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The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BRATENAHL - The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History

BRATENAHL, incorporated as a village in 1903, is a residential community on Lake Erie about 6 miles east of downtown Cleveland. Approx. 4 mi. long and less than 1/ 2 mi. wide, it occupies 552 acres (less than 1 sq. mi.), surrounded by the city of Cleveland. It was originally part of GLENVILLE and COLLINWOOD. In 1902 residents such as LIBERTY E. HOLDEN†, SAMUEL MATHER†, and FREDERICK GOFF†, mayor of Glenville, opposed the annexation of Glenville by Cleveland. When annexation occurred, they formed an independent village from the portion of Glenville north of the Lake Shore & Michigan Southern Railroad, extending from GORDON PARK to Coit Rd. In 1906, when Collinwood was annexed, the area from Coit Rd. to E. 140th St. also became part of Bratenahl.

In the mid-19th century, about 2 dozen families farmed the rural area (see AGRICULTURE), including Charles Bratenahl, who owned land on Lake Erie. The path to his farms from St. Clair Ave. was called Bratenahl Rd. (E. 88th St.). On the lakeshore at Eddy Rd., Charles Coit built a summer hotel known as Coit House. Later this property was the site of the COUNTRY CLUB, opened in 1889. Its 1908 building, which became the Lake Shore Country Club, was razed in 1964 and replaced by the luxury apartment complex Bratenahl Place. In the late 19th century, some of Cleveland's wealthy families came to the lakeshore during the summer. Living first in elaborately furnished tents and later in summer cottages, many (including the Cornings, Hannas, Boltons, Mathers, Goffs, Ingalls, Haskells, Grassellis, Coits, and Cunninghams) built large mansions on the lakefront. The area was characterized by the tree-lined Lake Shore Blvd. The population of Bratenahl, about 640 in 1910, had increased to 1,000 by 1920, 1,250 by 1933, and approx. 1,270 by 1960. A diverse community in the 2000s, some of Bratenahl's 1,337 residents lived in modest homes along side streets; others, descendants of the original owners, in the lakefront mansions. Bratenahl is part of the CLEVELAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS, but many students attend parochial or private schools.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, new luxury residential developments were begun in Bratenahl. Domo Corp.'s 75-acre Newport Harbor development was approved by Bratenahl Village Council in 1988. The project was unveiled and its Shoreby Club (in Samuel Mather's old mansion, Shoreby) dedicated in Aug. 1991. The council also approved Richard Fleischman Architects, Inc.'s plan for Breezy Bluff, another residential development to be situated on Lake Shore Blvd. In response to stepped-up development plans, Bratenahl residents petitioned the council in March 1991 for a 6-month moratorium on further development, which was granted. However, the building trend continued, with new projects in, mid-1990s including the Colony and Wenden Court. Despite another temporary moratorium on development imposed late in 1998, a new project, Bratenahl Lane, gained approval in November of the following year.

See also SUBURBS.

Last Modified: 31 Mar 2003 12:32:25 AM

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