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Thread: South Euclid, Ohio: a mid-20th century suburb on the edge

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    South Euclid, Ohio: a mid-20th century suburb on the edge

    Continuing the theme of posts about 1950s-era city neighborhoods, I thought I'd start a thread about the city where I live - South Euclid, Ohio, a classic inner ring suburb east of Cleveland.



    (A note: South Euclid is a separate city from Ambler v Euclid Euclid.)

    I'll spare you the "Jebidiah Southeuclid built a foundry here in 1802" history.

    Most land in South Euclid was platted before the 1940s. Residential construction boomed in the mid-1920s, but the Depression put an end to development. After World War II, construction resumed, and the city became mostly built out about a decade later.

    The 15-20 year hiatus in development is quite visible when you drive through the city'sneighborhoods. A block may have a few very large homes built in the 1920s, with the remaining lots filled with smaller, almost idential Cape Cods ("bungalows" in the local vernacular) built in the early 1950s. The original developer had the intention of building a high-end project, but the end result was quite different. There's still quite a few ghost streets, including a short section of the street where I live; it's now a greensward connecting two blocks.

    There is some uneasiness in the city over predatory lending and stagnant real estate prices. South Euclid is emerging as a hotspot for foreclosures; the number is increasing, and there's a growing inventory of vacant houses. Houses are priced lower than their equivalents in surrouding suburbs, even though it's racially stable, schools are very good, and there's a high level of public services. While real estate prices are rising outside the city line, they've flatlined in South Euclid.

    Also, unlike surrounding communities, South Euclid has far less "there there". There's little sense of place compared to Cleveland Heights (a progressive urban suburb with a liberal "People's Republic" reputation), University Heights ("The City of Beautiful Homes"), Lyndhurst (home of the Legacy Village lifestyle center) and Beachwood (a very affluent, predominantly Jewish city). The city once had a pedestrian-oriented business district at the corner of Mayfield and Green; many buildings were demolished in the 1990s and replaced with nondescript strip plazas. The comprehensive plan doesn't have a clear vision.

    Anyhow, the photos.

    A mixture of 1920s and 1950s-vintage houses, more older than newer






    Block developed in the 1920s.


    Typical 1950s South Euclid.




    A few blocks away:


    Greener 1950s block.


    South South Euclid.






    1950s-vintage multifamily development on Warrensville Center Road.


    The city was mostly built out by the end of the 1950s, but vacant lots are scattered throughout the city. Even though South Euclid isn't a prestigous address, there's stilll quite a bit of infill development - all market rate.


    South Euclid is an ethnically diverse community, with Italians, Irish, Jews, Russians, and African-Americans predominating. Like Cleveland Heights, Shaker Heights and University Heights, the response to racial integration was not white flight, and there are few fears of racial turnover.



    Hey, there's a dog park!


    Cedar Road / Cedar Center area. The woman is standing in SE; across the street is University Heights.


    More Cedar Road


    Cedar Center, a 1950s-vintage shopping plaza. Fully occupied, but it's seen better days.






    Part of the plaza is south of Cedar Road, in University Heights; it's now being demolished bit by bit, with businesses such as Whole Foods building on the ruins. The South Euclid side, north of Cedar Road, is intact. There are plans to replace the SE portion with a mixed-use mini-lifestyle center.




    Even though residents say Cedar Center has fallen on hard times, it still has a Starbucks and Chipotle.




    The intersection of Cedar Road and Green Road is "Kosher Korners", the location of many businesses owned by and catering to Orthodox Jews. Here's part of the South Euclid side of the street.





    Typical hours of many Cedar Road-area businesses.


    I'm missing photos of Mayfield Road, the city's other business district. It's a mixture of 1920s-era taxpayer strip buildings, converted houses, and typical 1950s through 1990s-era single-use commercial structures; parking in front, building in the rear. It's a mess, but not unwalkable. The problem with Mayfield Road - the business mix is fairly limited, with little catering to the young professionals that are starting to trickle into the community. Lots of old-man taverns, auto repair shops, fast food restaurants, some small medical office buildings, a supermarket - nothing very appealing.

