WELCOME TO DETROIT SHOREWAY
Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and Cleveland State University partnered on a project to prepare neighborhood themed articles. This work was performed by CSU journalism students to complement 2016 Host Committee efforts to provide content and background information to visiting media for the 2016 Republican National Convention. Editorial review was provided by CSU faculty and Neighborhood Progress staff. For more information, please contact Jeff Kipp, Director of Neighborhood Marketing for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress.
By Sara Liptak
Detroit Shoreway is a neighborhood on the west side of Cleveland that consists of the streets between Lake Erie and Interstate 90.
Between 1854 and 1894, annexations of Ohio City, Brooklyn Township and the Village of West Cleveland formed the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood. Industry developed in the area, including the Lakeshore and Michigan Southern Railroad constructed along the shore of the lake in the 1850s.
In this neighborhood lies Gordon Square, a series of retail buildings on the perimeters of the four corners of Detroit Avenue and West 65th Street. It is also home to the Gordon Square Arts District, founded in 2007 by community stakeholders and leadership of Cleveland Public Theatre, Near West Theatre and Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization. These groups sought to leverage arts and culture into economic development, creating a hub for the west side of Cleveland.
The refurbished Capitol Theatre and the Cleveland Public Theatre, along with the newly built Near West Theatre, are attractions that have had an economic impact for the neighborhood. So have two other developments. EcoVillage is a residential community whose occupants follow a lifestyle designed to diminish the creation of waste despite ample consumption of resources. Battery Park, an urban redevelopment project laid out in a U-shaped design, overlooks Edgewater State Park. It is the largest market-rate housing development in Cuyahoga County and an attraction for a wide variety of new dining and entertainment venues.
Just a seven-minute drive to Downtown Cleveland and a half-mile walk to Edgewater Park, the neighborhood offers great housing options ⎯ both historical and brand new townhomes and apartments.
Residential development began in earnest in 1863 when the neighborhood began to attract many homes and Detroit Avenue fostered commercial development.
During the Depression and World War II, the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood remained stable. In the next few decades, however, many long-time residents moved to the suburbs, leaving landmarks like the Cleveland Public Theatre abandoned for two decades and facing possible demolition.
A wide range of cultures merge in the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, including Puerto Rican, Appalachian, Mexican, Vietnamese, Latino and African American, all of which have contributed to the heritage of the community today.
From the 2010 Decennial Census, a total of 4,784 households exist in the neighborhood with a total population of approximately 13,000 residents.
Resurgence of interest in Detroit Shoreway as an arts conscious, residential and shopping destination has also brought diverse restaurants and retail. Its variety of eateries includes The Happy Dog, at 58th Street and Detroit Avenue, a create-it-yourself hot dog bar; ethnic foods such as Vietnamese and Indian; locally sourced farm-to-table establishments, and locales such as the XYZ Tavern, 6419 Detroit Ave., which offers an eclectic mix of bar food.
Retail and arts attractions in the Gordon Square area include 78th Street Studios, an arts complex; Superelectric, a pinball parlor; and clothing shops such as Trunk and L’amour du Noir.
Connecting the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood to Lake Erie
By Sara Liptak
The Detroit Shoreway neighborhood has attractions to match those of Downtown Cleveland but it has something else as well: a significant view of Lake Erie, missing from such venues as the 5th Street Arcades and East 4th Street, which are
surrounded by multistoried buildings that block sight of the lake.
Detroit Shoreway, a half-mile from Edgewater Park, contains many attractions and entertainment, including the arts and historical landmarks, all of which are easily accessible from West 85th to West 45th streets.
“We’ve got two pedestrian tunnels that connect the neighborhood directly to the lake, and we just opened the 73rd Street tunnel, which is a vehicular tunnel, but you can also walk down it,” explains Chad Jones, director of marketing for the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization (DSCDO).
He notes the tunnels, by passing beneath the Shoreway, give patrons direct access to the park.
Known for its retail shops, unique eateries and art complexes, Detroit Shoreway is a way to experience Cleveland without all the commotion of a downtown lifestyle.
“Probably the coolest things with our neighborhood is the performing arts theaters we have here,” Jones says. “We have five total, consisting of Cleveland Public Theatre, Near West Theatre, Theater Ninjas, Talespinner Children’s Theatre and Blank Canvas Theatre.”
Jones explains many people who live in or are visiting Cleveland don’t realize the performing-arts attractions aren’t just downtown and suggests venturing to the neighborhood of Detroit Shoreway is something no one would regret.
“It’s a very different feel than, let’s say, PlayhouseSquare is,” he notes. “Near West Theatre was built by ex-Broadway set builders, which is very unique to the performing arts, and many memorable shows have been done there.”
The Capitol Theatre, which is a movie theater that plays blockbusters, is more than just the typical movie theater.
“We have a program now called “The Capitol Theatre Selects,” which are exclusive showings that you’re not going to see anywhere else in Cleveland,” Jones says. “And with that comes a lot of artists’ Q and A’s: actor Q and A’s and writer/director Q and A’s ⎯ something that you don’t see at any other movie theater.”
Detroit Shoreway DSCDC owns the Capitol Theatre which Cleveland Cinemas manages. Because of that relationship, the neighborhood is able to do these one-of-a-kind programs and interactions.
From retail to art complexes, the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood offers its variety in a notably smaller radius than Downtown Cleveland’s, yet it has very similar attractions – and with a view of Lake Erie. The mix includes both retail and a variety of interesting restaurants.
“We have everything here from authentic Vietnamese food, to Indian food, to locally sourced farm-to-table items, to delicious bar food at XYZ the Tavern,” says Jones. “There’s not a whole lot of other places within a three-block radius that you’re going to find that, even in Cleveland.”
One interesting activity taking place this summer, especially during the week of the Republican National Convention, is called “patio culture.” Jones explains this occurs every Wednesday night when bars, restaurants and retail ⎯ with and without patios ⎯ take advantage of the summer months and play music, or have spoken word, performance art, yoga or art classes outside from 6 to 8 p.m.
This is a two-fold approach,” Jones notes. “We certainly want to capture the journalists and convention-goers down here to see what such a cool neighborhood this is. But we also want to bring in some of the folks from downtown who don’t make it down here because they’re normally at East 4th [Street]….This neighborhood is a great place to be.”