Home | Whats New | Site Index | Search

Euclid Golf Historic District

Cleveland Heights City, Cuyahoga County, OH


Woodmere Drive in the  Euclid Golf Historic District

2300 block of Woodmere Drive in the Euclid Golf Historic District, Cleveland Heights. The District was listed on the Nationak Register in 2002. Photographed by wikipedia username: Tim Evanson, own work, 2015, [cc-2.0], accessed October, 2022.


Also known as the Euclid Golf Allotment.

The Euclid Golf Historic District [†] is an early twentieth century Garden City suburban residential development of approximately 142 acres. Barton R. Deming, Cleveland real estate developer, laid out the Euclid Golf Allotment in 1913 on land that its former owner, John D. Rockefeller, had leased to the Euclid Club for its upper nine golf links. The district is located in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, an inner-ring suburb of Cleveland. The majority of the 432 buildings in Euclid Golf were built between 1913 and 1929;fewer than 5% of the buildings in the district (all non-contributing) were constructed after the deed restrictions were lifted in 1950. The homes are well preserved and well maintained with relatively few alterations. Thus, Euclid Golf is a highly cohesive example of an early 20th century planned community of architect-designed homes.

Euclid Golf lies approximately five miles east of downtown Cleveland. It is located at the top of the first foothill of the Allegheny Mountains' Portage escarpment. Euclid Golf encompasses Fairmount Boulevard from Cedar Road to Coventry Road and is roughly bounded by Nottinghill Lane and Clarkson Road to the North, Coventry Road to the East, Scarborough Road and west St. James Parkway to the South, and Ardleigh Drive to the West. The 142 acres are entirely residential except for St. Paul's Episcopal Church at the intersection of Coventry and Fairmount and the Heights Medical Building at the intersection of Fairmount and Cedar.

The Euclid Golf Historic District contains a portion, of the Fairmount Boulevard Historic District that was designated in 1976. The Fairmount Boulevard Historic District actually consists of two distinct residential sections. O.P. and M.J. Van Sweringen, developers of the Shaker Heights Historic District, developed the first section of Fairmount Boulevard from Coventry Road to Lee Road beginning in 1907. The second, westernmost section of Fairmount Boulevard, from Cedar Road to Coventry Road, lies within the Euclid Golf Allotment.

Fairmount Boulevard is the main artery. Lots on Fairmount typically have a 90-foot frontage and a 200-250 foot depth. Several tributary streets curve off of Fairmount: Ardleigh Drive, Delamere Drive Roxboro Road, Tudor Drive, Woodmere Drive, Demington Drive, Chatfield Drive, Wes St. James Parkway, North St. James Parkway, and Scarborough Road. Lots on the side streets range have 60-75 foot frontages and a 165-200 foot depth. Coventry Road forms the boundary between Euclid Golf and the Van Sweringen development. Lots on the west side of Coventry have a 100-foot frontage and a 203-230 foot depth. Nottinghill Lane is a narrow, tree-lined alleyway that provides access t the corner homes' garages and links Delamere, Tudor, Woodmere and Demington. Plans for Nottinghill Lane to connect to Fairmount Boulevard were never completed, perhaps because of the steep grade or perhaps because of homeowners' desire for privacy.

Howell & Thomas Architects to build model homes and approve the designs of all residences, garages and landscaping in Euclid Golf. These restrictions were in force until May 1, 1950. In placing deed restrictions on Euclid Golf property Deming wanted to assure prospective homeowners that their investment would be safe from the undesirable development that had encroached on several Cleveland neighborhoods, such as Euclid Avenue.

The B.R. Deming Company strove to create a reputation for building quality homes, While there were no restrictions placed on types of materials, Howell & Thomas specified high-quality, durable materials. They scrutinized the designs of other architects for adherence to quality. Facades were of brick, stone, wood clapboard siding, or stucco. Roofs were of wood shingle, tile, or slate. Sandstone was used for sidewalks and in landscaping. At least some driveways were of brick, stone or crushed stone.

Euclid Golf remains much as it was during the period of significance, 1913-1950. The facades of the houses have not been significantly altered. The most common change to the homes is the replacement of original roofing material with asphalt or composite shingles (62.4% in the expansion area). Some new windows have been installed and some side porches enclosed. A few of the homes have additions; however, these are generally in keeping with the style and high-quality material? of the original house. Vinyl siding has not been installed. High-quality design, fine materials, and detailed craftsmanship distinguish Euclid Golf homes.