  2. #2
    Thanks for the tour, Dan. Do you have any idea what is behind the foreclosures? "Predatory lending" has become such a buzz-phrase, but is there evidence that certain groups (low-income minorities and elderly often fall victim)bearing a disproportionate amount of the foreclosure burden? Do you have a redevelopment commission or housing authority/fair housing commission looking into it?
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
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  3. #3
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker
    To you have any idea what is behind the foreclosures? "Predatory lending" has become such a buzz-phrase, but is there evidence that certain groups (low-income minorities and elderly often fall victim)bearing a disproportionate amount of the foreclosure burden?
    It's basically inexpensive housing matched with people who shouldn't be buying homes to begin with, and the availability of easy credit. Home value appreciation is slower, making it more difficult to build equity; unless you hold on to a house for many years, you'll take a loss when you sell thanks to commissions.

    http://www.freetimes.com/print.php?sid=2393
    http://www.nextag.com/home-mortgage/...Cleveland.html

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    Clear vision

    Quote Originally posted by Dan

    ...The comprehensive plan doesn't have a clear vision.
    It is a collection or hodgepodge of neatly planned subdivisions without an overall well designed pattern or master plan. It is part of the continuous growth of Cleveland which forms one huge blob - like every other big city in America and on Earth. http://terraserver-usa.com/image.asp...veland%7coh%7c

    I notice this area is on the edge of open rural land. This would be an opportunity to start planning with a clear vision as I have explained in my several posts on cyburbia, e.g., - http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...685#post306685 . I will furnish some coordinates as soon as possible or your geographer or cartographer can do it for you using the formulas I have developed for that purpose. Then it would only be a matter of persuading your local officials to follow a well designed pattern and scheme of development in the future. What is your vision of the future, now?
    Last edited by bud; 17 May 2006 at 3:25 PM.

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    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
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    Off-topic:
    Hey bud. If you want to do that silly heart thing do it in your signature. I have signatures turned off for a reason.
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
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  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bud
    I notice this area is on the edge of open rural land.
    It's actually quite far from anything that can be remotely called "rural." Remember, I said ...

    ... a classic inner ring suburb east of Cleveland.
    Just to avoid confusion, I don't work there; I'm just a resident.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    It's basically inexpensive housing matched with people who shouldn't be buying homes to begin with, and the availability of easy credit. Home value appreciation is slower, making it more difficult to build equity; unless you hold on to a house for many years, you'll take a loss when you sell thanks to commissions.

    http://www.freetimes.com/print.php?sid=2393
    http://www.nextag.com/home-mortgage/...Cleveland.html
    This is a huge problem with inner-ring suburbs nationwide. I see it in my Chicago neighborhood, too (my house was built in 1954). The key as Dan mentioned is the lack of appreciation compared to outer-ring 'burbs or downtown locations. Our "urban midlands" fly under the radar and slowly deteriorate.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally posted by pete-rock
    This is a huge problem with inner-ring suburbs nationwide. I see it in my Chicago neighborhood, too (my house was built in 1954). The key as Dan mentioned is the lack of appreciation compared to outer-ring 'burbs or downtown locations. Our "urban midlands" fly under the radar and slowly deteriorate.
    Yep, our CDBG program does credit counseling and helps with downpayment assistance, but after that these first-time homebuyers are left to their own devices. A surprise medical bill, a couple of missed payments, and wham! you're in foreclosure. I had never thought about the impacts of slow appreciation, but I certainly agree with it.
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    Regional

    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Just to avoid confusion, I don't work there; I'm just a resident.
    The Citizen is King as a matter of law even if not of fact. We can make it real if we know what we are doing - it is clear to me that non-planners and developers do not know what they are doing. We have to show them the way. That is the point I am trying to make. Whether it is in your City or County or State. The idea is to bring order out of this kind of growtn that is destroying the natural environment all around us.

    I see some undeveloped rural green space in regions not too far from South Euclid:
    http://terraserver-usa.com/image.asp...veland%7coh%7c
    Last edited by bud; 17 May 2006 at 4:11 PM.

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    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bud
    I will furnish some coordinates as soon as possible or your geographer or cartographer can do it for you using the formulas I have developed for that purpose.
    Perhaps I missed something, but what exactly do you mean? Coordinates for what? What formulas?
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

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    Quote Originally posted by jordanb
    Off-topic:
    Hey bud. If you want to do that silly heart thing do it in your signature. I have signatures turned off for a reason.
    Yet you yourself have a signature.

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    The Plan

    Quote Originally posted by btrage
    Perhaps I missed something, but what exactly do you mean? Coordinates for what? What formulas?
    I have a plan that covers the entire Country. It is based on a 1500 mile square centered on a certain spot in Independence, Missouri (now a National Historic Site) which was marked in 1831 to be the future seat of government. It is oriented according to the two marker stones placed on the site then; a line between the two stones indicates the diagonal of the square bearing N 11.75deg. E. It is subdivided into 12 mile squares and/or 250/21 mile squares. I have parametric formulas for computing exact coordinates of any point in the United States, Canada and Mexico, a Mod el City, etc. all the details worked out as a scheme of development at the discretion of local officials and developers. It provides an instant coordinated plan for orderly, systematic and streamlined development as required by law.

