WELCOME TO CLARK-FULTON
By Becky Raspe
Sometimes grouped into the Detroit Shoreway, Stockyards, Brooklyn Centre and Ohio City areas, the Clark-Fulton
neighborhoods of Scranton Road, Fulton Road and West 25th Street are full of rich diversity, innovation and culture.
The history of Clark-Fulton begins with German settlers coming to the United States in 1800, along with Slovaks, Czechs, Poles and Italian immigrants who created the neighborhood many now call home.
Many of the citizens who reside here are of Latino or Hispanic cultures. According to the 2010 census, of the 8,548 citizens living in the Clark-Fulton area, 47 percent describe themselves as Latino or Hispanic.
Homeowners and renters occupy 78 percent of the available housing. The citizens of the Clark-Fulton neighborhood are also undereducated, with only 37 percent holding high school diplomas and 19 percent having attended college.
Sixty-eight percent of the households in the Clark-Fulton area are family homes, whose occupants use the parks and recreation centers — Roberto Clemente Field, Meyer Pool and Trent Park.
A notable landmark is St. Rocco’s Parish, a historic Italian-Catholic church, built by immigrant citizens in 1914. In 1949, parishioners and neighbors worked to build a larger church on the site of today’s landmark. Every year since then, this self-made church holds a Labor Day festival and carnival for the entire neighborhood that bring in outside visitors as well.
The area is also home to Cleveland’s Hispanic village. La Villa Hispana concentrates the Hispanic population of Clark-Fulton and houses the Hispanic Business Bureau and Hispanic Alliance that help support the residents.
La Villa Hispana residents and businesses come together during the summer for an open-air market and festival that promote their businesses and cultures to the public. The market showcases many different food stands, musical performances and cultural dances for public participation.
Along with La Villa Hispana, Clark-Fulton also is home to the county-managed Metro Health hospital. The hospital was a leading Ebola treatment center during last year’s outbreak and has an extensive trauma center and burn unit. Metro Health is also working to transform its campus and promote wellness throughout the neighborhood and city.
Other attractions in the Clark-Fulton neighborhood include a portion of the Ohio and Erie Canal Scenic Byway, which follows rails, trails and other canals used in the past.
The Clark-Fulton neighborhood also holds property in new housing developments such as Milford Place and Metro Lofts, which are leading to increased property values in the neighborhood.
As one of the most culturally diverse Cleveland neighborhoods, Clark-Fulton is on an upward trend.
Metro Health Medical Campus
By Becky Raspe
The Metro Health medical campus on West 25th Street in the Clark Fulton neighborhood began revamping its facility in May 2016. The reconfiguration will bolster the intensive care unit and rejuvenate the landscaping to promote access to
nature as a mode of health and healing.
In addition, the hospital will emphasize extending health care from its facility to the surrounding Clark-Fulton neighborhood.
Walter B. Jones Jr., senior vice president of campus transformation at Metro Health, says the changes at the facility will add 86 rooms that can accommodate 178 patients if necessary, but that it has a new emphasis on “well care” rather than last-minute emergency treatment.
“We’re shifting what health care means,” Jones says. “It’s less about last-minute sick care. It’s about population health.”
Noting that such an emphasis is widespread in the health care field, Jones adds that the goal would be a hospital without hospital beds because all of its patrons would be keeping up with their health and staying as healthy as possible.
Jones also notes that though chronic diseases can be personally and environmentally triggered, it’s the hospital job to inform and guide its patients to staying healthy with regular visits and better health choices.
“We have the opportunity to transform the hospital but also transform the neighborhood, for the people and the future of the neighborhood itself,” explains Rita Andolsen, director of system communications at Metro Health,
Metro Health is working with the Stockyards, Clark-Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office to make the area healthier outside the hospital.
Adam Stalder, managing director for the CDC, explains that the hospital and the CDC are working to transform the neighborhood’s vacant lots into parks or community gardens. The CDCs have had multiple successful community gardens in the area in an effort to continue to promote “well care.”
Jones notes that “transformation” for the hospital is a verb, that not only is it reconfiguring the campus, but also the surrounding areas — in attempt to raise property values and attract more businesses and citizens to the area.
“We want to be the neighbor that people want,” he says. “That’s considered economic development not health care, but I see it as merging the two.”
Metro Health also will attempt to develop housing on the campus for emergency workers. According to Jones, most of the hospital’s employees don’t live in close vicinity of the hospital, which could be problematic in major emergencies.
Not only will housing help commuting employees and emergency situations, but Jones notes that with workforce housing, the hospital can add more overnight and double shifts so employees can take advantage of the housing to rest between shift rotations.
“It’s going to make a huge impact on the neighborhood,” Stalder adds.
La Villa Hispana
By Becky Raspe
The Clark-Fulton neighborhood houses Cleveland’s Hispanic enclave, La Villa Hispana, which Adam Stalder, the managing
director of the Stockyards, Clark-Fulton, Brooklyn Centre Community Development Office, says contributes to the community by providing local Hispanic resources that make the area stand out.
Stalder says he didn’t help create the Hispanic village, which began 20 years ago, but describes it as a good addition to Clark Fulton.
He calls La Villa Hispana and its assets a stepping stone for neighborhood diversity.
La Villa Hispana has raised the Hispanic profile of the area and brought visitors to cultural events like the summer market, La Placita.
Lourdes Negron-McDaniel, a member of the La Villa Hispana Executive Committee and the director of the Office of Inclusion and Diversity at Metro Health, says La Placita is more than just a cultural festival — it’s an investment for the community.
“Not only is [La Placita] a celebration of culture, but it’s also an informed move on engaging the community,” Negron-McDaniel says. “La Placita is to engage local business too.”
Metro Health is one of the market’s main investors.
“We also use it to promote health and wellness with various activities like obstacle courses for kids and cornhole for adults,” Negron-McDaniel says.
With the help of other Hispanic organizations in the area, much of La Villa Hispana’s vision for La Placita has taken shape since the summer markets began.
Planners say La Placida could be a step in developing a sense of belonging for residents of La Villa Hispana and the Clark-Fulton community.
“[La Placita] is the first physical manifestation of what we want La Villa Hispana to be,” Negron-McDaniel notes. “Last year, we hung flags for every country that was represented in the neighborhood. There was an extremely positive response; some people even cried. Just putting up those flags made it feel different, and the representation is important.”
“Historically, the Clark-Fulton area has been a disenfranchised neighborhood,” Negron-McDaniel adds. “But, we realized that whatever happens here will spur developments. As the neighborhood transforms, so will the people.”
Additionally, Negron-McDaniel describes La Placita as a “perfect catalyst” for other projects. Keisha Gonzalez, economic development director at the CDC, calls it a “stepping stone” for greater development.
“La Placita celebrates culture and is a big part of the place-making process for the neighborhood. It gives the neighborhood an opportunity to claim its heritage,” Gonzalez says. “But it also empowers residents to experiment with the idea of small businesses.”
“The idea of a mercado came from La Placita,” Gonzalez adds. Participating vendors expand their business from a booth at La Placita, to a stand in the Mercado, a year-round market similar to the West Side Market in Ohio City, to test their small business further.
After the mercado – they may have opportunities in actual storefronts.
“(The mercado) will help give people a sense of ownership in their neighborhood,” Gonzalez notes, calling it a logical step to investing in the neighborhood.