HOUGH is a 2 sq. mi. neighborhood bounded by Euclid and Superior avenues and E. 55th and E. 105th streets. Originally part of E. Cleveland Twp., it takes its name from one of the neighborhood's major streets, Hough Ave., dedicated in 1873 and named for early landowners Oliver and Eliza Hough. Following the area's annexation in 1872, Hough became a fashionable residential neighborhood characterized by platted subdivisions of large single-family houses. It was still a predominantly white middle-class neighborhood in 1950. By 1960, however, it had undergone complete reversal—from 5% nonwhite in 1950 to 74% nonwhite in 1960. Long before this racial turnabout, Hough suffered from an aging housing stock, a decline in maintenance and in the percentage of owner-occupied dwellings, and overcrowding. Close to the predominantly black Central neighborhood, Hough had become a natural area for change when the city's urban-renewal programs displaced many AFRICAN AMERICANS in the mid-1950s. Realty companies fostered panic selling, and absentee landlords converted many single-family units into rooming houses and tenements. In 1956 the neighborhood was an uneasy mixture of long-time residents, whites who had recently migrated from Appalachia, and blacks who had moved into Hough. The Univ.-Euclid urban-renewal project, promised as early as 1960, still had not made significant headway 5 years later. Hough, the Cleveland Press reported in a series of articles in Feb. 1965, was in "crisis." Racial violence erupted on the night of 18 July 1966, marking the start of the devastating HOUGH RIOTS, with the widespread destruction of buildings and property. The population of Hough declined from 65,694 in 1950 to 25,330 in 1980.
Since 1970, however, the Hough neighborhood has seen some modest commercial development, as well as the construction of major new public buildings. Lexington Village, a new residential development at E. 79th St. and Lexington Ave., led the way to further new residential construction and a new shopping center at Church Square (see CHURCH SQUARE SHOPPING CENTER).