Author Topic: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)  (Read 13644 times)

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Offline Etheostoma Caeruleum

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2013, 03:21:06 PM »
All for this however...Again, new streetscapes given to areas where most could not care as to stewarding their upkeep....  Litter and neglect will surely follow until the careless cultural mindset is abated first.
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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2013, 03:34:26 PM »
All for this however...Again, new streetscapes given to areas where most could not care as to stewarding their upkeep....  Litter and neglect will surely follow until the careless cultural mindset is abated first.

Like I said, cart before the horse.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #37 on: February 04, 2013, 06:32:10 PM »
I love that intersection, lotsa potential KJP.

Except that was MH who said it.
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Offline 327

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #38 on: February 04, 2013, 08:40:54 PM »
Can't believe I'm saying this, but maybe that intersection needs a roundabout.  With some sort of monument in the center. 

A couple of those storefronts need renovation but most of them are actually open and occupied.  That's pretty good, for a neighborhood that needs so much help.  It tells me that one decent draw would go a long way in this area, something like that velodrome, or even an upscale club.  What did Gordon Square have just before it took off?  It had an endless supply of tax prep offices, just like Broadway/55th does right now.  That might suck, but it's a far cry from having all your retail boarded up, and it's a lot easier to build on.

Now if we could only get hipsters to cherish old hubcaps...

Offline KJP

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #39 on: February 04, 2013, 11:42:19 PM »
Now if we could only get hipsters to cherish old hubcaps...

Easy, turn it into a hubcap-themed coffee shop!
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Offline LaVecchiaSignora

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #40 on: February 05, 2013, 12:30:53 AM »
Can't believe I'm saying this, but maybe that intersection needs a roundabout.  With some sort of monument in the center. 

A couple of those storefronts need renovation but most of them are actually open and occupied.  That's pretty good, for a neighborhood that needs so much help.  It tells me that one decent draw would go a long way in this area, something like that velodrome, or even an upscale club.  What did Gordon Square have just before it took off?  It had an endless supply of tax prep offices, just like Broadway/55th does right now.  That might suck, but it's a far cry from having all your retail boarded up, and it's a lot easier to build on.

Now if we could only get hipsters to cherish old hubcaps...

Ehh I'm not sure about a club.  I've always held the thought of a trendy restaurant to be an anchor to the area and then other shops/bars/restaurants will follow suit (ideally).  How did Tremont get it's start back in the mid 90's?  I was to young to know/care about that area.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #41 on: February 05, 2013, 02:01:49 AM »
How did Tremont get it's start back in the mid 90's?  I was to young to know/care about that area.

Wow, that's a good question. I was paying attention to Cleveland's urban scene in the early 90s and I'm trying to remember my first memories of Tremont's revival. I think my first memories are of some high-profile housing projects like the condos at the Lincoln Park Baths and some of the new single-family houses on the high side of West 7th. Neither of these were all that connected to the neighborhood. And you didn't want to show off too much back then. In fact, a co-worker of mine in the late 90s lived in a converted commercial structure that had the storefront windows all boarded up. When I saw, I couldn't believe he lived in such a dumpy looking place until I saw the inside -- it was a beautifully restored building opposite Lincoln Park. You'd just never know it from the outside. And that's the way it went in Tremont, with an apartment building struggling here and there, or restored houses falling back into disrepair, until maybe just 5-10 years ago when Tremont became a snowball rolling downhill -- a good thing! It gained its own momentum which started spreading to surrounding areas. But it took more than a decade of fits and starts to happen.

And I remember a similar thing with Ohio City in the 80s. The first people to buy in Ohio City and gentrify it started in the late 1970s. I remember how surprised people were about it. But it happened slowly with homes along Bridge between Fulton and West 25th getting renovated, and new single family homes along Fulton. And Ohio City started taking off by the early 1990s -- a good 10 years before Tremont.

