Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 24 of 24

Thread: Cleveland's beautiful urban prairie: Hough

  1. #1
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,584
    Blog entries
    3

    Cleveland's beautiful urban prairie: Hough

    Along Chester Avenue on the East Side of Cleveland, to the south lies the gleaming, sprawling Cleveland Clinic complex. Cross the street to the north, and you'll find yourself in a different world, in the notorious Hough neighborhood. Passing by large houses and solid brick apartment buildings among the vacant lots of the urban prairie, I was always fascinated with the "faded glory" character of the area, and can only imagine what the area was like during its prime before and after World War II.

    A description from nhlink.net:

    Since its settlement in 1799 by Oliver and Eliza Hough, the Hough area has occupied a prominent place in Cleveland’s history and redevelopment. Residential development intensified after the area’s incorporation in 1866 and the area was incorporated into the City of Cleveland in 1873.

    Between 1880 and 1920 Hough was a prominent place to live in Cleveland. Large elaborate houses were built. Exclusive private schools, including Laurel and University Schools, were opened. In 1890 two electric streetcar routes ran through the community along Euclid and Hough Avenues. As a result of this prominence, Euclid Avenue became known as "Millionaires Row" and Hough became known as "Little Hollywood." An often overlooked landmark in Hough is League Park at East 66th and Lexington, the home of major league baseball in Cleveland from 1891 to 1946. In its prime, the park had a seating capacity of 27,000.

    During the period between the two World Wars, Hough was resettled by a mostly middle-class European ethnic population. Large apartment buildings, as well as modest single and double family frame houses were built in the 1920’s. The area also maintained several small, thriving commercial strips.

    Housing deterioration began to take hold in the depression of the 1930’s as owners of Hough’s relatively large houses were forced to defer maintenance and take boarders. Overcrowding and deterioration worsened in the 1950’s as Urban Renewal and freeway construction displaced thousands of lower-income African-American residents from nearby Central. The proportion of African-American residents in Hough climbed from 14% in 1950 to over 75% in 1960.

    Frustration over worsening living conditions and increasing joblessness mounted during the 1960s and racial turmoil erupted on the night of July 18, 1966. Hough was the site of one of the most serious outbreaks of civil disorder in the nation’s history. As the flow of residents was reduced to a trickle, the exodus of middle-income residents from Hough resulted in the population plummeting from 76,000 in 1960 to under 20,000 in 1990.

    Despite the persistence of poverty and widespread deterioration, the people of Hough together with city officials and private developers have forged partnerships to rebuild the neighborhood and restore its pride. The 1980s and 1990s witnessed signs of rebirth in Hough – the Lexington Village townhouse complex, construction of numerous stately single-family homes and the new Church Square shopping center at East 79th and Euclid.


    Larger images can be seen in the Cyburbia Gallery.

    A small part of the Cleveland Clinic complex, south of Chester Avenue.



    Now, let's take a look at what's north of it.




































































    Want to know how Cleveland once managed to have a population of 914,808? It used to have a lot more housing like this.



    Context-insensitive infill from the 1960s/1970s



    Contemporary infill



    Contemporary infill



    Contemporary infill



    Contemporary infill



    Contemporary infill



    Contemporary infill



    Newton Avenue Historic District.



    Newton Avenue Historic District.



    Newton Avenue Historic District.



    Newton Avenue Historic District.



    Newton Avenue Historic District.



    Newton Avenue Historic District.




    Temple Tifereth Israel. The congregation moved to Beachwood shortly after the Hough riots, but the old synagogue is still maintained for high holy day services and special events.



    Abandoned Keemar Court rowhouses



    Abandoned Keemar Court rowhouses



    Abandoned Keemar Court rowhouses



    Obama!

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  2. #2
    Cyburbian rcgplanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Back in SE Texas
    Posts
    1,680
    Thank you for sharing those pictures with us. It's a shame, that area looks like at one time it was a bustling neighborhood. The homes look beautiful.

    Indianapolis has several neighborhoods that at one time were bustling with a mix of beautiful large homes and rowhouses, now vacant with the windows boarded up. It kills me to see these homes sitting empty as the sprawl continues to expand in the suburbs. Maybe some of these neighborhoods will see an exodus as fuel prices continue to rise and some people move closer to the urban core.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In Wasteland of Cedar Trees
    Posts
    1,028
    Wow, what a photo spread.

    Those homes are sure attractively looking. It's really too bad that no one has gone back to live in these homes nowadays.

