West of Downtown, Part One, Cleveland

Apparently I was staying in some neighborhood of Cleveland known as Cudell, and as I woke up the first full day in the city, I set out east on Lorain Avenue, turned left on West 81st Street going north, by this time having entered the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood, hung a right onto Madison Avenue going east, before heading north again by turning left onto West 74th Street, finally turning right onto Detroit Avenue, arriving at Ready Set Coffee Roasters, which I enjoyed greatly.

The working class West Side of Cleveland is not filled with mansions, and in fact a large portion is actually a separate suburb called Lakewood that one can wander into without even noticing it is a different city, much like Cicero outside Chicago (and likewise how the central city continues on further past the suburb).

The housing stock is wood, befitting a city within the railroad orbit of Chicago and the Northwoods and the Great Lakes shipping routes.

As I’ve mentioned before, Cleveland loves those two family buildings that dominate the city with a few single family houses scattered in the working class neighborhoods.

Single family houses tend to be bungalows.

The front door goes straight into the first floor apartment, while a side door, which I suspect was the rental unit judging from the steepness of the staircase and the intrusion of the eaves of the hipped roof, would be rented out by the owner downstairs.

And while many of these houses have either original or replacement wood siding, I perhaps haven’t seen so much asphalt or asbestos siding before in my life than in Cleveland.

The houses are all in good shape, though, and I was overall impressed with the state of the neighborhood.

When I got closer to Detroit Avenue, the houses began to have a wider variety of paint colors and shingles.

There is even a row of apartments that I would expect to see on the East Coast or back in Chicago, which perhaps makes sense considering Cleveland sits between the two!

This apartment building is interesting in that it appears to be a four-family, which are not common in the city; in many ways it’s merely two Cleveland-style two-families built right next to each other.

Detroit Avenue is seeing commercial redevelopment, including the coffee shop I stopped at. After I got breakfast and coffee, I turned onto West 73rd Street and headed north towards Lake Erie.

There are some interesting and very old houses on the street.

Downtown is still relatively far off, showing just how far west we are with the street numbers. We’ll look at more of the west side of the city tomorrow.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Alan Creek says:

    Thanks for the posts exploring other cities!

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