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.