Although it could be argued that East Cleveland had no identity of its own, I would argue just the opposite. As it worked out East Cleveland was a unique mixture of all the elements represented in those adjacent communities. By 1940 the community was fully developed with a stable population of about 40,000 people including a variety of ethnic groups, blue collar workers, professionals, small business owners and employees, and workers in various University Circle institutions. This diverse group was the basis for quite a unique community. Many factors contributed to East Cleveland’s unique identity. Among those factors were a strong local government, good schools, and a strong local business community. Those factors, along with the small and compact size of the City resulted in a community in which families could work, play, learn and grow. I will analyze each of these factors in more detail in following postings.
|East Cleveland showing division between Euclid Avenue geological beach and "The Hill"|
During the period in which I lived there, the City of East Cleveland did not face many of the current problems. It had a good tax base due to the good mix of residential and industrial land use. The people living there were able to find work during World War II and the post war prosperity of the late 1940s and the 1950s. The housing stock was relatively young and in sound condition. The many small businesses were able to meet most of the neighborhood shopping needs prior to the era of large suburban shopping centers. All of these factors resulted in good schools and a stable community.