    Is this neighbourhood not desirable location-wise for people to consider living in the city once again?

  4. #4
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,584
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by Hceux View post
    Is this neighbourhood not desirable location-wise for people to consider living in the city once again?
    Geographically, the location is perfect; adjacent to the University Circle area (Cleveland's stillborn uptown; now the home of the massive Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital campuses, Case Western Reserve University, and most of the city's major cultural attractions), and a short 10 to 15 minute drive to downtown. The problem in my opinion is the neighborhood's legacy, thanks to the riots of 1966, and the resulting reputation as a place that is not very welcoming of the melanin-challenged. (I had no problems driving around the area, taking photos, stepping out of my car and walking down a block for a shot, and so on.)

    In Cleveland, unlike many other cities in the US, as the black population grew through WWII, it spread into what were then middle-to-upper middle class and more affluent neighborhoods on the East Side -- Hough, Glenville, Kinsman, Woodland Hills, Buckeye-Shaker, Forest Hills -- rather than the more working-class neighborhoods typical of the West Side.

    A selection from a report describing the neighborhood just before the riots (click to enlarge):



    This line stood out to me:

    "However, the visible remnants of elegance and better days only served to intensify the aura of decay that encompassed Hough."

    42 years after the riots tore apart the neighborhood, and with a population that is now less than a quarter of that during its peak, the remnants of elegance are still overwhelming; perhaps even more so set against a backdrop of overlapping urban prairie, abandonment and modern middle class infill.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Toledo, Ohio
    Posts
    23
    just one nit to pick:
    the Clinic is south of Chester, south of Hough
    you have the orientation reversed in the text framing the clinic pic

    also, is the rest of that report available somewhere?

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,584
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by lopsidedfrock View post
    also, is the rest of that report available somewhere?
    Here it is.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  7. #7
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 1998
    Location
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Posts
    2,963
    The photos made me sad. Can't explain, just a first reaction.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,247
    Quote Originally posted by mike gurnee View post
    The photos made me sad. Can't explain, just a first reaction.
    Better stay out of Detroit, Flint, Saginaw, or Gary then!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Clayobyrne, CB
    Posts
    2,581
    My trip to CLVD was in 1998 and my first reaction was: What a wasteland. How can these 50-story skyscrapers be located 1000 feet from a abandoned farmhouse on 1/2 an acre with surface parking? It did not make sense economically. That was coming from NE. It just did not make sense to me. Perhaps it did/does to someone from the MW.

  10. #10
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2007
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    15

    Darn. This is a twisted sort of inspiration.

    This is a really nice set of photographs and the urban litany is not too bad, either.
    Why does it make MG sad? You're not alone. One reason might be the free for all in California, the agriculture gone, the commuting nightmare, and the honest to goodness quote, "Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?" At that point the conversation strayed into desalinization plants to deal with the lack of water. I pointed out that it actually rains in Vermont and I could just as well have said Cleveland.
    Why does it make you sad? Because we are collectively flat out ridiculous about conserving our resources and heritage? We are parochial to a fault?
    Like I said. Nice job. I would love a Californian's views on the subject.
    And, where is that $700 billion that I left lying around anyways?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian natski's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2005
    Location
    In my own little bubble
    Posts
    2,562
    MG i felt sad too, and i dont even come from the US...

    As a heritage buff, just seeing images of dwellings and buildings that hold so much information and history decaying like that is sad. I cannot see why they couldnt play a role in the contemporary urban environment- and that the area, just doesnt seem to be loved by anyone- and when we live in a world where people are struggling to find places to live, it just seems a shame.
    "Have you ever wondered if there was more to life, other than being really, really, ridiculously good looking?" Zoolander

  12. #12
    I don't really get a sense of the proximity of Hough with the Clinic and CWR, nor the extent of how deep this 'zone in transition' extends into the neighborhood. Could part of the issue have been simply the presence of those behemoths having a de-stabilizing effect on the neighborhood?For example, buying up properties for future expansions. Often, these mega-land uses do a pretty horrific job of maintaing the properties they acquire, which has a blighting effect. Or tearing them down for huge wastelands of off-street parking. {Interestingly, that's a positive for the mega-uses: blight lowers value so the cost of acquisition goes down...}

    Or am I just off course in my thinking?