But I'm pretty sure both started with new housing, not businesses. The businesses came later. Sadly, single-family housing is in excess supply in Greater Cleveland these days: http://www.cnt.org/repository/BUILT-Cleveland.FINAL.pdf. So the huge amount of townhouses built in Ohio City and Tremont may not be as marketable anywhere today, although some may sell. Indeed, renovating one old house at a time with modern, more spacious interiors for today's larger furniture and TVs could reverse the obsolescence of much of the neighborhood's housing stock.

A suggestion might be to offer loft-style apartments with historical/ethnic charm in some of the vacant buildings in the East 55th-Broadway area, or along Fleet, or by St. Stan's, with basic services like a bodega (no lottery tickets or 40-ounce beer bottles!), a coffee shop, or a Slavic restaurant along the sidewalks to put "eyes on the street." They could be large apartments to be more marketable and to get as much square footage renovated. The Eastern European heritage of the neighborhood (and its industrial connections) is its biggest selling point. Don't be ashamed in flaunting it. That's what gives it "place." In fact, offer more festivals in conjunction with the churches, Third Federal and other neighborhood stakeholders to get people back into the neighborhood so they can envision a new future for the neighborhood. In fact, it was River Fest in the 1980s that brought people to the Flats, they saw plans for the future, and caused that area to spark (and burn itself out 20 years later!). The Feast does the same thing in Little Italy, of course, as does Asiatown's Lunar New Year Celebration (starts Feb. 10 and goes for 15 days http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/02/asian_community_celebrates_lun.html).

So many ideas and possibilities!
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Offline ClevelandOhio

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #42 on: February 05, 2013, 09:21:30 AM »
It looks as if that intersection already got a new streetcape if you look at the aerial compared with street view.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #43 on: February 05, 2013, 09:27:27 AM »
I love that intersection, lotsa potential KJP.

Except that was MH who said it.

Ha. I need glasses.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #44 on: February 05, 2013, 11:06:40 AM »
The nightlife came first in Tremont.  People started moving there for a reason.  People move everywhere for a reason.  Slavic Village could have gone Tremont's way if not for the stark difference in their surroundings.  The fate of Slavic Village is tied to that of Central and Union-Miles.   

People like to be able to try things out before they commit.  That's why you begin a neighborhood revival by first establishing it as a destination, then you start to pick up young renters, then you get some of them to settle down, then you get others to follow their lead.   

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #45 on: February 05, 2013, 12:57:18 PM »
Tremont first had an influx of artists in the early 80's attracted by the cheap rents.  Many point to that as the beginning of Tremont's revival.  I'm sure that it could be pushed back even farther, as every neighborhood is always just an abstract sum of businesses opening and closing, people moving in and moving out, paint applied or peeling.

As for Slavic Village, I'd love to see it trade on it's Slavic heritage, but I think there are really very few Slavs left.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #46 on: February 05, 2013, 01:21:13 PM »
The nightlife came first in Tremont.  People started moving there for a reason.  People move everywhere for a reason.  Slavic Village could have gone Tremont's way if not for the stark difference in their surroundings.  The fate of Slavic Village is tied to that of Central and Union-Miles.   

People like to be able to try things out before they commit.  That's why you begin a neighborhood revival by first establishing it as a destination, then you start to pick up young renters, then you get some of them to settle down, then you get others to follow their lead.   


This is incorrect. As X mentioned, people, mostly artists, were moving to Tremont for cheap rent in the 80's. That was the reason, not entertainment. Others followed, but "nightlife" didn't follow till much, much later.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 01:22:31 PM by jeremyck01 »

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #47 on: February 05, 2013, 01:57:08 PM »
Cheap rent doesn't distinguish either neighborhood from others in the city.  One thing that does distinguish Tremont, in my view, is a tight concentration of bars that have been open for decades.  And I believe that asset, along with location, was the main reason why Tremont became the choice over numerous alternatives. 

And while artists don't constitute a whole lot of population, they do create a disproportionate amount of nightlife (galleries).  So to me these competing Tremont explanations are harmonious.  Yes artists moved in first, but I don't see a "residential boom" until people of all walks of life are involved.  That's when you see the numbers begin to spike.  Artists can help to make that happen by opening galleries, which constitute nightlife, which in turn draws the general population.

