Lakewood, Ohio
City of Lakewood
Skyline of Downtown Cleveland as seen from Lakewood Park at night
Skyline of Downtown Cleveland as seen from Lakewood Park at night
Nickname(s): 
"City of Beautiful Homes"
Motto(s): 
"A Great Place to Call Home"
Location in Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio.
Location in Cuyahoga County and the state of Ohio.
Lakewood, Ohio is located in the United States
Lakewood, Ohio
Lakewood, Ohio
Coordinates: 41°28′51″N 81°48′01″W / 41.48083°N 81.80028°W / 41.48083; -81.80028Coordinates: 41°28′51″N 81°48′01″W / 41.48083°N 81.80028°W / 41.48083; -81.80028
Country United States
State Ohio
CountyCuyahoga
Government
 • TypeMayor-council
 • MayorMeghan George (D)[1]
Area
 • Total6.70 sq mi (17.34 km2)
 • Land5.54 sq mi (14.36 km2)
 • Water1.15 sq mi (2.98 km2)
Elevation705 ft (215 m)
Population
 • Total52,131
 • Estimate 
(2019)[5]
49,678
 • Density8,962.29/sq mi (3,460.64/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
44107
Area code(s)216
FIPS code[6]39-41664
GNIS feature ID1064966
Websitelakewoodoh.gov

Lakewood is a city in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, United States, on the southern shore of Lake Erie. Established in 1889, it is one of Cleveland's historical streetcar suburbs and part of the Greater Cleveland Metropolitan Area. The population was 52,131 at the 2010 United States Census, making it the third largest city in Cuyahoga County, behind Cleveland and Parma.[7] Lakewood is home to a young and diverse population, including a significant number of immigrants.[8] Its population density is the highest of any city in Ohio and is roughly comparable to that of Los Angeles.

History

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Lakewood was incorporated as a village in 1889, and named for its lakefront location.[9]

Earliest days

The wilderness west of the Cuyahoga River was delayed being settled due to a treaty the American government made with the Native Americans in 1785, whereby no white man was to settle on that land. Consequently, when Moses Cleaveland arrived in 1796, his activities were confined to the east side of the river.

The area now called Lakewood was populated by the Ottawa, Potawatomi, Chippewa, Wyandot, Munsee, Delaware and Shawnee tribes until the Treaty of Ft. Industry pushed them west in 1805.[8] The treaty, signed at Ft. Industry near what is now downtown Toledo, Ohio, ceded 500,000 acres of some of the tribes' land to the United States for about $18,000 or 3.5 cents/acre. The Shawnee and Seneca, living with the Wyandot, were to get $1000 "...every year forever hereafter."[10]

The area now occupied by Lakewood, Rocky River, Fairview Park, and West Park was purchased from the Connecticut Land Company by a syndicate of six men headed by Judson Canfield on April 4, 1807, for $26,084.

In 1806 the area was formally surveyed as Rockport Township. In 1818, permanent settlement began with the arrival from Connecticut of James Nicholson.[11] Other early pioneers included Jared Kirtland and Mars Wager. Settlements were mostly along Detroit Avenue, a toll road operated by the Rockport Plank Company from 1848 to 1901, with large farms and properties extending north to Lake Erie. Making bricks and planting orchards were among the most prolific occupations until natural gas and oil wells were developed in the early 1880s.[8]

By 1819 18 families lived in Rockport Township. In 1893, streetcars came to Lakewood with the construction of the Detroit Avenue line, followed by the Clifton Boulevard line in 1903 and the Madison Avenue line in 1916.[12]

First government

Lakewood, the first suburb west of Cleveland on the shores of Lake Erie, began as Township 7, Range 14, of the Connecticut Western Reserve in 1805. It was a wooded wilderness through which cut the old Huron Post Road that ran from Buffalo, New York, to Detroit, Michigan. In 1819 a small group of eighteen families living in the area of present-day Lakewood, Rocky River, and part of Cleveland's West Park neighborhood named the growing community Rockport Township. In April of that year, the first election took place in Rufus Wright's tavern with a member of each household present. Three were elected as trustees: Henry Alger, Erastus Johnson, and Rufus Wright. Elected as overseers of the poor were James Nicholson and Samuel Dean. Henry Canfield was elected clerk. This type of government served Rockport for the next 70 years, with an election held each year.

Underground Railroad marker at Lakewood Park.
Underground Railroad marker at Lakewood Park.

In 1889 East Rockport, with 400 residents, separated from the township and became the Hamlet of Lakewood. Settlement accelerated rapidly, with Lakewood becoming a village with 3,500 residents in 1903. City status, with 12,000 residents, came just eight years later. By 1930 the population of Lakewood was 70,509.

Agriculture

The early settlers in Township 7 sustained their lives through farming. The land was ideal for fruit farming and many vineyards began to emerge. The fertile soil and lake climate that were ideal for producing crops is what attracted many people to move to the township. There was also vast amounts of trees to be used for building homes and other structures. The most common occupations in Lakewood were farming and the building trades.