The dominant architectural styles located within Euclid Golf are briefly described in this nomination; houses on the tributary streets, although somewhat smaller than those on Fairmount Boulevard, were designed by the same architects, were of the same architectural styles, and used the same high-quality materials and craftsmanship.

Dominant Architectural Styles

The B.R. Deming Company did not restrict the style of architecture in Euclid Golf. Thus, homes were designed in a wide variety of styles and were often very eclectic. Those built from 1913-1919 tend to be more eclectic and overtly American, while those built after World War I tend to be more accurate European Revivals. Many clients had fought in Europe during the war and brought back a taste for European architecture; likewise, architects, such as Harold O. Fullerton, had also fought in Europe and had observed first hand the building materials and techniques necessary to create accurate reproductions of historic houses. New building techniques, such as using brick and stone veneer over a balloon-frame, made these homes affordable.

All of the homes were architect-designed and were customized for both the individual site and the client; thus, they show much variation. Yet, the neighborhood has a cohesive appearance because they are generally of the same scale, have consistent setbacks, and use natural, high-quality materials. They are also united in their display of high-quality design and fine craftsmanship. 133, or 47.5%, of Euclid Golf homes were built from 1913-1919 and 134, or 47.5%, were built in the 1920s. Only four homes, or 1.4%, were built in the 1930s. Eleven homes, or 3.9%, were constructed after the lifting of deed restrictions i1 1950. A detailed listing of architectural styles follows:

1910s Styles

Shingle Continuous wood shingle roofing and wall cladding distinguish this style, which originated in the northeastern United States. There are few Shingle style homes in Euclid Golf, only eight (2.8%). The few that do occur were built early in the allotment's development. Sadly, none of Euclid Golf's Shingle Style homes retai1 their original wood shingle roofing.

Arts & Crafts

The English Arts & Crafts Movement heavily influenced the design of many houses in Euclid Golf, including some built after World War I, which are more English i1 style. Like the American Craftsman Style developed in Southern California, these homes often feature low-pitched, gabled roofs with wide, unenclosed eaves that are decorated by false beams or braces. Many also feature sloping or curved porch supports and transomed, Prairie Style windows. These homes use a variety of materials such as stone, brick, stucco and wood shingles. Thirteen (4.6%) Euclid Golf homes are Arts & Crafts Style

Prairie

Prairie homes in Euclid Golf have low-pitched, hipped roofs with widely overhanging eaves. The eaves, cornices and facade detailing emphasize the horizontal lines of these houses. Massive square porch supports and geometric´┐Ż´┐Żpatterned window glazing also distinguish this style. Many homes in Euclid Golf show Prairie influence, and a few, five (1.8%) can be classified as Prairie.

1920s styles Colonial Revival

Colonial Revival is the most prevalent style in Euclid Golf. These homes draw upon the range of styles that were popular during the American colonial period. They feature accentuated front doorways with decorative crown supported by pilasters, or extended entrances supported by slender columns to form an entry porch. Colonial Revival homes are usually symmetrical, although many in Euclid Golf have enclosed side porches (such as those in. The windows have double hung sashes.

Three types of Colonial Revival are represented in Euclid Golf: Dutch, Georgian, and Adam. The Georgian style is by far the most prevalent. It is noted for its formality and symmetry. It has substantial cornices or horizontal trim in brick stone or wood. The roofs are hipped and often originally clad in slate. Chimneys are less prominent and are symmetrically placed. The double-hung windows are large and evenly spaced. The interior is a central hall plan with center stairway and plaster moldings on the ceilings. The Dutch style has a distinctive gambrel roof. The Adam style is distinguished by sidelights on either side of the door and perhaps a semi-circular fanlight above the door. Almost half of Euclid Golf homes are Colonial Revival style. Those built in the 1910s are Colonial Revival with Prairie, Arts & Crafts or Queen Anne elements. Those built in the 1920s, however, are more historically accurate. One hundred thirty-eight (48.6%) Euclid Golf houses are Colonial Revival.

Tudor Revival

Tudor Revival homes are the second most prevalent style in Euclid Golf. These homes feature steeply pitched roofs, decorative half-timbering, tall, narrow windows, and massive chimneys. The roofs are either of slate or are wood shingled. In one case the slate is patterned to look like wood shingles. The facade is dominated by one or more prominent cross gables. A variety o building materials is often used on one house, such as masonry, stone, wood shingles or wood clapboard siding. These homes have large, ornate, stone fireplaces, dark wood trim, leaded glass windows, and beamed or coffered ceilings.

