WOODMERE, originally part of Orange Twp., incorporated as a village in 1944. It is located in eastern Cuyahoga County just east of the intersection of Chagrin Blvd. and I-271. Occupying less than 1 sq. mi., it is bounded by PEPPER PIKE on the north, BEACHWOOD on the west, and ORANGE on the south. Until the 1940s, it was little more than an expanse of farmland. The decision to incorporate was the culmination of an effort by white homeowners to block African American do-it-yourself builders. In 1946 the village enacted a building code with provisions calculated to frustrate such construction efforts. Originally zoned for single-family residential dwellings (see ZONING), Woodmere was rezoned in the 1970s to construct the Eton Square shopping center (1975), later renamed Eton Collection (1990) and then Eton Chagrin Boulevard (2003). Between 1960 and 1970, the population of Woodmere grew from 398 to 1,041, but it declined to 877 by 1980 and remained little changed over the next four decades. Despite its early exclusionary history, Woodmere became an integrated community of diverse nationalities whose residents include older citizens, newer homeowners, and apartment dwellers, the latter constituting the majority. Woodmere offers fire and police protection; its schools are part of the Orange School District.
Updated by Mark Souther
Wiese, Andrew. Places of Their Own: African American Suburbanization in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.
See also SUBURBS