Morton tells another important CH story

Marian Morton’s latest chronicle of Cleveland Heights, The Overlook of Cleveland and Cleveland Heights (Arcadia Publishing), is another example of the author’s skill at uncovering heretofore unpublished vintage images, and knitting them together with sound research and a good story. Aficionados of Cleveland Heights history are the beneficiaries. 

Morton covers Patrick Calhoun’s development of the Euclid Heights Allotment generally, but focuses more specifically on the westernmost portion of the allotment known as The Overlook. Falling within both Cleveland Heights and Cleveland, The Overlook largely duplicated the grandeur of Euclid Avenue, when some of that storied avenue’s most prominent residents made the Heights their new address. 

Perhaps inevitably, The Overlook fell on hard times with the changing fortunes of its residents. Some of these difficult-to-maintain houses became multifamily dwellings, and many more were repurposed by institutions, notably Ursuline College. When the wrecking fall began to swing, at least one of these properties became something arguably better-the First Church of Christ, Scientist, now Nottingham-Spirk Design Associates-while most were replaced by buildings ranging from mediocre to unsightly.

Morton’s reporting leaves the reader to draw his own conclusions. One view is that this is a chronicle of another great loss for Cleveland Heights and Cleveland. Ursuline College can be commended for becoming good stewards of several of these properties, but when Ursuline no longer needed them, Case Western Reserve University demolished them. Indeed, the destruction of the residences on Carlton Road by CWRU is tragic and myopic. 

Euclid Avenue was a victim of an era. Many decades later, from the late 1960s to as late as 1999, both Cleveland Heights and Cleveland were still failing to protect some of their greatest and most unique assets, showing a lack of vision and insensitivity to the history and fabric of a neighborhood.

Hugh Fisher is a resident of Fairmount Blvd. and coauthor of Euclid Golf Neighborhood, published by Arcadia.

Sidebar:  The Overlook of Cleveland and Cleveland Heights, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing. Available at local retailers, such as Mac's Back and Appletree Books, online bookstores, or through Arcadia Publishing at or 888-313-2665.

Read More on Heights History
Volume 3, Issue 7, Posted 11:51 PM, 06.27.2010