First roads

Roads were the earliest influence on development in Lakewood. The Rockport Plank Road Company improved the old Detroit Road in 1848, opening a toll road from present-day West 25th Street in Cleveland to five miles west of the Rocky River. It continued operating as a toll road until 1901. A series of bridges spanning the Rocky River Valley, the first of which was built in 1821, improved commerce between Cleveland and the emerging communities to its west. An 1874 atlas of Cuyahoga County shows present-day main roads such as Detroit Avenue, Madison Avenue, Franklin Boulevard, Hilliard Road, Warren Road, and Riverside Drive.

Schools

Under the Ohio Common School Act of April 9, 1867, three schools were allotted to East Rockport, called 6, 8, and 10; they were later designated East, Middle, and West. Each school had one teacher. As the community began to grow and more schools were required, the school board adopted the policy of honoring Ohio's presidents by assigning their names to the school buildings.

Railroads

The Rocky River Railroad was organized in 1869 by speculators as an excursion line to bring Clevelanders to the resort area they developed at the mouth of the Rocky River. Financially unsuccessful as a pleasure and amusement venture, the line was sold to the Nickel Plate Railroad in 1881. The railroad line still exists today, running in an east–west direction north of Detroit Avenue.

Lakewood Hospital

Lakewood Hospital first opened its doors in 1907. The hospital, founded by Dr. Lee Graber, was originally located in a double house on Detroit Avenue, then built a "modern" building in 1917 and was renovated in 1940, 1950, 1967 and 1970-71. The city of Lakewood purchased the hospital in 1931. The Cleveland Clinic added the hospital to its health system in 2006.[13]

In January 2015, the Cleveland Clinic announced it would close the hospital in 2016 and replace it with a family medical center. After a year of community debate, the hospital was closed. The new medical center which included outpatient programs, an emergency department and wellness services opened across the street from the old hospital site in 2018. None of the 845 employees of Lakewood lost their jobs, as they were offered other positions in the Cleveland Clinic system.[14] There was opposition to the closing from a citizens' group called "Save Lakewood Hospital" who contended that the city could find another entity to manage the hospital and keep it open.[15]

Government

Lakewood is governed by an elected mayor and elected council. The council has seven members, with four members representing wards in the city and the other three are at-large council members.[16] Lakewood is represented in the U.S. House of Representatives by Marcy Kaptur (OH-9, D).[17] In the Ohio General Assembly it is represented by Nickie Antonio (D) in the State Senate[18] and by Michael Skindell in the (D) State House.[19]

Lakewood Park with view of Downtown Cleveland skyline.
Lakewood Park with view of Downtown Cleveland skyline.
Winter in Lakewood.
Winter in Lakewood.

Mayors

# Mayor[20] Term start Term end
1 Ira E. Canfield 1889 1891
2 Clayton L. Tyler 1892 1897
3 Otto C. Berchtold 1898 1899
4 Jacab H. Tegardine 1900 1901
5 Joseph J. Rowe 1902 1905
6 Bernard Miller 1906 1909
7 Nelson C. Cotabish 1910 1911
8 John B. Coffinberry 1912 1913
9 Clayton W. Tyler 1914 1917
10 Byron M. Cook 1918 1919
11 Louis E. Hill 1920 1923
12 Edward A. Wiegand 1924 1932
13 Amos I. Kauffman 1932 1955
14 Frank P. Celeste 1956 1963
15 Robert M. Lawther 1964 1976
16 William E. Blackie 1977 1977
17 Anthony Sinagra 1978 1990
18 David R. Harbarger 1990 1995
19 Madeline Cain 1996 2003
20 Thomas J. George 2004 2007
21 Ed FitzGerald 2008 2010
22 Micheal P. Summers 2011 2019
23 Meghan George 2020 Present

Geography

Lakewood is located at 41°28′51″N 81°48′1″W / 41.48083°N 81.80028°W / 41.48083; -81.80028 (41.480881, -81.800360),[21] about 6 miles (9.7 km) west of downtown Cleveland.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.69 square miles (17.33 km2), of which 5.53 square miles (14.32 km2) is land and 1.16 square miles (3.00 km2) is water.[22]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
19003,355
191015,181352.5%
192041,732174.9%
193070,50969.0%
194069,160−1.9%
195068,071−1.6%
196066,154−2.8%
197070,1736.1%
198061,963−11.7%
199059,718−3.6%
200056,646−5.1%
201052,131−8.0%
202050,942−2.3%
Sources:[6][23][24][25]

As of the census[4] of 2010, there were 52,131 people, 25,274 households, and 11,207 families residing in the city. The population density was 9,426.9 inhabitants per square mile (3,639.7/km2). There were 28,498 housing units at an average density of 5,153.3 per square mile (1,989.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.5% White, 6.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 1.3% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.

