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Guest Wheelingman

What Cleveland suburbs have the best downtowns?

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Not a whole lot of suburbs have downtowns.  At least not the kind that are actually part of the city and share in its history.  I don't count the newfangled lifestyle centers like Legacy Village or Crocker Park to be downtowns.

 

But anyway, for the west side, Lakewood's (intersection of Detroit Avenue and Warren Road) gets my vote.  Rocky River's (area surrounding Old Detroit Road) comes a close second.  As for the east side, I haven't been over there quite recently to give an opinion, but I'll just say Coventry Village in Cleveland Heights, for now.

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chagrin falls is prob best of'em all. or the heights. yeah rocky river too. hudson just rebuilt some of their downtown. lakewood doesn't really have a downtown.

 

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No, because some suburbs have definable centers that are walkable and have relatively high-density development. Berea, Bedford, Chagrin Falls and Willoughby each have downtowns, but only because they were old farming villages that got swallowed up by suburbia. Independence and Brecksville also have town centers, again left over from the pre-suburbia era.

 

In my view, suburbs that have the opportunity for developing downtowns at the definable centers of their communities include Solon (at Routes 43/91), Fairview Park (at Lorain Road and West 210th-220th), Bay Village (at Dover Center and Wolf roads), Euclid (at Lake Shore, East 222nd and Babbitt intersection), Parma (at Snow and Ridge roads), Middleburg Hts. (at Bagley and Pearl), Strongsville (at Routes 42/82) and possibly others I'm not thinking of right now.

 

KJP


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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its not a downtown, more like a neighborhood center, but I think Coventry in Cleve. Hts would get my vote.

My old hometown of Euclid is trying.  They have a little bit of potential, especially if they convert the old high school into condo's like they are talking about.

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Lakewood's downtown is cute.  Cleveland Heights' mucho downtowns are great; Rocky River is lovely; Chagrin Falls = yay; and Hudson and Akron are cute too ;).


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Sharon Center in Medina county has a really pretty downtown - a traffic circle at 162 and 94, with a lot of green space and a pretty gazebo.  Very small town, very pretty...

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Alot of Cleveland's suburbs have nice little downtowns, and many are really quite nice, although small.  In addition to the ones already mentioned, I'd add Shaker Heights, Olmsted Falls and Gates Mills.  They're very small, but oh-so-picture-perfect.

 

I also love Medina, Willoughby and Chagrin Falls.

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I haven't seen Willoughby's, but I've heard it's very nice.  I absolutely love Medina's downtown, it's like taking a trip back in time, especially around the holiday season.

Akron are cute too ;).

^ Grrrrrrrr.... (snarling and teeth clashing :whip:)

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I like Painsville and Willoughby, but only the areas right near their respective orginal square areas. Way back in I dont know when there used to be a streetcar line that connected the two.

 

-Side note that pic of good old marc, pope, was drawn by my barber who has a shop just off the square in willoughby.

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Alot of Cleveland's suburbs have nice little downtowns, and many are really quite nice, although small.  In addition to the ones already mentioned, I'd add Shaker Heights, Olmsted Falls and Gates Mills.  They're very small, but oh-so-picture-perfect.

 

I also love Medina, Willoughby and Chagrin Falls.

 

Shaker Heights doesn't not have a "downtown".  I suspect you're speaking of the Chagrin-Lee area.  If anything Shaker Square is considered a "downtown" for Shaker Heights, since it is labeled the "gateway" to shaker hts..

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I like Painsville and Willoughby, but only the areas right near their respective orginal square areas. Way back in I dont know when there used to be a streetcar line that connected the two.

 

That was prior to the 1930s, when the Cleveland Painesville and Eastern interurban railway operated from downtown Cleveland on the city's streetcar tracks to Euclid, then on CP&E tracks out to Ashtabula (where it connected with another interurban). Back before the 1930s, it was possible to travel by interurban electric railroad from New York City to Chicago, by transferring from one interurban to another. It would take a couple of days, whereas steam railroads New York Central and Pennsylvania RR could do it overnight without transferring.

 

Sorry for the history diversion....


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Yes, one of them did. The CP&E had two routes through Euclid. One was the "Main Line" alongside Euclid Avenue and the other, "the Shore Line Division," alongside Lakeshore Boulevard (the latter entered downtown on St. Clair Avenue). East of the Euclid, the two routes joined at Willoughby. CP&E trains ran hourly on both routes, but during rush hours on the Shore Line Division, trains ran half-hourly. Not bad considering that everything east of Collinwood back in the 1920s was countryside.