I see Gordon Square as a closer comparison for Slavic Village, because it's more "in the thick of things" than Tremont is.  This means more connectivity with adjacent neighborhoods as well as more pass-thru traffic.  Unfortunately I think these factors make SV a tougher nut to crack, as it's pinned between heavy industry and some of the city's most troubled areas.  And I think that makes it even more important to establish a first class people-magnet in the neighborhood.           

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #48 on: February 05, 2013, 02:04:41 PM »
Even though there aren't many Slavs left here, that doesn't made the "brand" doesn't have value. It hasn't stopped Little Italy from trading on its Italian heritage where there seem to be more students living there than Italian-Americans.
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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #49 on: February 05, 2013, 03:18:09 PM »
They built that brand into something marketable when there were still many Italians there, and a very heavy concentration of Italian owned businesses, and the festivals were already in place.  Slavic Village still has some a few Slavic residents and businesses scattered about the neighborhood, and St. Stan's is still an anchor.  Is that enough to build off of, or has that ship sailed?  I'd hope the former, but I think probably the latter.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #50 on: February 05, 2013, 04:21:54 PM »
They built that brand into something marketable when there were still many Italians there, and a very heavy concentration of Italian owned businesses, and the festivals were already in place.  Slavic Village still has some a few Slavic residents and businesses scattered about the neighborhood, and St. Stan's is still an anchor.  Is that enough to build off of, or has that ship sailed?  I'd hope the former, but I think probably the latter.

Would German Village in Columbus be a better comparison?  German majority of population is long gone. That neighborhood has just a few remaining ethno-centric businesses, but it's just enough to continue the air of tradition.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #51 on: February 05, 2013, 05:22:35 PM »
As for Slavic Village, I'd love to see it trade on it's Slavic heritage, but I think there are really very few Slavs left.

FWIW, it has definitely tried to in the past.  There was a sustained effort in the 1980s (maybe earlier) to rehab commercial buildings on Fleet into a pseudo country Polish style.  There are still a few left like this- they look kind of Alpine.  This was back when Fleet was still largely Slavic.  I don't have high hopes for any marketing strategy really resuscitating the neighborhood as a whole now that it's this far gone, but I could imagine a decently capitalized effort to relocate the remaining Polish businesses and some of the institutions not tied to historic buildings into a much more confined radius, perhaps at Broadway and 55th.  As sort of a Slavic lifestyle center retrofit.  With loft apartments upstairs. And professional security.
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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #52 on: February 05, 2013, 06:39:12 PM »
Well, if the neighborhood does go down, it won't be without a fight. You should meet some of the residents in that area. To say they are passionate about their neighborhood is an understatement. We will see if Trailside at Morgana Run is successful. That should help prove or disprove the marketability of the area.

Offline LaVecchiaSignora

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #53 on: February 06, 2013, 02:00:32 AM »
But I'm pretty sure both started with new housing, not businesses. The businesses came later. Sadly, single-family housing is in excess supply in Greater Cleveland these days: http://www.cnt.org/repository/BUILT-Cleveland.FINAL.pdf. So the huge amount of townhouses built in Ohio City and Tremont may not be as marketable anywhere today, although some may sell. Indeed, renovating one old house at a time with modern, more spacious interiors for today's larger furniture and TVs could reverse the obsolescence of much of the neighborhood's housing stock.

Slavic Village's (or what's left) community is trying.  There's quite a few housing developments happening in and around the area although I'm not sure how far along or the interest in any of these homes.  I'd love to buy one but even at that low of a price I can't justify it (nor do I have the money).

