The EUCLID HEIGHTS ALLOTMENT is a 365 acre real estate subdivision in CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, formed at the summit of Cedar Hill in the 1890s by Patrick Calhoun for an elite clientele. As the first major allotment on the heights, it presaged and influenced the larger and better known SHAKER HEIGHTS work of the VAN SWERINGEN brothers in its design and reliance on new transportation technology to ensure access and property values.
Prior to 1890, this southwest corner of the original EUCLID TOWNSHIP, later reformed as East Cleveland Township, the land was mostly occupied by horse farms, quarries and other low-density purposes. The boundary line between Euclid and WARRENSVILLE TOWNSHIP was Cedar Road easterly from the top of Cedar Glen. The lower portion was a layer of Euclid Bluestone, eastward from the edge of the escarpment until overlain by a layer of Berea Sandstone, near the point where Fairmount Boulevard was later formed.
Several previous attempts were made to establish allotments on the land. The Stackpole & Parker Allotment and the J.J. Low’s Allotment both appeared by 1874, but neither amounted to anything. Their only vestige is the route of Edgehill, up from Murray Hill Road, which was originally proposed as an extension of Clark Road, and Edwards Road, a small street off Euclid Heights Boulevard, near Cedar Road.
According to his daughter, Mildred Calhoun Wick, Patrick Calhoun came to Cleveland on railroad business in 1890 and visited the Heights while viewing the recently dedicated GARFIELD MONUMENT. Noting the active development going on in the “East End,” of HOUGH and DOAN'S CORNERS, he envisioned future demand ascending the heights. The issue then was the inability of horses to pull streetcars up the Portage Escarpment at Cedar Glen. However, Calhoun was then working on the Richmond Terminal project in Virginia, where inventor Frank J. Sprague was experimenting with the financial relationship between real estate sales and transit fares from the new electric streetcars. Seeing the potential of opening this land for development with electric streetcars, Calhoun immediately purchased from railroad executive Worthy S. Streator 240 acres between Cedar Road and Mayfield Road, eastward from the edge of the escarpment to the county road that became Coventry.
Here Calhoun and his partners, including James Greer Zachry, John Hartness Brown and William Lowe Rice, created the first plat for Euclid Hts. Landscape architect Ernest W. Bowditch, who was working on the City’s park plan and Clifton Park in Lakewood, designed a subdivision employing curving streets and large lots. Overlook Road ran along the edge of the escarpment above LITTLE ITALY, and attracted many of the larger mansions, including those of Rice and Brown. Calhoun’s mansion was next to the EUCLID CLUB he installed on Cedar at the edge of the upper Berea Sandstone layer substratum.
The Euclid Club featured an eighteen-hole golf club, that started from the clubhouse, ran first west and then south across Cedar; on property later developed as the Cedar Hill Allotment. Returning to the clubhouse, it positioned its back nine holes on land leased from JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER that was consequently named the Euclid Golf Allotments.
Calhoun’s original plan for the allotment was never realized and the bank panic of 1893 delayed matters. A subsequent plan was filed in 1896, which placed Euclid Heights Boulevard through the center of the allotment. Calhoun joined Rockefeller and the CASE SCHOOL in providing land for the city’s new UNIVERSITY CIRCLE streetcar circle. This provided Calhoun with a grand entrance for his Euclid Heights streetcars traveling up Cedar Glen and through the allotment via Euclid Height Boulevard. There was at the time talk of a private bus to carry residents to jobs downtown.
Calhoun became a streetcar franchisee at this point in his career, most notably assuming control San Francisco’s following the great earthquake and fire and, subsequently immersed in scandal and lawsuits there, was not able to attend to his Euclid Heights investments. The company failed and his remaining holdings were sold at auction in 1914. In 1910, Rice was murdered on his way home from the Euclid Club and while attention was initially directed at Brown, due to conflict over the John Hartness Brown Building downtown, the case was never solved.
The Euclid Heights Allotment became the model for upscale heights allotments, including Shaker Heights. Its positioning between LAKE VIEW CEMETERY and AMBLER PARK, with expansive views from the Overlook and the upper ridge when the Euclid Club was situated, coupled with the innovation of electric streetcars, curvilinear streets and deed restrictions were unmatched by other Heights allotments until the Van Sweringens developed Shaker Heights along similar, but more extensive lines.
William C. Barrow