Detroit Shoreway/Cudell Neighborhood History

Detroit Shoreway & Cudell History

Detroit Shoreway is located two miles west of downtown Cleveland, extending to W. 85th Street, on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie.

Continuing west, Cudell includes the West Eighties and Nineties streets and the Edgewater Parke block club, south of the Edgewater neighborhood and Edgewater Parke. This area was surveyed in the early 1800s, and after the 1827 opening of the Ohio Canal, families from Ireland and Germany were the first to settle in the area. Once a part of Brooklyn Township, the area was absorbed by the City of Cleveland in the late 1800s.

Industry developed to the north along the lakefront when the Lakeshore and Michigan Southern Railroad was constructed in the 1850s. African-American families migrated to the area from the south. More families immigrated from Italy, Romania and other parts of Southern Europe at the turn of the 20th century. The European ethnic groups co-mingled and began to develop new, shared identities as white Americans. Through the early 1900s, development of public schools, commercial buildings, and apartments followed the Detroit and Clifton (via Lake) streetcar lines westward. The intersection of Detroit and Lake developed with a cluster buildings called Detroit Center with shops and bars.

The federal government built the Shoreway (Route 2) at the northern end of the neighborhoods in the 1930s. Like other urban highways, it demolished parts of the community and pulled opportunity and growth out of neighborhoods. By 1940 the Home Owners Loan Corporation labeled the area, based on racial discrimination, as “definitely declining” or “hazardous,” which allowed banks to refuse to provide mortgages. Cleveland was affected by white flight and disinvestment from the 1950s onwards as suburbs welcomed white families while excluding families of color.

Many grassroots efforts emerged since the 1960s to reinvest in the area, later aided by philanthropy and local and federal funding. The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization began in 1973, and Cudell Improvement, Inc., began in 1974 to serve the Detroit Shoreway and Cudell neighborhoods, respectively. The Gordon Square Arts District to the east invested in arts institutions and completed a new streetscape in the 2000s.

Today these areas of Detroit Shoreway and Cudell are some of the most socio-economically and racially diverse in Cleveland. Recent community improvement efforts in the project area include the Gordon Square Community Master Plan, the Friends of Lake Avenue Bridge, the Lake Avenue Master Plan, and the Edgewater Parke Neighbors block club.

What does this have to do with the project?

The Detroit Shoreway and Cudell neighborhoods are the first pilot areas to be coded as part of the project. Be sure to attend the October 21st public meeting to be a part of the initial planning process for these neighborhoods.

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