http://slavicvillage.org/movein/findahome/currentprojects 

A suggestion might be to offer loft-style apartments with historical/ethnic charm in some of the vacant buildings in the East 55th-Broadway area, or along Fleet, or by St. Stan's, with basic services like a bodega (no lottery tickets or 40-ounce beer bottles!), a coffee shop, or a Slavic restaurant along the sidewalks to put "eyes on the street." They could be large apartments to be more marketable and to get as much square footage renovated. The Eastern European heritage of the neighborhood (and its industrial connections) is its biggest selling point. Don't be ashamed in flaunting it. That's what gives it "place." In fact, offer more festivals in conjunction with the churches, Third Federal and other neighborhood stakeholders to get people back into the neighborhood so they can envision a new future for the neighborhood. In fact, it was River Fest in the 1980s that brought people to the Flats, they saw plans for the future, and caused that area to spark (and burn itself out 20 years later!). The Feast does the same thing in Little Italy, of course, as does Asiatown's Lunar New Year Celebration (starts Feb. 10 and goes for 15 days http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2013/02/asian_community_celebrates_lun.html).

So many ideas and possibilities!

My friend and I had the idea of a Pan-Slavic style restaurant in hopes that it might be the anchor to draw other businesses into the Village.  We even tossed the idea around that if someone like a Michael Symon could get behind the project that'd be the easiest way to help kick off a "revival" or sorts for the area.  With a celebrity of his stature and all the name recognition that goes with it I think people (suburbanites) might be more apt to come eat and check out the area.

Slavic Village also used to have a festival that I remember my parents used to take me when I was younger.  The last time I had been there was in 1999 and remember seeing all sorts of Euro ethnicities being celebrated on Fleet.

I'm really excited for the Velodrome to have been put in Slavic Village.  I wonder if Ohio City Bike Co op (or other groups) would be willing to test the waters over there and perhaps make the area become a bikers mecca of sorts.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #54 on: February 06, 2013, 06:39:54 AM »
They built that brand into something marketable when there were still many Italians there, and a very heavy concentration of Italian owned businesses, and the festivals were already in place.  Slavic Village still has some a few Slavic residents and businesses scattered about the neighborhood, and St. Stan's is still an anchor.  Is that enough to build off of, or has that ship sailed?  I'd hope the former, but I think probably the latter.

The ship sailed when the "Goonies" street gang and its ilk started to become prominent.  I say that as a half-Pole who had ties to the area (more so to the 65th Francis area, but some to SV itself as well).  The people who could bail, did.  Quickly, and this led to an influx that led to the gangs.  The housing market implosion sealed it, though it also created activists among the trapped.

Little Italy was a special case because of its proximity to University Circle and the attitude of the neighborhood (led by the Mafia and its affiliates) towards disruption by outsiders.  This built a safe zone of sorts which very quietly led to the establishment of some boutiques, galleries, etc.   Once the Mafia's impact began to wane, these began to gain influence, to go with that of the UC institutions.  As the ethnic nature of the neighborhood had not yet washed out as has happened with others, it was preserved. 
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 06:41:08 AM by E Rocc »
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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2013, 08:35:50 AM »
So this was all caused by the lack of a Polish crime syndicate?

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #56 on: February 06, 2013, 08:38:44 AM »

Quote
The ship sailed when the "Goonies" street gang and its ilk started to become prominent.  I say that as a half-Pole who had ties to the area (more so to the 65th Francis area, but some to SV itself as well).  The people who could bail, did.  Quickly, and this led to an influx that led to the gangs.  The housing market implosion sealed it, though it also created activists among the trapped.

Little Italy was a special case because of its proximity to University Circle and the attitude of the neighborhood (led by the Mafia and its affiliates) towards disruption by outsiders.  This built a safe zone of sorts which very quietly led to the establishment of some boutiques, galleries, etc.   Once the Mafia's impact began to wane, these began to gain influence, to go with that of the UC institutions.  As the ethnic nature of the neighborhood had not yet washed out as has happened with others, it was preserved.

Great post.  I'd rep you if I could.

Yeah, street gang action helped change over one or two neigjhborhoods in Chicago that Im familiar with (the gang in question back then was the Blackstone Rangers).

An good note on why Little Italy stayed Italian.  There was an artcile in Urban History (an academic journal) a few years ago that gave the history on how the Mafia and local neighborhood guys kept things in line during the 1960s and 1970s, thus giving Little Italy a rep as a no-go area for the thug element.