"Nearly every problem that we have in the USA -- unaffordable health care, prison overpopulation, hyper militarization, climate change, racism, gun violence, poverty, poor education, urban sprawl and others -- cannot be positively addressed because bribery and conflicts of interest are legal under campaign finance laws which protect the uber-wealthy and the narrow self-interests who grossly benefit from our afflictions."

 

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Willoughby, Chardon, Painesville, and Ashtabula (if it counts as a suburb) are probably the best in the Northeastern suburbs. Willoughby, and Chardon's downtown have a historic feel to them, while Painesville, and Ashtabula's downtown have a more urban feel.

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Well since you have Ashtabula on there (and someone else mentioned Vermilion and Oberlin)--and those aren't exactly suburbs of Cleveland, I might as well throw my hometown and it's neighboring city onto the list as well (after all, we're only an hour away from downtown Cleveland  :-D).  That being Norwalk (where downtown is referred to as uptown, since Main Street parallels a ridge/hillside) and Milan (where downtown is referred to as the square and EVERY storefront is occupied by a business).

 

www.uptownnorwalk.com

www.norwalkareachamber.com

www.norwalkoh.com

 

www.milanohio.com

www.milanarea.com

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That being Norwalk (where downtown is referred to as uptown, since Main Street parallels a ridge/hillside) and Milan (where downtown is referred to as the square and EVERY storefront is occupied by a business).

 

and the IOOF!

Milan0012.JPG

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You might as well add Toledo to "Cleveland's best suburbs."


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Its getting pretty retarded deciding what a suburb of Cleveland is.  I'd say keep it in Cuyahoga County.  Much further than 5-10 miles outside of Cuyahoga Cty is an exurb or another city's suburb not Cleveland's. I'd think one can also figure out by which paper people read in those burbs.  If they have predominately PD newspaper box on their strip, then its probably a suburb. 

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That being Norwalk (where downtown is referred to as uptown, since Main Street parallels a ridge/hillside) and Milan (where downtown is referred to as the square and EVERY storefront is occupied by a business).

 

and the IOOF!

Milan0012.JPG

 

 

What kind of a world would we have, if there were no IOOF buildings!!!??? :)

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I grew up on an outer west side suburb of Cleveland. If you mention downtown in any one of the west side suburbs, and I suspect much of the east side suburbs, people automatically think of downtown Cleveland. In my opinion Cleveland suburbs generally weren't ever designed to have downtowns. They seemed to have been created with a great understanding that they were going to be (for the most part) purely residential and rely on its relationship to downtown Cleveland. I think this really creates a stong "metropolitan" feel to the area, unlike other cities in Ohio and the country too. There are no Main or High streets in Cleveland suburbs, unlike Columbus and Cincinnati suburbs.  Of course the suburbs haven't always been considerate toward downtown Cleveland, but in their conception they certainly were.

 

On the west side I find it interesting that pretty much all commercial development stretching from Ohio City all the way into Lorain County lies on Detroit Avenue and Lorain Road. That's a pretty considerable distance and for about 90% of commercial districts to lie on two roads that serve a population of nearly 200,000 I find it pretty impressive (those numbers are my estimates, and based on nothing else).

 

Very few suburbs in Cleveland could be considered sustainable. Most people drive across multiple municipal borders everyday for various reasons; work, schools, grocery shopping, restaurants, churches, parks, other errands. I know a lot of people who go to neighboring post offices, libraries, and rec centers just because they like them better. Regionalism should really take off here for these reasons. Cleveland suburbs are too numerous and tiny to offer everything to their residents. Schools are a huge road block to consolidation, but what's really the difference between Lakewood and West Park and/or Edgewater, Rocky River and Fairview Park, Avon and Avon Lake, Bay Village and Westlake, North Olmsted and Olmsted Falls? A lot of suburbs should be consolidated. Promote better planning and development, and cut costs of administration.

 

But anyway, to go along with the orginal topic, excluding the passe lifestyle centers, Chagrin Falls does without a doubt have a downtown, and its probably one of the best small town "downtowns" that exist in the country. Rocky River along Detroit, and a little bit of Lakewood's West End is also pretty cool and I would recommend as a destination.

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