[graphic] Ohio and Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor: A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
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Tremont Historic District
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St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Church
Courtesy of Cuyahoga Valley National Park, photo by Jeff Winstel

Located on an 80-foot high plateau immediately south of downtown Cleveland, the Tremont Historic District is a dense multi-ethnic urban neighborhood, noted for its 26 located churches within one square mile. At different times, the area was an educational center, a Civil War encampment, a wealthy residential area and an immigrant neighborhood anchored by churches and social halls and surrounded by the steel mills valley. Cleveland University was established here in 1851. The short lived university area later became home to Camp Cleveland during the Civil War, and later Lincoln Park, the heart of a growing residential neighborhood. The names of many of Tremont's streets--Professor, Literary and College--recall this early academic ambition. Houses from this time period are one-and-a-half-story brick cottages with gable fronts and prominent rod-iron ties. Situated above the industrial valley, Tremont became a fashionable neighborhood for the newly wealthy and several Italianate and Queen Anne style houses were constructed along with some of Tremont's many churches.

[photo] Tremont Historic District, c. 1932
Courtesy of the Cleveland Press Collection, Cleveland State University Library

In the early 1900s, many Eastern and Southern European immigrant groups found work in Cleveland's factories, and tried to adapt from a rural village life to a dense urban industrial neighborhood. Lots became increasingly subdivided and the dense development took on an organic, chaotic form. Urban vernacular housing, neighborhood commercial centers, labor and ethnic social halls and churches with onion domes dominated the area. The church provided the physical, social and spiritual anchor and instituted many social reforms for the newcomers.

The numerous architectural styles of the district's churches include Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic, Arts and Crafts, Shingle and contemporary--and convey the ethnic heritage of the neighborhood's residents. The 1893 Pilgrim Congregational Church is a massive Romanesque building that anchors Lincoln Park. St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Church dominates the Tremont skyline with its 13 onion domes. The Lincoln Park Bathhouse and the Merrick House Community Center reflect the social reform movement and the Polish Labor Hall is associated with the socialist political movement. Tremont today is a diverse neighborhood with an artistic character exemplified by its urban gallery, bar and restaurant scene.

The Tremont Historic District is roughly bounded by 1-490, I-71, University Ct., W. 7th St., Starkweather, Brayton, Fruit and Auburn aves., in Cleveland. Residences are privately owned, and not open to the public. Public buildings are open during normal business hours. Further information is available at Tremont.

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