The LUDLOW COMMUNITY ASSN., formed in 1957 and incorporated on 21 May 1959, is a neighborhood organization created to ease tensions as blacks (see AFRICAN AMERICANS) moved into SHAKER HTS.' Ludlow area. By 1968 it had gained national attention for maintaining a stable, integrated community. Ludlow straddles the border of Shaker Hts. and Cleveland, extending southeast from SHAKER SQUARE. It was a white community of about 500 homes valued at between $20,000-$50,000 in 1955. That year African American families began to move into the area; by 1959 Ludlow included about 80-90 black families. The home of one of these families was bombed, and there was some fear and panic over the next several years. The Ludlow Community Assn. grew out of 2 years of block club meetings; several homeowners, including Irwin Barnett, Lewis Polster, and Gilbert Seldin, formed the group and served as trustees.

Block clubs, small meetings, and parties helped calm fears and stop panic selling in the late 1950s, but by the early 1960s it was clear that more effort was needed to attract white homebuyers. The association received a $7,500 CLEVELAND FOUNDATION grant and early in 1960 established a real estate clearinghouse. The Ludlow Co. was set up to help finance purchases of homes in the area by whites; realtors were urged to stop blockbusting. Neighborhood maintenance committees were also established to maintain and improve sanitation, traffic, building codes, and recreation facilities. Such efforts succeeded: in 1961 9 white families bought homes in the area. By 1962 members of the Ludlow Community Assn. and groups such as the LOMOND ASSN. promoted integration in other suburbs. Between 1968 and the association's 25th anniversary in 1982, the neighborhood maintained a fairly constant racial balance, with 55% of its residents coming from minority groups. The association had 300 members in 1982. In the 1990s the group still worked to maintain the harmony and quality of its multi-racial neighborhood. The association also began publishing a monthly newsletter and information on community services and housing codes. In 1995, Jarmellia Armwood and Kareen Campbell served as co-presidents.

Ludlow Community Assn. Records, WRHS.

Article Categories