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BROOK PARK

 

 

BROOK PARK, originally part of MIDDLEBURG TWP., was founded in 1914 and incorporated as a city in 1961. It occupies 11 sq. mi., located 14 mi. southwest of Cleveland and bounded on the south by BEREA and MIDDLEBURG HTS., on the west by NORTH OLMSTED, on the east by PARMA, and on the north by Cleveland. Residents of the northern part of MIDDLEBURG TWP., dissatisfied with schools, roads, and taxes, met secretly and voted to establish their own municipality. William J. Sifleet is often referred to as "the Father of Brook Park." Credited with naming the community for the brook that ran through the western portion of Middleburg, he was elected the first mayor. The first school and council hall were built at Five Points, considered a central location. In 1915-16 Brook Park was the scene of a short-lived gas well boom that started in LAKEWOOD and Rockport and then spread into Berea and Brook Park; the Berea Pipe Line Co. and the EAST OHIO GAS CO. operated pipelines and supplied natural gas for a short time.

Brook Park's rural character changed dramatically when WILLIAM R. HOPKINS, Cleveland city manager, selected it as the site of Hopkins Airport (1925, later CLEVELAND HOPKINS INTL. AIRPORT). Legal disagreements over annexation of the airport ended in 1947, when Cleveland paid Brook Park $85,000 to become the legal owner of more than 1,000 acres, including the airport. On 3 January 1941, ground was broken for the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics research laboratory (later the NASA LEWIS RESEARCH CENTER). When the Fisher Aircraft Assembly Bomber Plant was built in 1943, the U.S. Housing Authority constructed many homes to accommodate plant employees. Additional industries which located in Brook Park after World War II included Ferry Screw Products, Inc., the FORD MOTOR CO.'s Engine Plants #1 and #2, the Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., the B.F. Goodrich Co., and the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. A multipurpose recreation center, built in 1973, a variety of churches, and a branch of the CUYAHOGA COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY SYSTEM serve the community. The population was 26,200 in 1990 and 21,218 in 2000. The city's schools belonged to the Berea School District.


See also SUBURBS, INDUSTRY.