The proposed is one step closer to being recognized on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board voted Nov. 4 to recommend that the Shaker Farm Historic District application be sent to the keeper of the National Register of Historic Places.
If the keeper approves the application, the neighborhood will receive the designation. It normally takes about 90 days to review the applications, according to a press release from the Ohio Historic Site Preservation Advisory Board. The board nominated three other Ohio neighborhoods.
The map included with this article, courtesy of the Cleveland Heights Planning & Development Department, outlines the properties included in the Shaker Farm Historic District. The district’s borders include Fairmount Boulevard to the south, Fairfax Road to the north, to the west and Ashton Road to the east, according to a press release from the city of Cleveland Heights.
Cleveland Heights resident Mary Dunbar spent about a year and a half on the more than 30-page application, and about eight people helped her with the project, she said. She researched architectural styles, the history of the district, people who developed the area and other details about the neighborhood.
According to her research, the first home was built in 1906, and 60 percent were constructed between 1910 and 1919. Before, the area was farmland occupied by the Shakers, but the Van Sweringen family took over in the early 1900s and started developing and marketing the area.
The approximately 265-acre district includes homes, carriage houses, two schools, a church and detached garages, she said. About 589 homes that were built between 1906 and 1935 qualify for historic status because that was during the Van Sweringen influence, while the 80 built after 1935 do not.
"In general, Shaker Farm Historic District reflects a trend at the time in suburban development along the lines of park, with curvilinear streets and judiciously preserved natural lakes, ravines, patches of woodland and other attractive bits of landscape," Dunbar said. "Hand-hewn stone sidewalks, expansive front lawns and gardens, towering trees and upscale, architect-designed homes are characteristic features of the district."
The city hosted on Sept. 27 at the for residents to hear more about the history of the neighborhood and what the designation would mean for residents.
Dunbar said the southern portion of the district is in Shaker Heights and already on the national register as Shaker Village. She hopes the same honor is given to the Cleveland Heights side.
“I think it will help us appreciate the wonderful homes that we have in Cleveland Heights even more, to have that kind of recognition,” she said. “The historic district makes people appreciate (their homes) as they are and want to maintain them in a historically authentic way.”
According to Dunbar, there are nine other historic districts that include at least a portion of Cleveland Heights land:
- Overlook Road Carriage House District, 1974
- Fairmount Boulevard District, 1976
- Shaker Village District, 1984 (mostly modern-day Shaker Heights)
- 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