FOREST HILL

FOREST HILL, now a residential neighborhood in E. CLEVELAND and CLEVELAND HTS., formerly was the summer home of the JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER family. In 1873 Rockefeller purchased a large tract of land bordering Euclid Ave. in E. Cleveland. He sold it to the Euclid Ave. Forest Hill Assn. and bought shares in the company, which set out to establish a "water-cure and place of public resort." When the venture failed, Rockefeller completed the large, rambling building intended to house the sanitarium and operated it for a summer (1878) as a club for paying guests. Thereafter he maintained Forest Hill exclusively as a summer home for his family, gradually adding to the grounds until he had acquired some 700 acres that stretched beyond E. Cleveland into Cleveland Hts.

Even after establishing his legal residence in New York City in 1884, Rockefeller returned with his family to Cleveland to live at Forest Hill every summer until his wife Laura's death in 1915. On 17 Dec. 1917, the house was destroyed by a fire of unknown cause, and Rockefeller never returned to Cleveland again. The Forest Hill estate was broken up, portions in E. Cleveland providing sites for a new HURON RD. HOSPITAL and for Kirk Jr. High School. Forest Hill Blvd. was cut through the estate, and New York architect Andrew J. Thomas was hired to prepare plans for the Forest Hill subdivision, designing 81 French Norman-style houses that were built beginning in 1925. A little less than a third of the original estate was set aside as a public park, which John D. Rockefeller, Jr., donated to the cities of E. Cleveland and Cleveland Hts. (see FOREST HILL PARK).


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Goulder, Grace. John D. Rockefeller: The Cleveland Years.


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