There are three main types of Tudor Revival that occur in Euclid Golf: Early English, Jacobean, and Cottage Style. Early English Tudors have a defensive look. They have narrow, vertical windows, crenellated towers and pointed or elliptical arches over doors and windows. Jacobean Tudors show the classical details of the English Renaissance, such as columns, scrollwork, parapets, elaborate doorways, oriel and bay windows, and round or flat arches over doors and windows. Cottage-Style Tudors resemble smaller, less formal English country homes. They have dominant wood shingled roofs with curved eaves and asymmetrical floor plans. They may have a curved "eyebrow" 12 in the roof or over a group of windows, and many have Arts & Crafts details. Seventy-five (26.4%) Euclid Golf houses can be classified as Tudor Revival.

French Renaissance

Euclid Golf French Renaissance homes are noted for their steeply pitched, hipped roo.f s. Many roofs have flared eaves and several dormers. While French Renaissance homes can either be formal or informal, those in Euclid Golf are decidedly formal. They have even-textured slate roofs, and sometimes have finials. The fa9ade is either masonry or stucco, often with quoins at the corners. The brickwork is sometimes patterned in either a basket weave o: checkerboard. Windows are tall and are often double-hung in Euclid Golf examples. The French Renaissance houses can be symmetrical or asymmetrical and often have massive chimneys, prominent towers, and second story balconies. Thirteen (4.6%) Euclid Golf homes are French Renaissance.

Italian Renaissance

Italian Renaissance houses are known for their low-pitched, hipped tile roofs. In some Euclid Golf examples the roofs are of slate. The facade is symmetrical, and upper story windows are usually smaller and less elaborate than those of the first story. Arches often appear above first story windows and porches. Pilasters or columns flank the entrance A few, nine (3.2%) Euclid Golf houses are Italian Renaissance. The most ingenious use of this style is the double house, 2580 and 2582 West St. James Parkway that Howell & Thomas architects designed to hide a low-quality development; the colonnaded entryway disguises the fact that it is a double house, and enables it to blend into the single-family Euclid Golf neighborhood.

In 1912, the Euclid Golf Club disbanded and migrated to the Shaker Heights and Mayfield Country Clubs. In addition to the residential development, the member had grown 12 tired of having only nine holes to play on Sunday, their favorite golfing day. In 1913 Barton R. Deming, who had been involved in real estate on Cleveland's East side since 1907, convinced Rockefeller to enter into a purchase agreement with him that would enable the 141 acres to be developed into a high-quality residential allotment. The deal they struck gave Deming the rights to improve the property and sell it for home sites. Deming would negotiate and oversee all improvements with the approval of Rockefeller's Abeyton Realty Company. Deming relied on Rockefeller's influence and prestige, as well as his bankroll, in gaining the cooperation of the various improvement and utility companies, such as The East Ohio Gas Company and The'Cleveland Street Railroad Company, as evidenced by several letters exchanged between the two parties.

Rockefeller considered Deming's allotment plan very carefully. Others had approached him about developing the golf links; however, his Abeyton Realty Company had gained wisdom from both its own ventures and those of other developers. Abeyton believed Calhoun's Euclid Heights lots were too large and impractical. Mr. Clarence c. Terrill, Manager of Abeyton, said this of Barton Deming's Euclid Golf proposal, "it offers a medium between the large and extravagant allotment, like the [Euclid] Heights (Calhoun) Allotment, and the smaller and cheaper of the City allotments some of which are on the Heights." He went on to say that, "I think the proposed plat a good medium between this sort of a proposition and the one of to [sic] small lots and inexpensive houses, a very practical and salable size lots at a price within the reach of a man of ordinary means, who could be interested in and afford to own a house and lot costing ten thousand dollars."13 So, although Deming's proposal contained some large lots (along the boulevard), it also contained smaller lots for a more middle class owner. Deming's carefully planned allotment would both ensure the profitability of the venture and the neighborhood's design quality.

Competition from neighboring allotments and Patrick Calhoun's bankruptcy and subsequent sheriff sale of his remaining Euclid Heights property in 1914, negatively affected sales of Euclid Golf Because his cash flow did not enable Deming to make timely payments to Rockefeller and he required additional loans for the necessary property improvements, Deming was forced to renegotiate the terms of his agreement with Rockefeller. In 1915 Deming secured an agreement to continue as the sole agent for the development and sale of lots in Euclid Golf until July 31, 1920. Deming paid $89,747 upfront, and Abeyton Realty agreed to invest up to $320,000 in physical improvements such as gas, sewers, water, electricity, paving, guttering, and curbing. Abeyton Realty also set a minimum price on the lots thus guaranteeing a minimum payment from Deming. When Deming fulfilled all aspects of the contract, he was to be given a warranty deed for the unsold remainder of the property in exchange for a purchase mortgage of $430,000 or the balance of the purchase price then due. Finally, on October 3, 1919 Deming received the mortgage deed for the property for $463,158.

