RICHMOND HEIGHTS was the last portion of Euclid Twp. to be incorporated as a village in 1917. Originally called Claribel, it became Richmond Hts. in 1918 and incorporated as a city in 1960. The city of 4.7 sq. mi. is located 15 miles east of downtown Cleveland and is bounded on the north and west by EUCLID, on the east by HIGHLAND HTS., on the south by LYNDHURST, and on the southwest by SOUTH EUCLID.
The area developed slowly. Principally a farming community (see AGRICULTURE), the first major INDUSTRY was a series of charcoal pits that provided fuel for the growing iron industry in Cleveland. Its population was 265 in 1920, growing to only 891 in 1950. Major expansion followed the installation of gas and water mains in 1953. The population grew more than fivefold in the 1950s, reaching 5,068 in 1960 and nearly doubled to 10,095 by 1980. Following a slight drop in the 1980s, the population grew again in the 1990s, peaking at 10,944 by 2000. Mirroring the struggles of many older suburbs, Richmond Hts. has since fallen to an estimated population of 10,380 in 2018.
The city has been governed by a mayor-council system. The Richmond Hts. Local School District had 758 students enrolled in an elementary school and a combined middle and high school on one campus in 2018. The GENERAL ELECTRIC CO. Lamp Glass Department, located on Highland Rd., the city's only substantial industry, closed in 1990. The facility later became OMNI Systems, a commercial label printer. Richmond Hts. is primarily residential, with the RICHMOND HTS. GENERAL HOSPITAL (now University Hospitals Richmond Medical Center), 8 churches, and 2 major retail areas, the Hillcrest Square Shopping Center and Richmond Town Square (originally Richmond Mall), both located at Richmond and Wilson Mills roads. The latter lost most of its retail tenants in the 2010s and was in the process of redevelopment into mixed uses in 2019. The city maintains 3 parks. In addition, in 2013 the Friends of Euclid Creek led a successful effort to purchase an 8-acre conservation easement along the western edge of the city for the adjacent CLEVELAND METROPARKS Euclid Creek Reservation. The CUYAHOGA COUNTY AIRPORT is partially situated in the city.
Updated by Mark Souther
Keidel, Helen, ed. Richmond Heights, Ohio, 1917-1967 (1967).
See also SUBURBS.