  13. #13
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,584
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    I don't really get a sense of the proximity of Hough with the Clinic and CWR, nor the extent of how deep this 'zone in transition' extends into the neighborhood. Could part of the issue have been simply the presence of those behemoths having a de-stabilizing effect on the neighborhood?For example, buying up properties for future expansions.
    http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&...19076&t=h&z=16

    AFAIK, the Clinic isn't acquiring land north of Chester. CWRU owns some large parcels to the east, but they weren't residential to begin with; one used to be the site of Mount Sinai Hospital.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  14. #14
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    8,329
    You really can see the greatness the neighborhood once had. It reminds me of the many similar neighborhoods in Detroit and Chicago.

    I would love one of those Keemar Court rowhouses in a better context.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  15. #15
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
    Registered
    Jan 2005
    Location
    BC
    Posts
    1,584
    Sad that so much of the landscape and city now appears deserted.

  16. #16
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2009
    Location
    universityheights OH
    Posts
    4

    Hough, Glenville, Fairfax

    The Cleveland Clinic complex, which stretches form the East 80s to University Circle (E 105 and points beyond), from Chester avenue to Cedar, with Carnegie and Eclid Avenues in the middle, straddles the Hough and Fairfax neighborhoods.

    I'm not sure of the statistical boundaries of Hough, but I do know Glenville flanks its northeast edge and University Circle it's southeast, with Rockefeller Park (MLK Blvd) being the eastern boundary.

    Hough had always been a problematical neighborhood and evidence of the lack of planning in Cleveland's spectacular growth in the late 19thm early 20th centuries. It is landlocked, with almost no public park space to speak of. Large houses sit on tiny lots. It is easy for me to imagine how bad the air quality must have been in the era of coal furnaces. Far more attractive is Glenville, whose relationshp to Rockefeller Park and the Cultural gardens is more intimate.

    For an interesting drive, travel Wade Park Avenue east to west, starting at its beginning at Lakeview Road, where the hulking ruins of Hough Bakeries still stand, to its winding dead end in the east 60s. This takes you from University through the southern boundary of Glenville, through the center of Hough. Named for Jeptha Wade, I believe, it traverses housing both modest and sumptuous.

    While I was looking up a few things to get my facts straight for this post, I came across this article:http://www.cleveland.com/arts/index.ssf/2009/03/elegant_cleveland_wade_park_ma.html

    that jogged my memory to an utterly lost part of Cleveland history, Doans Corners at E 105 and Euclid, Cleveland's "second Downtown." Urban decay followed by the Clinic's voracious expansion wiped out nearly all evidence that this neighborhood even existed, with the exception of a stray building here and there. Was Doan Corner's considered part of Hough? I'm not sure; it was at that nexus of University, Faifax, Hough and Glenville neighborhoods. It was their downtown.

  17. #17
    Cyburbian boilerplater's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Heaven or Las Vegas
    Posts
    916
    Large parts of Trenton, NJ look like this, as if the homes and apartment buildings were picked from the same pattern books. It also had a similar history of urban decline and riots. You will also find poorly-considered infill, typical suburban homes from the '80s & 90's set down in the midst of it all. Weedy forest takes over the abandoned lots.
    Adrift in a sea of beige

  18. #18
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Appleton, Wisconsin
    Posts
    4,170
    There was a similar interface in Chicago when I was in the area along Roosevelt Rd in the hospital campus area on the city's near west side a few years back. Sprawling medical facilities on the north, a no-mans land neighborhood area a couple of blocks to the south.

    For example, see:
    http://maps.google.com/?ie=UTF8&ll=4...268.79,,0,7.72
    Pan around all 360 degrees.
    This was taken three blocks south of Roosevelt Rd on Wood St.



    Mike

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Posts
    407
    Any regeneration of Hough will be doomed as long as the prime Cleveland suburbs, including Shaker Heights, remain affordable.

    It's hard to persuade a young, up and coming, couple to invest the time and equity (not to mention risk) into a grand old Hough house when they can buy a house in Shaker Heights for not too much money. In Shaker Heights you get good schools and responsive community government and services.

  20. #20
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dubai, United Arab Emirates
    Posts
    407
    See!

    For 250,000 you can buy a nice 5-bedroom colonial backing up on a golf course in Shaker Heights!

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...122_1111136172

    Why even bother gentrifying Hough?

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Dave F's avatar
    Registered
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Hype capital of the world
    Posts
    87
    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner View post
    See!

