BROOKLYN HEIGHTS, incorporated as a village on 28 Feb. 1903, is a 1.73 sq. mi. residential-industrial suburb southeast of Cleveland. It is bounded on the north by Cleveland, on the east by the CUYAHOGA RIVER and INDEPENDENCE, on the south by Independence and SEVEN HILLS, and on the west by Cleveland and PARMA. It was one of the last municipalities formed from BROOKLYN TOWNSHIP and Independence Township. (Independence Twp. was annexed by NEWBURGH Twp. in 1896 and an adjoining part of Brooklyn Township became the Village of Seven Hills in 1927.)
In 1902 taxpayers in School District #4 considered withdrawing from Brooklyn Twp., primarily to establish their own school district. In 1903 a petition for incorporation as an independent village was presented to township trustees and, after an election, Brooklyn Hts. was incorporated. A town hall costing $416.85 was constructed on Schaaf Road on property owned by Isaac Hinckley, the village’s first treasurer. By 1920 the community’s population reached 605. In 1927 the area west of Brookpark Rd., representing about two-thirds of the area of the village and about half the population, was annexed to Cleveland. With George Thompson as mayor, the remaining 413 people rebuilt their community, which reached a population of 1,600 people by 1958. Since 1938 the schools of Brooklyn Hts. have been part of the CUYAHOGA HEIGHTS School District.
Dissatisfaction with high tax valuations resulting from intensive development of commercial gardens and greenhouses also drove the 1903 decision to incorporate. When Martin Ruetenik became the village’s first mayor, he and Hamilton Richardson, village clerk, helped create the Cleveland Growers Marketing Co. Brooklyn Hts. eventually became one of the leading vegetable greenhouse areas in the country with more than 100 acres under glass (see AGRICULTURE). In 1962 it adopted the eponymous title of “Greenhouse Center of America.” Gardening and greenhouse enterprises comprised 53 acres in 1968 as the community became more industrial (see INDUSTRY). By 1984 Brooklyn Hts. had 1,653 people, more than 100 industrial concerns, 500 residences, and about 5 greenhouses. Since that time, the village’s population (overwhelmingly Caucasian) has remained quite stable.
Updated by Christopher Roy
See also SUBURBS.