Detroit Shoreway: Lake Access & Arts Reinvigorating This CLE Neighborhood

by | Sep 5, 2017 | Arts & Culture, Neighborhoods & Housing

DSCDO’s Jenny Spencer discussing the Detroit Shoreway master plan.

Monday, 8/21/17 – EA staffers routinely meet with local community development groups to make sure that we are in the know with each neighborhood’s future plans. This week we met with Detroit Shoreway’s Managing Director Jenny Spencer and the Gordon Square Arts District’s Executive Director and President Carrie Carpenter.
In case you’re unfamiliar with Detroit Shoreway and its arts district, here’s a little background info…
Detroit Shoreway is an urban West Side Cleveland community bounded by Edgewater State Park, I-90, W. 45th Street, and W. 85th Street. It’s known for its vibrant arts scene as well as its lake and beach access. It has a diverse population of about 12,000 residents.

EA’s staff takes a walking tour of Detroit Shoreway neighborhood

This neighborhood once had the highest population of people who could walk to work in Northeast Ohio. Then came the 1970s…manufacturing companies moved elsewhere, and the neighborhood quickly needed to redevelop to restore its vitality…

GSAD’s Executive Director & President Carrie Carpenter.

The Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization was formed to rejuvenate this lakefront neighborhood. DSCDO’s mission is to “guide the physical, economic, and social development of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood toward an improved quality of life.” Here is a quick video worth a watch! They work with the residents to plan the neighborhood and maintain a socioeconomically, ethnically, and culturally diverse neighborhood.
A few key redevelopment facts…
There was a complete rebuild of the Detroit Avenue streetscape with artistic enhancements from West 58th to West 69th in 2014 as part of the Gordon Square Arts District arts-based neighborhood revitalization effort. In 2017-2018, additional funding is expanding the streetscape more broadly as the neighborhood continues to grow from West 78th Street to West 52nd Street, and north on West 73rd Street to Edgewater Beach on Lake Erie.

65th Street in Detroit Shoreway.

And, a rebuild of the Lorain Avenue streetscape within the Lorain Avenue Antiques District, from West 52nd to West 82nd, is in the works.
Detroit Shoreway has plentiful housing options…from historical homes, to upscale townhomes, condos and apartments, to homes in the EcoVillage. What’s the EcoVillage, you ask? It’s an environmentally focused and sustainably constructed neighborhood.

Homes on Franklin Boulevard.

This community does not displace current residents; it repurposes vacant houses and factories to provide more housing. One of Detroit Shoreway’s largest redevelopment projects is Battery Park, located between W. 73rd Street and W. 76th Street. This $100M development overlooks Edgewater State Park and is surrounded by the West Side’s “Little Italy” neighborhood. And, there are even more housing options popping up…like The Edison.
This neighborhood’s revitalization and redevelopment has a major arts focus. The Gordon Square Arts District is an artistic, cultural, and retail hub – an economic driver for this community. The district has been reinvigorated through the renovation of some anchor institutions, including: the Capitol Theatre, a new building for the Near West Theatre, and renovations to the Cleveland Public Theatre complex.
What to see and do in Detroit Shoreway…

  • Summer’s not over yet! Here is a link to Detroit Shoreway’s Community Newsletter to give you a sense of this community’s summer happenings.

    Battery Park.

  • 78th Street Studios: The largest art and design complex in Northeast Ohio. It offers galleries, studios, performance spaces, and recording studios. And, every third Friday over 50 venues inside the studios open at the same time to present their work and music. Food and beverage is plentiful!!
  • Art Space: A GSAD micro art gallery that provides stipends for emerging local artists and a place to sell and exhibit their work.
  • Blank Canvas Theatre: A black box theatre offering American classics, new works, musicals, etc. and featuring the sketch comedy troupe The Laughter League.
  • Capitol Theatre: The restoration of this movie theatre was a catalyst for reviving Detroit Shoreway. Today, it shows both studio and indie films.

    Cleveland artist Colleen Fraser created this mosaic along a Bike Path.

  • Cleveland Public Theatre: Known for its edgy and original works and its massive party Pandemonium (this year’s shindig is on September 9th).
  • Near West Theatre: An intergenerational community theatre featuring fare from Xanadu to Spring Awakening. It also has a public plaza that has programming.
  • Talespinner Children’s Theatre: A professional theatre that uses acting, dance, music, and puppetry in age appropriate tales from around the world.
  • Theater Ninjas: They call themselves “the food truck of Cleveland theater.” You can often catch performances around Detroit Shoreway.

Another work of Colleen Fraser.

DSCDO often partners with Land Studio to create some pretty cool public spaces and art installations like…

  • Bike Box: Sheltered bike parking to encourage cycling.
  • Cold Front: Connecting the neighborhood to Lake Erie.
  • Edgewater Hill Blue Birds: 35 bluebird sculptures positioned on utility poles, street corners, warehouse buildings, and homes.
  • Garden Mirrors: This gateway is a great piece of public art installed at the Templin-Bradley Building, a 30 unit affordable live/work space for local artists and residents.
  • Gordon Square Arts District: Cleveland artist Susie Frazier Mueller collaborated with City Architecture to integrate public art into the streetscape through decorative paving areas, seating, and inlaid art.
  • EcoVillage’s Michael J. Zone Recreation Center: 22 greenspace acres with playfields, baseball diamonds, a splash park, tennis courts, and a dog park.

Where to eat…

A few important links for families…

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