 


 

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #57 on: February 06, 2013, 11:51:05 AM »
During the riots the Italians were armed with various weapons, and the rioters knew to stay clear. It's the only in tact, truly safe neighborhood in the city because that perception lasts, even as the area is far more diverse with non-Italians.

And perhaps there's something to be said about crime syndicates being the lesser of two evils compared to today's vaguely more chaotic bangers. Look at what happened in North Collinwood before and after Greene was there.

Offline 327

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #58 on: February 06, 2013, 12:06:46 PM »
Guys, I was kidding.  Wow.  I feel strongly that organized crime is not part of the solution, here or anywhere else.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2013, 12:19:05 PM by 327 »

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #59 on: February 06, 2013, 01:16:01 PM »
They built that brand into something marketable when there were still many Italians there, and a very heavy concentration of Italian owned businesses, and the festivals were already in place.  Slavic Village still has some a few Slavic residents and businesses scattered about the neighborhood, and St. Stan's is still an anchor.  Is that enough to build off of, or has that ship sailed?  I'd hope the former, but I think probably the latter.

Would German Village in Columbus be a better comparison?  German majority of population is long gone. That neighborhood has just a few remaining ethno-centric businesses, but it's just enough to continue the air of tradition.

Yes, that would be a better comparison.  I don't know what kind of condition German Village sunk to at it's nadir, but much of Slavic Village (it's a very large area) is pretty well destroyed.  Some of the more solid areas like Warsawza, could be made into a charming restored neighborhood like German Village.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #60 on: February 07, 2013, 06:40:36 AM »

Quote
The ship sailed when the "Goonies" street gang and its ilk started to become prominent.  I say that as a half-Pole who had ties to the area (more so to the 65th Francis area, but some to SV itself as well).  The people who could bail, did.  Quickly, and this led to an influx that led to the gangs.  The housing market implosion sealed it, though it also created activists among the trapped.

Little Italy was a special case because of its proximity to University Circle and the attitude of the neighborhood (led by the Mafia and its affiliates) towards disruption by outsiders.  This built a safe zone of sorts which very quietly led to the establishment of some boutiques, galleries, etc.   Once the Mafia's impact began to wane, these began to gain influence, to go with that of the UC institutions.  As the ethnic nature of the neighborhood had not yet washed out as has happened with others, it was preserved.

Great post.  I'd rep you if I could.

Yeah, street gang action helped change over one or two neigjhborhoods in Chicago that Im familiar with (the gang in question back then was the Blackstone Rangers).

An good note on why Little Italy stayed Italian.  There was an artcile in Urban History (an academic journal) a few years ago that gave the history on how the Mafia and local neighborhood guys kept things in line during the 1960s and 1970s, thus giving Little Italy a rep as a no-go area for the thug element.

All true, and they took it to the limit and beyond.  There's a story, perhaps apocryphal, about how on the day of one of the big 1960s civil rights marches, some of the radicals decided they were going to march from UC up Mayfield Road.   A bunch of neighborhood guys blocked the road with shotguns, and they demurred.

However, the same types and attitudes didn't preserve "Big Italy" on  Woodland.  Murray Hill/Little Italy was also protected by its location between University Circle and Cleveland Heights.  A reasonably safe area there had value to some people with clout.  Especially when the galleries and such moved in.
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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #61 on: February 07, 2013, 07:49:42 AM »
^
yeah, its sort of a pocket with good geogrpahic boundaries....


Quote
Some of the more solid areas like Warsawza, could be made into a charming restored neighborhood like German Village

Warzawa is that area off Fleet and arouind St Stans?

 

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #62 on: February 07, 2013, 10:04:39 AM »
Yes, that's it.  The main street is East 65th, between Broadway and Fleet.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #63 on: February 07, 2013, 12:04:34 PM »
Yes, that's it.  The main street is East 65th, between Broadway and Fleet.

I've heard the area along E.65 from Union to Francis called "Krakowa".  Allegedly, the people from the Warszaw area settled in Warszawa and the Krakow area immigrants (including my granparents' families) went to the St. Hyacinth area. 