    Here's a sample:

    OHIO
    __________________________________________
    Project

    LAKE
    NAD 83!!
    Unit Center: E' 684-M x 184 11/21 S'; B = N 71.86429028 E
    N 41.578237069 x 81.3975832615 W
    h=4435,245ft
    Rn=101.219; Rm=7.002 ft/sec

    GEAUGA
    NAD 83!!
    Unit Center: E' 684-M x 196 3/7 S'
    N 41.4224278968 x 81.3012389518 W
    h=4466.23ft
    Rn=101.216; Rm=7.18 ft/sec

    CUYAHOGA
    NAD 83!!
    Unit Corner: E' 678-M x 202 8/21 S'
    N 41.3082285649 x 81.35796367 W
    h=4371.859t
    Rn=101.214; Rm=76.318 ft/sec

    Unit Corner: E' 666-M x 202 8/21 S' ; B = N 73.67011273 E
    N 41.2353836814 x 81.5677151406 W
    h=4457.789t
    Rn=101.212; Rm=76.403 ft/sec

    Note:
    ..."there are certain geometric forms that are nearly impossible to describe as a single equation but have very elegant expressions in parametric form:" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parametric_equation
    Last edited by bud; 18 May 2006 at 11:42 AM.

  13. #13
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    South Euclid seems to be like Chicago's far southwestside neighborhood of Garfield Ridge.

    Platted in the 1920s, mostly developed right after WW2, and still very comfortable and overlooked. I could live in such a neighborhood. It's not too bad and certainly more 'urban' than the second, third, and fourth ring suburbs.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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  14. #14
    Cyburbian jsk1983's avatar
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    I was in Cleveland last month, on a 'layover' before heading to Chicago. I had a bit of time on my hands so I took the train out to Shaker Heights and went about visiting various Cleveland suburbs. I got off the Green line at Lee road in a rather posh area of Shaker Heights and walked to University Heights. I then went east on Cedar road and eventually ended up by that shopping complex (the one with the Kaufmanns). At first I thought it was some sort of lifestyle center, but apparently the stores all faced inward with a parking garage in the middle which was rather dark.

    In Buffalo I just don't see a developer building such a thing with all the ramps and all. I didn't think real estate in Cleveland was that much more exspensive that the costs of ramps would be justified. I could never picture such a development in say Kenmore, which seems like an equivalant to this area.

    Oh, and one more question. I wasn't that sure of where I was going when I was there, although I did have a map. I had read (on Cyburbia) that University Heights was a 'hipster' area. The area I walked through didn't seem that hip, although it was a quite pleasent area.

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    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jsk1983
    Oh, and one more question. I wasn't that sure of where I was going when I was there, although I did have a map. I had read (on Cyburbia) that University Heights was a 'hipster' area. The area I walked through didn't seem that hip, although it was a quite pleasent area.
    Really? Cleveland Heights, to the east, is known as a very progressive community; domestic partner registration, nuclear-free zone, a large population of college students (Case Western Reserve is not too far away Cleveland), proactive racial integration programs, and a very heavy hipster vibe in the Coventry neighborhood (an American Apparel store is opening there soon, if that's an indicator).

    University Heights is mostly middle-class. Some blacks, a lot of Jews (with an increasing number that are Orthodox), some other assorted Anglos, and that's about it. There's the usual inner ring suburban anxiety, but less than you'll see in South Euclid. I looked at houses there, but taxes are very high, and most needed major updating.

    South Euclid is directly north of University Heights. Cedar Road is the boundary line.

  16. #16
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bud
    I have a plan that covers the entire Country. It is based on a 1500 mile square centered on a certain spot in Independence, Missouri (now a National Historic Site) which was marked in 1831 to be the future seat of government. It is oriented according to the two marker stones placed on the site then; a line between the two stones indicates the diagonal of the square bearing N 11.75deg. E. It is subdivided into 12 mile squares and/or 250/21 mile squares. I have parametric formulas for computing exact coordinates of any point in the United States, Canada and Mexico, a Mod el City, etc. all the details worked out as a scheme of development at the discretion of local officials and developers. It provides an instant coordinated plan for orderly, systematic and streamlined development as required by law.

    [snip]
    Moderator note:
    This post is a formal warning. Please see the following new forum rule.

    2.12 Cranks
    Users that consistently exhibiit crank-like or kook-like behavior, posting about conspiracy and tinfoil hat theories, ludicrous beliefs, and so on, may be suspended or banned.

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    My Apologies

    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    Moderator note:
    This post is a formal warning. Please see the following new forum rule.