There were 25,274 households, of which 22.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 29.7% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 55.7% were non-families. 44.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.05 and the average family size was 2.99.

The median age in the city was 35.4 years. 19.6% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 34.3% were from 25 to 44; 25.7% were from 45 to 64; and 11% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.1% male and 50.9% female.

As of the 2007 American Community Survey, the median income for a household in the city was $42,602, and the median income for a family was $59,201. Males had a median income of $42,599 versus $35,497 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,939. About 10.9% of families and 14.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 10.5% of those age 65 or over. Of the city's population over the age of 25, 39.0% hold a bachelor's degree or higher.[26]

Ethnicity and immigration

Lakewood's ethnic mosaic includes Albanian, Arab, Chinese, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Mexican, Nepalese, Puerto Rican, Polish, Russian, Slovak, and Ukrainian ancestries.[27] As of 2019, 12.2% spoke a language other than English at home, including Arabic, Spanish, Albanian, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Hungarian.[28] The community is a hotspot for immigrants, arriving primarily from Southeast Europe (especially Albania, Romania, Greece, and the former Yugoslavia),[29][30] the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, and Iran),[30][31] South Asia (India, Nepal, and Myanmar),[8][32] and the former USSR (Russia, Uzbekistan, and Ukraine).[8][33] The foreign-born population was approximately 8.6% in 2019.[28]

Education

Public schools

Lakewood High School in April 2009.
Lakewood High School in April 2009.

The City of Lakewood Public School System is managed by a directly elected school board.[34] The Lakewood City Schools was rated as having "Continuous Improvement" by the Ohio Department of Education in 2013. Lakewood rebuilt or renovated the city's high school, two middle schools and seven elementary schools in a process completed in 2017.[35] The investment was the first major school building program in Lakewood since 1920. The school system is one of the largest employers in the city of Lakewood.

Private schools

Economic development

Downtown

In 2012, the City of Lakewood supported a program to brand the Detroit Avenue business district as "Downtown Lakewood."[38] Downtown Lakewood spans from Bunts Avenue to the east and Arthur Avenue to the west along Detroit Avenue.

Lake Erie shore at Lakewood Park.
Lake Erie shore at Lakewood Park.
Lakewood Park gazebo.
Lakewood Park gazebo.
Solstice Steps at Lakewood Park.
Solstice Steps at Lakewood Park.

Development

Awards

Attractions

On October 30, 2015, Lakewood opened its "Solstice Steps" in the northwest corner of the park. The steps are aligned in the direction of sunset on the summer solstice. They are constructed of white concrete blocks in five tiers; each tier has four steps separated by green grass strips.[47]

Other notes

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Skyline

Lakewood is home to a large number of high rises, spread in varying amounts throughout the city. Most are concentrated on the Gold Coast, and, to a lesser extent, in downtown Lakewood.

Gold Coast

Backyard of The Berkshire
Backyard of The Berkshire
Lake Shore Towers on Edgewater Drive in Lakewood
Lake Shore Towers on Edgewater Drive in Lakewood

Downtown

Other high rises

Neighborhoods and districts

A residential street in Lakewood
A residential street in Lakewood

Transportation

Notable people

Birthplace

Former/current residents

Notes

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  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  7. ^ "U.S. Census website". Retrieved March 20, 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d e Miller, April. "Lakewood". The Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. Case Western Reserve University. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  9. ^ Overman, William Daniel (1958). Ohio Town Names. Akron, OH: Atlantic Press. p. 72.
  10. ^ Erb, Robin (November 16, 2003). "1805 Fort Industry treaty entices Toledo historians". The Blade. Toledo Ohio: Block Communications.
  11. ^ Murray, Lorraine. "Lakewood Ohio US". Britannica.com. Chicago IL: Encyclopedia Britannica.
  12. ^ Johnston, Laura (January 11, 2019). "9 Lakewood historical milestones: Inner-ring Divide". Cleveland.com. Cleveland OH: AdvanceOhio.
  13. ^ Encyclopedia of Cleveland History (May 11, 2018). LAKEWOOD HOSPITAL. Case Western Reserve University. Retrieved April 21, 2022.
  14. ^ Ellison, Alya (February 11, 2016). "Cleveland Clinic's Lakewood Hospital ceases inpatient services". Becker's Hospital Review.
  15. ^ Geiselman, Bruce; Clevel, Special to (February 11, 2016). "Mayor Michael Summers describes orderly wind down at Lakewood Hospital". cleveland.
  16. ^ "Third Amended Charter of the City of Lakewood, Ohio" (PDF). The City of Lakewood, Ohio. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
  17. ^ "District". Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur. U.S. House of Representatives. December 4, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
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  19. ^ "Representative Michael J. Skindell". The Ohio House of Representatives. Ohio House of Representatives. Retrieved April 15, 2020.
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