    For 250,000 you can buy a nice 5-bedroom colonial backing up on a golf course in Shaker Heights!

    http://www.realtor.com/realestateand...122_1111136172

    Why even bother gentrifying Hough?
    Although I read recently that even Shaker Heights is having some decline issues. I noticed from the listing that the middle school in the area was only a "6" on Greatchools.net--not a good sign for an area that historically has an exclusive reputation.

  22. #22
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,584
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by PennPlanner View post
    Any regeneration of Hough will be doomed as long as the prime Cleveland suburbs, including Shaker Heights, remain affordable.

    It's hard to persuade a young, up and coming, couple to invest the time and equity (not to mention risk) into a grand old Hough house when they can buy a house in Shaker Heights for not too much money. In Shaker Heights you get good schools and responsive community government and services.
    Most of the people buying into the higher-end infill development in Hough are prominent in the African-American community; politicians, religious leaders, and others with an emotional investment in the area.

    You're right about regeneration. On a somewhat related note, a frequent mantra recited by Buffalo's many boosters is that the East Side is ripe for gentrification. Why? Because it's close to downtown, they respond. Sorry, but you need a lot more than proximity to an employment center to see gentrification happen; I would doubt there's no more than a tenth of one percent of all doctors and nurses at the Cleveland Clinic that live in Hough.

    I tell the homers that Buffalo would need to see the same conditions that exist in other cities that are seeing gentrification of troubled neighborhoods; housing in most other urban and inner ring suburban neighborhoods priced beyond a level where they are affordable by the middle class. In Buffalo, even Elmwood Village and Allentown remain affordable, and the gentrification is far from thorough as what one might see in a NYC, Chicago or Denver neighborhood. EV and Allentown atill have some rough spots, and you can find houses in both neighborhoods at quite low prices given the prestige and desirability of the neighborhoods. Then again, there's a mindset among too many in Buffalo that a home price with six digits is akin to $4/gallon gas: "That's ridiculous! Who can afford that?" This is a metro area where the median home sales price broke the six digit level just a couple of years ago.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Rygor's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Where the Wild Things Are
    Posts
    2,280
    Quote Originally posted by Dan View post
    Then again, there's a mindset among too many in Buffalo that a home price with six digits is akin to $4/gallon gas: "That's ridiculous! Who can afford that?" This is a metro area where the median home sales price broke the six digit level just a couple of years ago.
    Really? That's insane! How do salaries there compare to other Eastern or Great Lakes urban centers? Comparable to Pittburgh, Cleveland or Chicago?
    "When life gives you lemons, just say 'No thanks'." - Henry Rollins

  24. #24
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,584
    Blog entries
    3
    Quote Originally posted by Rygor View post
    Really? That's insane! How do salaries there compare to other Eastern or Great Lakes urban centers? Comparable to Pittburgh, Cleveland or Chicago?
    Buffalo's an odd region when it comes to wages. Labor is generally very well-paid, along with public safety workers and teachers. (Teachers for public school districts in the region are among the highest paid in the country.) However, for white-collar workers outside of education, pay is on the low side compared to peer cities; not unreasonably low, but enough to keep the median per capita income for the region a little bit lower than the national average.

    I think a better way to put it is that Buffalonians see real estate prices in the same way your father sees car prices. Your dad thinks he'll be able to go to the dealer and come home with a new, well-equipped mid-sized car for $10K or less, and even that's too much money to spend. When he comes back home in shock because even a lowly stripped-out Korean subcompact is $15K, you shrug your shoulders.

    Local development blogs describe infill, rehab and adaptive reuse condo projects with sales prices of $125K to $250K, and the comments will be filled with the likes of "OMG! Who can afford that? Why aren't developers building something normal people can afford?"

    Strangely, this isn't a phenomenon I saw in Cleveland, maybe because despite that region's devistated real estate market, prices there are still higher compared to Buffalo. Those Cape Cods in middle-class South Euclid that once sold for $150,000 but now fetch $120,000 would go for $90,000 in the equivalent Buffalo suburb of Tonawanda, in a market that was unaffected by the Great Recession
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 5
    Last post: 07 Jun 2012, 5:13 PM
  2. Redeveloping Detroit’s ‘urban prairie’
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 11
    Last post: 02 Apr 2012, 12:35 PM
  3. Cleveland's New Marketing Campaign?
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 1
    Last post: 28 May 2009, 3:30 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last post: 26 Aug 2004, 12:39 PM
  5. Replies: 31
    Last post: 25 Mar 2004, 10:03 PM