Following Garden City principles, Euclid Golf was designed to take advantage of the natural beauty of its environment. As Deming said in his very first Euclid Golf advertisement in Cleveland Town Topics: "the natural beauty of this propert suggests and demands the upbuilding of a community of homes of refinement and character." The change in grade at the intersection of Fairmount Boulevard and Cedar Road forms a majestic entrance to the allotment. The gentle curving side streets make the most of natural vantage points and add a picturesque quality tc the housing sites. A planted circle graces the intersection of Ardleigh Drive and Fairmount Boulevard. Homes are designed in a wide variety of eclectic American and European revival styles. Yet, they blend harmoniously with the landscape and with each other due to features such as high-quality, natural materials, uniform setbacks and regulated investment levels. Garages and utility lines are generally located behind the homes where they do not interfere with the garden-like aesthetic. Deming worked to preserve many of the mature trees that existed during the property's golf course days, as early photographs demonstrate Additional street trees were planted to create a green canopy.

Seven deed restrictions spelled out setback requirements, minimum construction costs, and prohibited uses in Euclid Golf. The first specified that the house built had to be "exclusively for private dwelling house purposes". It also specified a minimum investment level and defined the setback requirement, which varied according to where the house was built within the allotment. Further, it specified that The B.R. Deming Company must approve the plans and specifications for the house. Deming hired the architectural firm Howell & Thomas to design a variety of housing styles to fit the varied lots and sizes in Euclid Golf. Thes model homes sought to set high standards while limiting the risk of appearing arbitrary in enforcing the deed restriction.

The second deed restriction dealt with the setback and minimum investment level of garages and outbuildings. It also prohibited separate "water-closets" because all lots were connected to the sewer system. The next restrictions prohibited various undesirable uses of property: the third deed restriction prohibited fences over three feet high and gave setback requirements for permitted fences; the fourth restriction strictly prohibited undesirable uses such as public entertainment houses, apartment houses, boarding-houses, hotels, taverns, dance halls, or other resorts; the fifth restriction prohibited the manufacture or sal of "spirituous, vinous or fermented liquors"; and, the sixth restricted the use of .advertising signs and devices that would endanger or disturb the neighbors. The seventh restriction seems to have been added later (the type is slightly larger and appears to be from another typewriter) and required that the landscaping be maintained in accordance with the standards set by the B.R. Demin Company. Thus, although the architectural style was not specified, Deming endeavored to create a harmonious and beautiful neighborhood.

These restrictions were in force until May 1, 1950. In several advertisements placed in the society weekly, Cleveland Town Topics, Deming refers to the careful planning of the neighborhood and the deed restrictions in order to assure prospective homeowners that their investment would be safe. The strategy paid off handsomely, for Deming was later able to boast that Euclid Golf was "the place more and more Clevelanders of culture and refinement want to make their homes" and he listed their names in his advertisements.

The Marketing of Euclid Golf

Deming advertised Euclid Golf extensively. In Cleveland Town Topics alone, oveI one hundred seventy-five Euclid Golf advertisements appear from 1913 to 1928.

Just six years after Deming began development of Euclid Golf, he referred to Fairmount Boulevard as "The Euclid Avenue of the Heights". Again in a 1920 advertisement, Deming expounded upon the idea: "the splendid neighborhood at Ardleigh Drive and Delamere Drive in Euclid Golf development, where these beautiful streets intersect with Fairmount Boulevard, has naturally, by virtue c just its location, become the home site for many of Cleveland's first families". Was he the first to make this claim? Was the phrase "Euclid Avenue of the Heights" simply a creation of his marketing department? We may never know; however, Deming was certainly correct in noting that many prominent Clevelanders had made their homes in Euclid Golf.

We know about some of these homeowners from an article in the May 1921 issue of The Architectural Forum. The article recognizes Euclid Golf as an outstanding example of suburban real estate development. It praises the B.R. Deming Company} and Howell & Thomas Architects for creating a residential community that was bot architecturally pleasing and financially successful. "To [Clevelanders]," it says, "[Euclid Golf] signifies a district centering about a wide curved boulevard, crossed by a dozen or so winding streets of generous width, an abundance of fine old trees and a sprinkling of substantial houses which are, a? suburban houses go, quite likely in size and character. "26

The article shows photographs and floor plans for eleven Euclid Golf homes, designed by Howell & Thomas. Three of the homes are Fairmount Boulevard mansions, while the rest are more modest side street domains. The Fairmount Boulevard homes include those of A.C. Ernst, Esq., founding partner of Ernst & Ernst Accountants (2540 Fairmount); Mrs. W. C. Scofield, widow of a sales manager for Lake Erie Iron Company (2602 Fairmount); and Mr. Fred Nichols, an attorney (2626 Fairmount).