    I understand; but this idea has been well received when presented in person to others, including planning professionals, and is being used by them. It is not easy to communicate without eye contact. I will certainly restrain myself on this forum, henceforth.
    Last edited by bud; 22 May 2006 at 12:39 PM.

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    Cyburbian jresta's avatar
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    Off-Topic

    Quote Originally posted by Dan
    some other assorted Anglos
    That term infuriates me. It's quickly becoming the catch-all, lazy way to say "white people who don't speak another language." At first i thought the term was just a shortened version of "english speakers" as one might use the term "anglophone" in Quebec. Alas, it isn't used to describe anyone else who might speak english as their first or only language - just those of us of european hertiage.

    If it is not meant as anglophone then it's meant as anglo-saxon so it becomes an ethnic descriptor . . . it's just one that normally doesn't fit. It wouldn't even work very well in England.
    Indeed you can usually tell when the concepts of democracy and citizenship are weakening. There is an increase in the role of charity and in the worship of volunteerism. These represent the élite citizen's imitation of noblesse oblige; that is, of pretending to be aristocrats or oligarchs, as opposed to being citizens.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally posted by jresta
    If it is not meant as anglophone then it's meant as anglo-saxon so it becomes an ethnic descriptor . . . it's just one that normally doesn't fit. It wouldn't even work very well in England.
    In the US, I've always thought that Anglo was a simpler alternative to the clunky Census terminology, "White, non-Hispanic." At least when I was living in Arizona, it was often used to describe people who weren't Mexican, basically.

    Racial and ethnic categories have never been universal or internationally constitent. They are always changing and contested. Words like "coloured" "Asian" etc have completely different meaning in different countries. There's some South American author who has a story about flying back to her home country from New York, where her racial/ethnic status "change" on the flight. At home she's white; in the US she's a non-white minority. So I think the fact that Anglo doesn't "fit" in other contexts doesn't really matter, because few of these kinds of terms do.

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    Quote Originally posted by passdoubt
    In the US, I've always thought that Anglo was a simpler alternative to the clunky Census terminology, "White, non-Hispanic." At least when I was living in Arizona, it was often used to describe people who weren't Mexican, basically.

    Racial and ethnic categories have never been universal or internationally constitent. They are always changing and contested. Words like "coloured" "Asian" etc have completely different meaning in different countries. There's some South American author who has a story about flying back to her home country from New York, where her racial/ethnic status "change" on the flight. At home she's white; in the US she's a non-white minority. So I think the fact that Anglo doesn't "fit" in other contexts doesn't really matter, because few of these kinds of terms do.
    I think that it is particularly misleading using the term in Cleveland, where much of the white population has roots in Southern or Eastern Europe, plus a large number of "immigrants" from Appalachia (who might be more properly called Anglos), and where there has not historically been much of a Hispanic population. But I realize that, in many contexts, Anglo now means a non-Spanish speaking white person. Still, it is worth noting that the demographics of, say, University Heights (Jews, African-Americans, various other whites, all predominantly middle/professional class) differs markedly from a westside suburb like Parma.

    That is good news (sort of) about Whole Foods coming to S. Euclid/Univ. Hghts. For all its "progessive" values Whole Foods doesn't invest where it can't make money. I say "sort of" good news, because it probably isn't good news for some local grocers (like Heinen's or Zagara's in Cleveland Hghts' Cedar-Lee neighborhood) which give Cleveland some of its character. But Whole Foods does know how to do a truly urban grocery store (our store here in Arlington, with a tiny parking lot, offers valet parking -- I park on the street).

  21. #21
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Kovanovich
    I think that it is particularly misleading using the term in Cleveland, where much of the white population has roots in Southern or Eastern Europe, plus a large number of "immigrants" from Appalachia (who might be more properly called Anglos), and where there has not historically been much of a Hispanic population.
    You're right, but like passdoubt said, it's a term that's becoming shorthand for non-Hispanic whites. I first heard the term in that context when I was living in New Mexico in the early 1990s. I've heard the twem "Anglo" used to describe anyone who isn't Hispanic - that includes blacks and Asians as well. . simply meant "non-Hispanic" - I'vce heard it used to blacks were considered "Anglos" as well!

    I don't know how much business Whole Foods will take away from Heinen's or Giant Eagle. Giant Eagle in SE is the only 24 hour supermarket in the Heights area, and it caters fairly well to South Euclid's middle class -- lots of Italian food, lots of kosher products. Many Giant Eagle shoppers travel from East Cleveland or Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood; it's one of the closest "good" supermarket.to the 'hood. Heinen's has a strong following; the store in University Heights is very popular among Orthodox Jews in the UH/SE/Beachwood area. I don't think they'll have an impact on Unger's (kosher supermarket in CH) or Alessi's (Italian grocery store in SE),

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