The REAL PROPERTY INVENTORY OF METROPOLITAN CLEVELAND (RPI) collected detailed statistics and issued reports about population trends, housing, manufacturing, retail business, and other aspects of life in the Cleveland area. RPI was initiated by the Cleveland Real Estate Board, which organized the Committee on Real Property Inventory and then chose local statistician HOWARD WHIPPLE GREEN as project director. Begun in 1932, Green's pioneering inventory of real property in Cleveland by census tracts became the model promoted by the Civil Works Administration in the 1930s and adopted by other cities. The reports, first published in 1933, provided a census tract-by-census tract portrait of the city which strictly avoided analysis, leaving interpretation of the figures and trends to individual users. RPI included information from Cleveland and a few large suburbs until 1936, when the surveys were expanded to include all of Cuyahoga County. It became an independent, nonprofit organization in 1937 supported by local banks, daily newspapers, public utilities, the county, and business and service organizations who subscribed to its services.
RPI's publications included "A Sheet-a-Week," a 2-page publication begun in 1933 that gave different statistical reports each week; annual reports (which by the mid-1950s included Family & Housing Characteristics and Retail Stores & Shopping Centers); and special reports, such as those on standard of living (1935), and manufacturing (1951). In its heyday, between 1933 and 1959, RPI was an important source of information to local business, government, and social planners trying to meet local needs. The Real Property Inventory continued to publish the RPI "Bulletin" as late as 1978. In Sept. 1979 RPI merged with the Northern Ohio Urban System Research Corp. and reorganized as the Northern Ohio Research Information Center, a group serving Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Summit, Portage, Geauga, Lake, and Ashtabula counties. The group continued publishing data until the early 1980s.
A Sheet a Week, WRHS.
Green, Howard Whipple. "The Cleveland Real Property Inventory," in Homes and Growth, Cleveland Real Estate Board (ca. 1951).
Real Property Inventory of Metropolitan Cleveland, Reports No. 1-21, 1933-34, WRHS.