Those on the side streets include the homes of several prominent businessmen. Two of these men were involved in Cleveland's early automobile industry: Mr. Thomas White, Vice-President of White Motor Company (2335 Delamere) and Charles A. Forster, President of the Packard Cleveland Motor Company (2231 Delamere). At least two were involved in real estate: Mr. John C. McNutt, President and Treasurer of the J.C. McNutt Company (2272 Woodmere) and A.C. Blair, President and Treasurer of the A.C. Blair Company and Vice-President of Best Realty Company (2248 Woodmere). The remaining home are those of Mr. William R. Mitchell, Secretary of Selicci Products (2346 Woodmere); Mr. Raymond G. Pack, an advertising executive (2224 Tudor); and Mr. Roland w. White, President of the Colonade Company and Treasurer of The Fuller Canneries Company (2222 Delamere). The extent to which B.R. Deming desired to protect his allotment from undesirabl influences is shown by his purchase of three lots on the South side of West St. James Parkway from another developer and the design of pleasing cottage houses t block the unsightly view of "a poor class of investment houses with no restrictions" Mr. Howell designed number 2600, Mr. Thomas designe number 2594, and they both designed a double house, number 2580-82, at the boundary of the allotment on West St. James Parkway. These three houses, though not technically part of Euclid Golf, are included with this application because of their high-quality design and construction and their unique role in protecting Euclid Golf.

Significant Architects

Many architects of local and national distinction, such as Howell & Thomas, Charles R. Greco, Meade & Hamilton, Charles Schneider and Walker & weeks, designed homes in Euclid Golf. Colonial Revival and Tudor Revival are the most dominant styles. However, several examples of French Renaissance, Italian Renaissance, Shingle, Prairie and Arts & Crafts also exist. Some homes are trul eclectic in that they combine elements of two or more styles. The picturesque and romantic eclecticism of the homes probably gave early twentieth century Clevelanders a sense of safety and security in a rapidly industrializing and changing society. 42

Despite their historical references, Euclid Golf homes contained the latest in early twentieth century technology and conveniences. As evidenced by adv_ertisements in a booklet published by the B. R. Deming Company on the 7th anniversary of the opening of Euclid Golf, many houses used Mouat Vapor Heat, Kernerator built-in-the-chimney incinerators and 'Minneapolis' heat regulators. Some houses featured fireproof steel frames. In keeping with the latest ideas about sanitation, many homes had tiled kitchens provided by The Clarence H. Collings Company and Mott plumbing fixtures provided by The Kennedy Company.

Euclid Golf homes also reflect the social patterns of their day. Compared to the earlier homes of Cleveland's elite along Euclid Avenue, Euclid Golf homes were more horizontal and in closer relation with each other and the street. Lots wer large enough for gardens and ornamental plantings, but not so big to be impractical. Victorian formality was giving way to more open floor plans. Few Euclid Golf homes contained elaborate ballrooms. Instead, they featured dining rooms, living rooms, libraries and dens meant for more intimate gatherings. The increasing popularity of the automobile can be seen in Euclid Golf homes. While homes built before 1919 had detached garages at the rear of the property, homes built later generally had attached ones (although they were still to the rear of the house). The importance of the outdoors to the suburban ideal is evident in the garden rooms, porches and patios that integrate the interior of the house with the surrounding landscape. Elaborate garden layouts decorated with ornaments, pergola, fountains and pools have the effect of creating outdoor rooms. Euclid Golf homes were built to take advantage of the abundant unskilled labor force available for domestic service. Sleeping rooms for live-in help wer connected via back staircases to the kitchens, pantries, storage rooms, and garages where the daily chores of domestic life were accomplished.

Adapted from: Deanna L. Brenner and Hugh Fisher, Historic Fairmount Association, Euclid Golf Historic District, nomination document, 2002, National Register of Historic Places, WEashington, D.C.

Nearby Neighborhoods

Street Names
Ardleigh Drive • Charfield Drive • Coventry Road • Delaware Drive • Demington Place • Fairmount Boulevard • Roxboro Road • Saint James Parkway North • Saint James Parkway West • Scarborough Road • Tudor Drive • Woodmere Drive