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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DETROIT-SHOREWAY - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

DETROIT-SHOREWAY is a community on Cleveland's west side, centered around W. 65th St. and Detroit Ave., bounded by OHIO CITY (CITY OF OHIO) (W. 45th) on the east, W. 85th on the west, EDGEWATER PARK on the north, and Lorain Ave. on the south. The heart of the area was known as Gordon Square until the late 1930s, and the Gordon Square Arcade at W. 65th and Detroit remains the commercial center of the neighborhood. The area became part of Brooklyn Twp. in 1818. When Ohio City and Cleveland were merged, the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood itself was annexed to Cleveland. Streetcar development after 1863 encouraged commercial development along Detroit. Though the community began as a Yankee enclave, immigrants carved out sections for themselves and built churches and other institutions that provided cohesiveness to the neighborhood. Among the earliest settlers were the IRISH, who originally settled between W. 45th and W. 65th St. St. Colman's Church at W. 65th (organized 1880), the old Irish-American Club, and numerous pubs remained ethnic strongholds for many years. GERMANS inhabited the south part of the neighborhood around W. 76th after 1830, when many came to work on the Ohio Canal.

In the early 20th century, ITALIANS and ROMANIANS dominated the area. The center of the Italian community life became Our Lady of Mt. Carmel West, built in 1926. Romanians located between W. 52nd and W. 61st streets north of Detroit, previously an Irish area. They established ST. HELENA ROMANIAN BYZANTINE CATHOLIC CHURCH on W. 65th. After WORLD WAR II, many ethnics such as the Romanians moved to the suburbs, opening the area to such new occupants as Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Appalachians, and AMERICAN INDIANS. To provide cohesiveness in the face of such rapid social change, the Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Org. was formed in 1973. The group, umbrella to many block clubs, protested the deteriorating quality of the Detroit commercial strip and became an administrator for Small Business Assn. loans for area businesses. Among the projects backed by the Detroit-Shoreway Community Development Org. were the restoration of the Gordon Square Arcade and the City Savings and Loan Condominiums at W. 75th and Detroit.

Last Modified: 27 Nov 2000 01:06:27 PM

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