CUDELL is a neighborhood and Statistical Planning Area (SPA) on Cleveland’s west side. It was named after FRANK (FRANZ) E. CUDELL who bequeathed property to the city when he died in 1916. Cudell was a renowned architect whose firm’s designs include the Perry-Payne and George Worthington Buildings in Downtown Cleveland and the Franklin Circle Christian Church in Ohio City.
The Cudell neighborhood is bounded by Berea Rd. and Detroit Ave. on the north, West 117th St. on the west, Lorain Ave. on the south, and West 83rd St. on the east. It is part of a tract originally owned by FRANKLIN REUBEN ELLIOTT (1817-1878). In 1860 Elliott sold some of that land to JACOB MUELLER (1822-1905), a German immigrant and politician. In the late 1880s Mueller transferred the property to Cudell, who also had emigrated from Germany (1866) and later married Mueller's daughter Emma. Cudell remodeled a house on Detroit Avenue that Mueller had built in 1845. Cudell also constructed two apartment terraces (the Cudell Dwellings) on W. 99th St. and deeded a portion of the area along West Blvd. to the City as a public park. The Cudell neighborhood became part of Cleveland through annexations in 1894 and 1904.
When Cudell passed he bequeathed the house to the city and in 1917 his widow built the Cudell Tower (9999 Detroit Ave.) as a memorial. Two years after Emma Cudell's death in 1937, the 1845 Cudell house reopened as the Cudell Arts & Crafts Center, considered to be one of the first municipally operated arts and crafts facilities in the country. It also was the home of the west side branch of the GARDEN CENTER OF GREATER CLEVELAND. In 1964 a new recreation center and gymnasium—now called Cudell Fine Arts Center—was built by the city on the property. The Cudell House (now at 10013 Detroit Ave.) was moved a short distance to the east when West Blvd. was relocated in 1977.
From the beginning of the 20th Century Cudell was a working class community, with residents employed at nearby companies such as Winton Motor Carriage Co., White Sewing Machine Co. and Midland Steel Products. Construction of Interstate 90 in the 1960s isolated the neighborhood’s southern quarter from the rest of the neighborhood.
Today, Cudell has a population of roughly 9,000 people (56 percent white, 32 percent black)—down significantly from 17,600 in 1940 and 13,400 in 1970. Most residents live in one- or two-family dwellings, except for a concentration of apartments around the rapid transit line near Detroit Ave. and West Blvd. Employment levels and median household income in Cudell are slightly lower than the city-wide average.
Updated by Christopher Roy