Local History

History Mystery October 2014: Shaker Mid-Century Modern

Shaker Heights Mid-Century Modern Architecture and the Chagrin Lee District

Curious about the history of Chagrin Boulevard? Interested in mid-century architecture in Shaker Heights? Two presentations this fall by Shaker resident experts will help you satisfy your curiosity.

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On Sunday, October 26 at 3 PM at the Shaker Historical Society, Laura Peskin will present her new book, Deep Cover Cleveland: Volume 1: 99 Little Known Things About Northeast Ohio, and trace the history of Chagrin Boulevard from early 1800s settlements through the development of the present-day business districts. Laura will illustrate her talk with archival photographs from Shaker Library’s Image Collection. Contact the Shaker Historical Society at 216-921-1201 to register.

On Thursday, November 13 at 7 PM at the Shaker Heights Main Library, authors James and Nina Freedlander Gibans and architect Jack Bialosky will discuss mid-century architecture in Shaker Heights and present the Gibans’ new book, Cleveland Goes Modern: Design for the Home 1930-1970. Cosponsored by the Western Reserve Architectural Historians. Contact Shaker Library at 216-991-2030 to register.

History Mystery May 2014: Aerial views of Shaker Heights

Aerial view of Kinsman - Lee - South Moreland intersections

Aerial view of Kinsman - Lee – South Moreland intersections

Aerial view of Kinsman - Lee intersection, c. 1951

Aerial view of Kinsman - Lee intersection, c. 1951

These are both aerial views of the Kinsman Blvd.*–Lee Road intersection. The photo on the right was taken around 1951. We wonder if you have a guess of an approximate date for the photo on the left.

Here are a few hints:

  • the photo on the left was taken earlier than the photo on the right.
  • note what has already been built: City Hall and the Kingsbury Building. Do you know when they were built?
  • note what is visible in the 1951 photo but what hasn’t yet been built in the mystery photo:  the Kinsman-Kenyon triangular corner property, currently occupied by Georgio’s Pizza, and the Kinsman-Lee Bowling Alley on the north side of Kinsman, east of Lee.

Any ideas? Contact us to give us your best guess, and while you’re at it, tell us about any memories these photos evoke for you!

See our facebook post to read comments and memories these photos are triggering! Feel free to add your comments to facebook or email them to us.

*Kinsman Blvd. was renamed Chagrin Blvd. in 1959.

Based on great feedback so far, here’s another clue:

  • a facebook comment helpfully points out that the old East View School, just southeast of Moreland Elementary School, is also in the mystery photo. The school served East View Village, a short-lived community that was incorporated into Shaker Heights in 1920. The building was used for administration and storage, and burned down in the 1930s. See this Sanborn map showing East View still standing as of 1933. The site is now occupied by the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Community Building.

History Mystery April 2014: Onaway Class Photos, Class of 1951

Onaway Elementary School Class Photos, 1942-1944

Onaway Elementary School, third grade, 1942

Onaway Elementary School, 3rd grade, 1942

Onaway Elementary School, fourth grade, 1943

Onaway Elementary School, 4th grade, 1943

Onaway Elementary School, fifth grade, 1944

Onaway Elementary School, 5th grade, 1944

Recently an anonymous patron donated three undated class photos to the Local History Collection. They had been found in an old book in Burton, Ohio.

With a little detective work we determined the date of the photos. From the abundance of checks and plaids on the children, we knew probably they were in the 1940s. There are also a few names faintly penciled in on the back of one photo (see below), and were able to match some of these names to the 1991 Shaker alumni directory. This was lucky, as the alumni directory only lists students who graduate from Shaker. The names we found correspond to the Shaker Heights High School graduating class of 1951.

Names on reverse of 3rd grade photo

Here are the names we think we see on the back of the photo: Jimmy Deaner, Dickie Quinn, George Karch, Gifford Dyer, Virginia Kurtz, James Berick, Ted Nicent, John Miensch, Marian Huebschman.

Now we turn to you for help.

Can you confirm the identify of any of these children? Are these names familiar to you (or do we have them misspelled)? Do you see a father, an aunt, a cousin pictured here? Let us know!

History Mystery March 2014: Project Discovery, 1965

These two photos show students involved in Project Discovery, an Encyclopedia Britannica filmstrip educational pilot project that was implemented at Mercer Elementary School in Shaker Heights and four other sites around the country in 1965.

Do you recognize anyone?

Can you help us fill in any missing information? Let us know, and thanks for (sharing) the memories!

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A helpful patron already identified two of the students around the table in the left photo. Here’s what we have so far:

Left to right: unknown, Bev Cohen, unknown, Reid Morse (holding pencil).