

    Let's look around this beautiful neighborhood. Everything you see in the following images, except the sign above, is in the City of East Cleveland.





























































    Although Forest Hills, like the rest of East Cleveland, is primarily African-American -- many "buppies" and prominent community leaders -- a few white holdouts that remain also call it home.



    Of course, larger images are in the Cyburbia Gallery at http://www.cyburbia.org/gallery/show...=1&perpage=9&=
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

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    A Tale of Two Cities...

    Good shots, as usual Dan. It amazes me how an enclave in a largely deteriorating urban setting manages to survive so gracefully as Forest Hill has.

  3. #3
    Wow, amazing photos, Dan.

    I wonder what a typical house in Forest Hills would sell for. Nothing really big, perhaps like the ones below.




  4. #4
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Wow! Those are some nice neighborhoods -- houses that don't all look alike -- and TREES.

    They don't make neighborhoods like that anymore!

  5. #5

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    Very nice. $2 Million properties in the Bay Area

    Cleveland certainly has some of the nicer suburbs in the US.

    These houses remind me of my neighborhood a little bit (although the nicer stuff is a much smaller area in Vacaville. You quickly degenerate into awful 1970s stucco ranchers and "Spanish" snout houses.
    Last edited by BKM; 24 Aug 2004 at 2:21 PM.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess
    Wow! Those are some nice neighborhoods -- houses that don't all look alike -- and TREES.

    They don't make neighborhoods like that anymore!
    Meh... Who would want to live in a quiet, walkable neighborhood of solidly-built, unique tudor, colonial and shingle-style homes surrounded by mature landscaping when they can buy a low-maintenance, vinyl-sided house with a 3-car garage and no sidewalks to maintain in Oak Meadow Grove View Park Subdivision?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  7. #7

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    Dan, those are some beautiful pics of East Cleveland.

    You know, there are many hidden gem neighborhoods in hard-hit cities and inner ring suburbs, but many people's inclination is to dismiss an entire area without looking more deeply.

    I don't know anything about East Cleveland, but they definitely seem to have the building blocks for a rebirth.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, the East Cleveland pics look just like my parents' subdivision in Saginaw Twp., MI.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Off topic but not worthy of its own thread:

    What's up with Prince George's County, MD? Is it a similar "suburban ghetto?" Why is it so insanely cheap compared to the rest of the DC area?

  9. #9
    Cyburbian the north omaha star's avatar
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    Prince George's County was the last of the inner-ring DC suburbs to fully develop. Relatively speaking, land was cheaper than Montgomery County, Alexandria or Arlington. Sometimes, Prince George's suffers from the same social ills as NE and SE Washington experience. Lower income people do not want to live around idiots either, so they move to the 'promised land'.

    The Mrs...Star grew up in neighboring Shaker Heights in a very similar neighborhood to Forest Hills. I'm insanely jealous of her. I grew up in a post World War II, in-fill subdivison filled with ranchers and split-levels.
    Last edited by NHPlanner; 24 Aug 2004 at 5:24 PM.
    I am recognizing that the voice inside my head
    is urging me to be myself but never follow someone else
    Because opinions are like voices we all have a different kind". --Q-Tip

  10. #10
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    [QUOTE=BKM]Very nice. $2 Million properties in the Bay Area

    Quote Originally posted by Super Amputee Cat
    Wow, amazing photos, Dan.

    I wonder what a typical house in Forest Hills would sell for. Nothing really big, perhaps like the ones below.
    Not much.

    http://realez.progressiveurban.com/p....php?view=4294 - $139,000
    http://realez.progressiveurban.com/p....php?view=9171 = $144,900
    http://realez.progressiveurban.com/p....php?view=9703 - $189,000
    http://realez.progressiveurban.com/p...w.php?view=778 - $214,000
    http://realez.progressiveurban.com/p...php?view=13282 - $209,000


    Multiply the price by 1.75 to 2 to get the equivalent in areas north of Lakeshore Drive in Euclid, or a stabily integrated Cleveland Heights neighborhood. Multiply the price by 2.5 to 3 to get the price for an equivalent house in Shaker Heights.

    East Cleveland, despite the poverty and urban blight, is really a place worth exploring, if you can conquer your fear of spending time in a rough ghetto, and, if you're white, ignoring the stares of the many people you'll see hanging out. (Except for the few holdouts in Forest Hill, and a nearby old folks' home, the sight of white faces are rare in East Cleveland.). The housing stock "down the hill" is in pretty rough shape, but you can tell that at one time it was substantial. Unlike Buffalo's East Side slums, which are filled primarily with small wooden cottages discarded by second or third generation German-Americans or Polish-Americans, East Cleveland seemed to be developed with a sense of permanence; the housing was built for the middle class of the day. There's an abundance of solid brick three-story apartment buildings, like what you might find in the Coventry neighborhood in Cleveland Heights, in varying conditions; abandoned to gorgeous, often right next to each other. It's the home of Nela Park, considered the first industrial park in the United States.

    In my travels through Forest Hill, I stumbled upon an abandoned observatory. Unfortunately, the sun would have made photographing it impossible; it's only something you can capture in the morning. I couldn't find much information online, except this.



    The historic Warner and Swasey Observatory was established in 1920 as a part of Case Western Reserve University by Worcester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey, whose Cleveland-based Warner and Swasey company was renowned for making some of the finest telescopes of the late-nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The original facility in East Cleveland was closed in 1982.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  11. #11
    Cyburbian drucee's avatar
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    The obvious comparisons can be made to the "Jackson Park Highlands" community on the South Side of Chicago. Sixteen square blocks in size, bounded by E 67th St, E 71st St, S Cregier Ave, and S Jeffery Blvd, Jackson Park Highlands is another historic-preservation district located in a decidedly low-income area. The residents of surrounding Woodlawn and South Chicago are nearly all black and low-income, and the housing stock is the 1920s-vintage brick two-flats, three-flats, and six-flats typical at this distance from the Loop. However, the four square blocks of Jackson Park Highlands are mostly single-family Tudors, Georgians, and Prairie Style. They have well-manicured green lawns and are on streets with a canopy of mature trees. I'd say that the neighborhood has shades of Oak Park or even Edgebrook. Unlike its neighbors, Jackson Park Highlands lacks back alleys. Like East Cleveland, the "buppie" population in Jackson Park Highlands is high, with quite a few U of C professors rounding it out. Also, the surrounding retail reflects the more low-income areas, with lots of boarded-up storefronts, check cashers, and hot-dog stands.

    I may have some pictures from the area soon enough.

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