Another new historic district for Cleveland Heights

This map shows the boundaries of the Shaker Farm Historic District.

Beginning more than a century ago, Cleveland Heights developed piecemeal as Cleveland burst its bounds. Developers acquired tracts of land, laid out streets, installed sewers and utilities, set standards for homes and sold lots. Reflecting those beginnings, the city is gradually becoming a patchwork of historic districts on the National Register of Historic Places. Cleveland Heights is poised for the addition of its tenth historic district, to be known as Shaker Farm Historic District.

Shaker Farm comprises the farmland that belonged to the Shakers north of Doan Brook, Lower Lake and Horseshoe Lake. Facilitated by a streetcar system running along the median strip on Fairmount Boulevard, about 60 percent of the homes in the district were built between 1910 and 1919. Many will become century homes in this decade.

The Shaker Farm district is where the Van Sweringens had their first genuine success in real estate. It was here that they learned the formula that enabled their success in developing the rest of the Shaker farmland, mostly in the 1920s, which become Shaker Heights. The Van Sweringens’ Shaker Farm experience also set the stage for their other real estate developments and for assembling a railroad empire.

A public meeting to learn what it means to become a historic district will be held at 7 p.m., on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at the Lee Road Library.

The meeting will feature a presentation by a representative from the Ohio Historic Preservation Office. In addition, Mary Dunbar, who submitted the nomination for the district, with explain its scope as well as its architectural and historic merits. Assisting in the nomination process were Jack Sulak, Marjorie Kitchell, Bill Collins, Kara Hamley O’Donnell, Ken Goldberg, Leslie Marting, Diane Christ and others.

Cleveland Heights’s other historic districts, and the year they were listed on the National Register, follows:

  • Overlook Road Carriage House District, 1974
  • Fairmount Boulevard District, 1976
  • Shaker Village District,1984 (mostly present-day Shaker Heights, but includes some of North Park Boulevard)
  • Forest Hill Historic District, 1986 (extends into East Cleveland)
  • Fairhill Road Village District, 1990 (mostly in Cleveland)
  • Ambler Heights Historic District, 2002
  • Euclid Golf Allotment, 2002,
  • Inglewood Historic District, 2009
  • Grant Deming’s Forest Hill Allotment, 2010

For more information, contact Kara Hamley O’Donnell at 216-291-4885 or by e-mail at For answers to frequently asked questions about historic districts, go to

Kara Hamley O'Donnell

Kara Hamley O'Donnell is the historic preservation planner for the City of Cleveland Heights.

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Volume 4, Issue 9, Posted 10:27 AM, 08.19.2011