Hey there are two threads with almost the same name, can they be combined?
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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #64 on: February 08, 2013, 08:30:45 AM »
Funny about these parish names since they are the same in Chicago.

My dad and aunt went to a St Hyacinth in Chicago (Avondale) while my grandfather and I were baptized at St Stans B&M (Cragin). 

Last time I was in Cleveland (Fall of 2010) I was in that St Stans neighborhood and I think I got a coffee and donut or something in that coffee shop across from the church.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #65 on: February 08, 2013, 02:01:00 PM »
Funny about these parish names since they are the same in Chicago.

My dad and aunt went to a St Hyacinth in Chicago (Avondale) while my grandfather and I were baptized at St Stans B&M (Cragin). 

Last time I was in Cleveland (Fall of 2010) I was in that St Stans neighborhood and I think I got a coffee and donut or something in that coffee shop across from the church.

Both are Polish saints, so it's no surprise.  St. Stanislaus is indeed the patron saint of Poland.
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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #66 on: February 10, 2013, 12:30:32 PM »
However, the same types and attitudes didn't preserve "Big Italy" on  Woodland.  Murray Hill/Little Italy was also protected by its location between University Circle and Cleveland Heights.  A reasonably safe area there had value to some people with clout.  Especially when the galleries and such moved in.[/color]

The difference with Big Italy is that it was hurt by the closure of Luna Park in that neighborhood. When the amusement park closed in 1929, the mob's gambling businesses, speakeasies and restaurants were hurt. It was made worse when Luna Park was replaced with the Woodhill Homes in the 1930s. A lot of people think that Mayfield Heights was populated by Italians moving east from Little Italy on Murray Hill. Instead, Mayfield Heights and Lyndhurst started growing in the 1920s and 30s when people from Big Italy moved out there. When my father was a little boy in the 1930s, his mother told him to avoid Mayfield and Lyndhurst because that's where the Italians lived and it was "dangerous". I guess he didn't listen because he moved there in 1956 and stayed for 22 years.
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Offline X

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #67 on: February 10, 2013, 02:01:31 PM »
The other thing that hurt Big Italy is the fact that it was completely erased for construction of the Central Interchange.

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #68 on: February 10, 2013, 02:03:48 PM »

Quote
The ship sailed when the "Goonies" street gang and its ilk started to become prominent.  I say that as a half-Pole who had ties to the area (more so to the 65th Francis area, but some to SV itself as well).  The people who could bail, did.  Quickly, and this led to an influx that led to the gangs.  The housing market implosion sealed it, though it also created activists among the trapped.

Little Italy was a special case because of its proximity to University Circle and the attitude of the neighborhood (led by the Mafia and its affiliates) towards disruption by outsiders.  This built a safe zone of sorts which very quietly led to the establishment of some boutiques, galleries, etc.   Once the Mafia's impact began to wane, these began to gain influence, to go with that of the UC institutions.  As the ethnic nature of the neighborhood had not yet washed out as has happened with others, it was preserved.

Great post.  I'd rep you if I could.

Yeah, street gang action helped change over one or two neigjhborhoods in Chicago that Im familiar with (the gang in question back then was the Blackstone Rangers).

An good note on why Little Italy stayed Italian.  There was an artcile in Urban History (an academic journal) a few years ago that gave the history on how the Mafia and local neighborhood guys kept things in line during the 1960s and 1970s, thus giving Little Italy a rep as a no-go area for the thug element.

Thug element?  I honestly do not understand that since the mafia is a group of thugs.  Can you post a link to the article?  I have a suspicion, what is written and what that means, are two different things.
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Offline KJP

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Re: Slavic Village and Warszawa! (cleveland)
« Reply #69 on: February 10, 2013, 02:33:11 PM »
The other thing that hurt Big Italy is the fact that it was completely erased for construction of the Central Interchange.

There are two Big Italys that are being referred to here -- one is in the vicinity of today's Central Interchange which was a mix of Greek and Italian immigrants. The other was centered at East 110th and Woodland.
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